Killen’s Steakhouse is now up and running in its new building at 6425 West Broadway in Pearland. The facility was formerly the Malibu Steak & Seafood location. The move paves the way for chef Ronnie Killen to turn his former steakhouse into Killen’s Burgers.
The Houston Press was invited in last night for a media dinner and tour of the new digs. While many diners will feel a twinge of fond remembrance for the old cozy location, the new steakhouse is a better, more elegant environment for the chef’s acclaimed, high-quality steaks. It’s big and open, with touches that are sophisticated but not stuffy.
A long, open kitchen adorned with a big counter and an array of orange heat lamps anchors the back. Diners have a great view of executive chef Joe Cervantez and chef Chris Loftis, former executive chef of Number 13, working with the rest of the kitchen staff, formally decked out in chef whites and toques.
In the center, a floor-to-ceiling wine tower casts a cool blue glow across the dining room as black-clad wait staff hustle dishes from the kitchen to the tables. There are two sizable private dining rooms, one almost entirely walled in more floor-to-ceiling wine racks of dark wood.
Killen’s loyal customers have had no problems finding the new place. Last night, the dining room was comfortably full of customers, even though it was a Tuesday. Killen said that over the past weekend, the staff served more than 300 diners in one night.
The menu is still chock-full of classic Killen’s favorites. Seared foie gras paired with pickled peaches and smoked bacon blueberry jam epitomizes the marriage of sophisticated fare with down-home touches. There’s still a fabulous creamed corn that will take some effort to share with your tablemates, and creamed spinach made with fresh greens, not frozen. The texture is immensely better than the mush served elsewhere.
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Of course, the main draw here is the steaks, which come from several different sources to cater to any meat-lover’s whim. There’s both dry- and wet-aged, corn-fed Nebraska beef, Wagyu from Strube Ranch in Texas as well as true Wagyu from Japan, Certified Piedmontese from Nebraska, and Angus from Harris Ranch in California.
For dessert, a huge, warm, square hunk of carrot cake is perfect, and there’s plenty to share, although it’s hard to resist the silky New York chocolate cheesecake, too. It tastes like milky hot chocolate converted to edible form.
Now that the Killen’s team has accomplished this big move, the next big project is getting the old place permitted, remodeled and open so they can get Killen’s Burgers up and running. Ronnie Killen promises that the burgers will be made of a winning combination of freshly ground meats with the right balance of seasoning so that diners won’t ever need to add salt and pepper. With that and the perpetual fanfare that surrounds his other place, Killen’s Barbecue, Pearland is going to remain an exciting town to dine in for some time to come.