We decided that the Santa Fe Cattle Company restaurant in Prairieville compares well with the other budget-friendly steakhouses in the area.
The prices are good, and the dishes, while presented simply, without a bit of show, are tasty.
For an appetizer, we chose the Texas sausage ($7.29) that served up grilled, smoked jalapeno sausage in bite-size pieces, on a plate with chipotle barbecue sauce and dill pickles on the side.
The spicy jalapeno in the sausage was noticeable but didn’t overwhelm the flavor of the sausage.
White and wheat rolls brought to the table are a much-appreciated staple of steakhouses, but these had a surprisingly neutral flavor that called for the accompanying cinnamon butter.
The guest who ordered it said the ribeye steak (10-ounce, $14.99; 14-ounce, $17.99) seemed to have undergone some effective marinating in the kitchen. Juicy and flavorful, the ribeye, not the leanest of cuts, had perhaps more fat than preferred, but the 10-ounce version was still a generous lunchtime portion of steak.
Steamed vegetables as a side order were nicely seasoned and retained some crunchiness. Some of that crunchiness would have been nice for the other side dish of green beans, cooked to complete limpness. Some diners prefer that style of green beans, but we wished for a little more texture.
Another entrée, the luncheon sirloin ($8.99) tasted good without any steak sauce. Ordered medium, it came out closer to medium well and a touch dry, but escaped the chewiness of many of the smaller, cheaper sirloins.
The side dish of french fries was an “ordinary clump of seasoned french fries,” reported our guest. Satisfying, but nothing especially new in the annals of french fries.
The Duke’s fried chicken steak ($7.59, lunch choice), pounded thin before it was nicely seasoned, battered and fried, was served with mashed potatoes that came with a choice of cream or brown gravy.
The lunch helping was generous and good, but the diner wished the restaurant would have been a little more generous with the cream gravy.
Tender, fried catfish ($7.99) with a tasty batter was served with fries and didn’t disappoint.
For dessert, we had a delicious Oreo cookie pie ($4.99), a cool, chocolatey concoction, drizzled with chocolate syrup.
The service at the Santa Fe Cattle Company restaurant is excellent and friendly, and the waiter made plenty of stops for refills.
The place has the buckets of peanuts, country music playing and western/rustic touches such as boots used as wall art, stuffed armadillos and raccoons that one has come to expect in such Texas-themed restaurants.
A particularly eye-catching accent is the restaurant’s trademark enormous ceiling fan over the bar area.