The Daily Meal recently published our list of the Best Steakhouses in America for 2014, and in order to compile our ranking, we assembled a list of nearly 200 of the nation’s leading steakhouses, culled from pre-existing rankings by leading authorities both in print and online. To be as fair as possible, we excluded chains with more than a few locations, barred restaurants that don’t focus exclusively on steaks, and also did not consider ethnic steakhouses, like Brazilian churrascarias, were also left out since they form a category of their own. We then judged them according to strict criteria: Is the meat sourced reputably and USDA Choice or Prime? Is it as high-quality as can be, served at the proper temperature without fail and with just the right amount of ceremony? And, is it locally revered while simultaneously embodying a gastronomic destination for out-of-towners? We also took into consideration the overall steakhouse experience; the service must be top-notch, the attention to detail should be spot-on, and diners should feel compelled to sit back in their chair after their meal, pleasantly stuffed and content in the knowledge that they just enjoyed one of the best steaks they will ever have.
If you’re in Houston (or Dallas) and you find yourself in the mood for a perfect steak, a red leather booth, wood-paneled walls, and about 2,300 choices for wine, get over to Pappas Bros. At this temple to beef, which has repeatedly been lauded as one of the state’s best restaurants since it opened in 1976, the meat is dry-aged in-house and served bone-in or bone-out. There’s something for everyone, from a 40-ounce Porterhouse carved tableside to an eight-ounce filet mignon, from an 18-ounce bone-in New York strip to a rib eye of Texas Akaushi Kobe beef, and each cut is seasoned with just salt and pepper and finished with a bit of butter. All of that makes the entire experience at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse about as classic as you’re likely to find. The restaurant snagged the prestigious #5 spot in our compilation, and without any local competition mentioned on the list, it is unequivocally the best steakhouse in Houston.