Top

dining

Stories

 

It's not the quality of the steaks that puts Del Frisco's above its competitors. The service is outstanding. It's said that there are three tables per waiter — an astonishing ratio. And the "customer first" attitude is a stark contrast to the run-up-the-bill scams encountered elsewhere.

The appetizers are excellent. Del Frisco is one of the few steakhouses that serve oysters on the half shell. And while some high-end steakhouses refuse to make steak tartare for liability fears, Del Frisco's prides themselves on the raw chopped steak appetizer. And then there's the grandeur of the architecture and the dignified atmosphere.

The classy image is sort of amusing when you consider the humble origins of the chain's founder. The first Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse in Dallas was opened in the mid-1980s by a former Louisiana Winn-Dixie meat cutter named Dale Wamstad (who went by the name Del Frisco) and a woman named Dee Lincoln. Dee did the restaurant's radio commercials, and she was famous throughout Dallas for her recitation of the final digits of the phone number, "0-0-0-0!"

The most flavorful steak in the city: the "tomahawk" cut Kobe rib eye.
Troy Fields
The most flavorful steak in the city: the "tomahawk" cut Kobe rib eye.

Location Info

Map

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse

5061 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77056

Category: Restaurant > Steakhouse

Region: Galleria

Details

Hours:11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays; 5 p.m. to midnight Saturdays; 5 to 10 p.m. Sundays.

Steak tartare: $136

oysters on the half shell: $14

Business lunch: $30

Kobe steak: $90

Onion rings: $10

5061 Westheimer, 713-355-2600.

Wamstad's sordid life story was the subject of a Dallas Observer feature ["Family Man," by Mark Stuertz, March 16, 2000]. I liked the part where his former wife Lena got sick of his abuse and "pumped three .25-­caliber slugs into Dale Wamstad's imposing 6-foot-2-inch, 240-pound bulk in the dining room of Del Frisco's restaurant in Gretna, ­Louisiana."

Wamstad survived and went on to sell the original Dallas Del Frisco's and a Fort Worth branch that was under construction to the Lone Star Steakhouse chain in Kansas in 1995 for $22.7 million. Del Frisco's became the upper-end steakhouse in a three-tier chain that also included the mid-range Sullivan's and the low-end Lone Star Steakhouses, a Texas-themed chain with locations across the country.

If you ask me, the scandalous Dale "Del Frisco" Wamstad legend easily trumps all those mobster tales that made the original Palm in New York and Morton's in Chicago famous.
_____________________

On my first visit to Del Frisco's, I got the $30 businessman's lunch. You get your choice of soup or salad, and I went with a creamy asparagus bisque. For an entrée, I got a six-ounce filet mignon. The other choice was salmon topped with crabmeat. My dessert was chocolate mousse.

My tablemate got a boring salad and the crab cakes, two barely battered mounds of extra large jumbo lump crabmeat with a Creole sauce. Like the over-the-top Kobe and creamed spinach dinner, it was an extremely satisfying and unrelentingly rich meal — but no particular bargain.

Del Frisco's is currently the top steakhouse in Houston. Don't go expecting to find any bargains. Go when you're in the mood to celebrate and the money doesn't matter.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...