Nestled in the heart of Memorial City amongst skyscrapers and the ever-busy Katy Freeway lies one of the most charming outdoor settings in all of Houston complete with cascading waterfalls, lush trees and twinkling strings of lights. This secret garden of sorts is part of the original Brenner’s Steakhouse, which has served Houstonians prime cuts of steak, fresh seafood and its famous chicken fried filet mignon for 80 years.
In celebration of remaining the oldest steakhouse in Houston, Brenner’s is pulling out all the culinary stops with a special 80th anniversary prix-fixe dinner on Friday, September 23rd, as well as an all-new brunch menu on Sunday, September 25th.
Rich in History and Culture
Longtime admirer and restaurateur Tilman J. Fertitta acquired the historical Brenner’s Steakhouse in 2003. Since then, Brenner’s has expanded to a second location built in an old hunting lodge along the banks of the scenic Buffalo Bayou. The original founders, however, were Herman and Lorene Brenner, who built the restaurant in 1936.
The young newlyweds met while working together at a restaurant in Downtown Houston called The Old Vienna. With $20 to their name, the couple started Brenner’s Café and served light fare such as sandwiches, fried chicken and some steaks – most of which were rarely sold, because few could afford such luxuries at the time.
During the early 1950s, Houston was expanding west, and the original Brenner’s building had to be sold to make way for the construction of Katy Road. The restaurant was relocated to its current location along the Beltway and Interstate 10 at 10911 Katy Freeway. This new location gave ample room for the Brenners to create their lush gardens in the back of the restaurant. These fabled gardens were said to have been a recreation of picturesque scenery from Herman Brenner’s native Germany.
Under Landry’s, Inc. ownership, the original lure of the remodeled restaurant remains, but everything has been spruced up and expanded slightly, particularly the extraordinary backyard garden. Posh patio furniture and contemporary light fixtures give the garden a fresh, romantic feel and can be seen from the dining room’s large windows.
A First-Class Dining Experience
For decades, diners and critics alike have praised both Brenner’s Steakhouse and Brenner’s Steakhouse on the Bayou for its excellence in cuisine, service and ambiance. Voted “Best Steakhouse in Houston” by Zagat, “Best Atmosphere” by Houston Press and recipient of Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence,” Brenner’s strives to precede its reputation. But in a city where it seems like there is an endless catalog of steakhouses, what makes Brenner’s so special?
For starters, it has perfected the classic steakhouse experience with a few Teutonic twists. Here, diners can order items like a B.L.T. wedge salad, blackened jumbo scallops, an expertly prepared 14-ounce center cut, bone-in filet mignon – or a 21-ounce bone-in ribeye for those who are ambitious – alongside German staples like crunchy, German-style potatoes, wiener schnitzel a la holstein – veal crowned with a fried egg – and homemade apple strudel for dessert. More than 200 wine labels are also available to complement any meal. The rustic, yet elegant steak and seafood restaurant also boasts a cozy bar area and wine cellar with wood finishes and a stone fireplace.
With a combination of excellent food, top-notch service and warm interiors, Brenner’s Steakhouse will surely be around for many more years to come.