Killen's Steakhouse chef/owner Ronnie Killen spoke to Eater Houston about the three visits that the players on the Houston Texans defense, nicknamed the Bulls on Parade, made to his restaurant during the course of their season. That included their final team dinner after their loss to the New England Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs.
How did they hear about you?Antoine Caldwell is the first one that came out. Then we had Tim Jamison. He comes out here a lot. Antonio Smith, he came out here when they beat the Bengals after the first playoff game (in 2011).
Who makes the reservation? Normally Bradie (James) will make it. The very first time it was Earl Mitchell. That was the first time they came here.
Why do you think they've come back three times? You feed people and you take care of them like that. Everybody likes somebody that cooks good food. To me, when I was in high school and once I got out of high school, if I ever wanted to wow a girl or go out with a girl, just cook for her. There's something about that. They enjoy it. Obviously, they like what we do.
What did they order? The very first time they came out they all ordered Mishima, which is a product from Strube Ranch. We didn't have any of the (Japanese Kobe) A5. I sent that to them and told them we'll cut it as big as you want. We can do whatever you want.
Shaun Cody ordered two steaks. I always give him shit about it. Shawn, you're supposed to have a punctured lung and a broken rib, because he wasn't playing. You ordered two 16oz steaks. He said, I just wanted to see. I didn't know about the Mishima, the grassfed. I wasn't sure what to get. He tasted that and that's what he ordered.
What was the last dinner of the season like? They had $11,000 to spend. They had a big wad of cash. They put it on the table. Antonio Smith put it on his instagram. He said, "We have $11,000 bucks to spend." There were two of them that ordered the $600 steaks ....
The last time they came in it was $7,500. If you think, they're not really drinking any alcohol, they had a couple of beers and a $100 bottle of wine, that doesn't really add up. It was mostly beef and crab cakes.
It was funny, they ate the hell out of our tuna tacos. The taco is ahi tuna, diced up. We must have made 50 of them that night. Crab cakes, desserts. One guy ordered a 20 ounce A5, three scallops, three shrimp, just on that one plate. I'm just going, like, that dish right there was $660.
What is a $600 steak? It's 20 ounces of Japanese A5 strip .... We told them we have this Japanese A5. Some of them had already had the pismo. Antonio Smith said, "I'll take a 20 ounce steak." I go, "That's $600." He said, "I don't care. That's baby money." That's what he said, "That's baby money." I was, like, ok .... I don't even know if anybody's ever heard of somebody having a $600 steak. I haven't read anywhere that somebody had 20 ounces.
Usually people order it 4 or 6 ounces, right? Yeah, and the bad thing about it is, he had it well done. That's terrible. I know. I was, like, can't we just do it, like, medium? He goes, no, man, if I see any blood or pink in there that will just make me sick. I was, like, God, you're disgracing the animal. Can't we give you something else? Can I run to Walmart real quick and get one of those choice steaks that I cooked in New York instead of using Japanese A5? It's killed once already, why are you killing it again?
What's the profit on a $600 steak? People say, oh you made a lot of money on a $600 steak. That's not really the case. It costs $110 per pound, then you trim 35% off. You have a piece of meat that costs you quite a bit. That steak probably cost me $450 to do. The margin you're looking at; nowhere can anyone say I made $150 off a steak. You look at the margin not the percentage.
What does it mean to you to have them in? Just to be a part of their last hurrah, the next day, everybody started leaving, to be a part of that was really pretty neat. It just shows that what we do here gets recognized .... The last time they came in I bought them five bottles of Henriot to toast their last game. I just talked to them. I said I've been a football fan my whole life. For the last five years, I stopped watching. Y'all made me start watching again. You've got me tickets. I really appreciate it. Here's Henriot for everybody, and that's when they toasted.
Do people come in here and say I saw a Texans player talking about the restaurant? Yeah, they're like, when do they come in? Sometimes people come in because they think they're going to see them. "I heard the Texans go there." We do get them in; there's no doubt. That's exciting for us and the staff.
· Killen's Steakhouse [Official Site]
· Antonio Smith [Instagram]
· Ronnie Killen [Twitter]
· All Killen's Steakhouse Coverage on Eater Houston [-EHOU-]
· All Whale Week Coverage on Eater Houston [-EHOU-]