Perini Ranch Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap has been named an America’s Classic by the James Beard Foundation. The restaurant, owned by rancher Tom Perini and wife Lisa, opened in 1983 in the small town south of Abilene. The restaurants honored received the recognition for their "timeless appeal and are beloved for quality food that reflects the character of their community."
"Grilled steaks are the heart of the menu. Tom knew that if he opted for prime beef, he would price himself out of the local market. He chose instead to grill the best choice rib eyes, strips, and filets. The appeal of those steaks owes much to mesquite. The scrubby, thorny trees grow everywhere in this arid terrain. And their coals yield a pungent smoke that perfumes the air," the Foundation said in a release.Perini’s is joined on the list by Hansen’s Sno Bliz (New Orleans), Nick’s Italian Café (McMinnville, Ore.), Olneyville New York System (Providence, R.I.), and Sokolowski’s University Inn (Cleveland). The restaurants will be honored at a ceremony in New York City on May 5.Read Pamela LeBlanc’s travel story about Perini Ranch Steakhouse in a 2012 story from the Statesman.