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Looking for a Bull Market

Killen's Steakhouse in suburban Pearland is probably best during boom times.

"Excuse me, but what's this?" my buddy Bebout asked the waiter when he was done with his pitch. Bebout was pointing at the pale piped floret in the curved spoon next to the bread basket.

"It's butter," the waiter said, as if Bebout were a dolt.

"No it isn't," Bebout replied. "Please go ask the chef if he has any real butter."

All Killen's steaks — such as the bone-in strip steak — come from Allen Brothers, ­arguably the best supplier in the country.
Troy Fields
All Killen's steaks — such as the bone-in strip steak — come from Allen Brothers, ­arguably the best supplier in the country.

Location Info

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Killen's Steakhouse

2804 S. Main
Pearland, TX 77581

Category: Restaurant > Steakhouse

Region: Pearland

Details

Hours: 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Closed Sundays.

Sides: $7

Wet-aged 16-ounce Prime rib eye: $29

Dry-aged 16 ounce Prime bone-in strip: $50

Texas Akaushi Kobe rib eye: $85

32-ounce dry-aged Kobe rib eye: $95

2804 South Main, Pearland, 281-485-0844.

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The waiter insisted the product was pure butter that the chef personally whipped for easier spreading. After an embarrassing "yes it is — no it isn't" schoolboy exchange, the waiter stomped off to the kitchen. Then a busboy came out to our table with several square pats of real butter on a saucer. The busboy said the spread in the fancy curved spoon was a mixture that contained margarine. Bebout harrumphed.

With the butter imbroglio finally concluded, I looked forward to eating a big steak. We split the 32-ounce wet-aged porterhouse. A porterhouse has strip on one side of the T-shaped bone and filet on the other, and since Bebout likes filet and I prefer strip, it was easy to split the giant steak.

I had eaten one big bite of the strip when Bebout leaned over his plate and spit out a piece of the filet. His face was ashen, and he looked like he was going to be sick.

"What's the matter?" I asked.

Bebout asked for my fork, then cut a little piece of meat from the spot at the bottom of the filet. "Hey Robb, try this," he said, handing me back my fork. I held the meat up to my nose and felt my stomach turn. The meat was putrid. Needless to say, I didn't taste it.

I laid the fork down on the plate and called the maitre d' over. I asked him to take the steak back to the kitchen and have the chef smell the piece of meat on the fork. When the maitre d' returned, he told us that due to the downturn in the economy, the meat wasn't moving as fast as it used to, and that you were always walking a fine line when you sold aged meat.

This was the first time I had ever been served a piece of spoiled meat in a steak house. I couldn't believe the way the maitre d' was shrugging the whole thing off. It made me wonder if he had given this speech before.

I ordered another steak, a wet-aged New York strip. I sniffed it carefully before eating any. It was crusted with a lot more seasonings than the porterhouse. It tasted excellent. Bebout couldn't bring himself to eat any more meat that evening. He had some onion soup and some bread with real butter.

So much for my hometown steak house cheerleading. I am sure all the wonderful things I have heard about Killen's over the years have been true. And I am looking forward to eating there again.

But I think I'll wait for another bull market.

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