Who is (was) Texas Red?
He was an outlaw that roamed the mountains and plains of North and West Texas around the middle of the nineteenth century. Remember, most of New Mexico and the better part of Colorado used to belong to Texas. He was immortalized in the hit song “Big Iron” by Marty Robbins. Texas Red loved the good things in life and it’s been said that he once traded all the loot from a train robbery for a good steak and bottle of whiskey.
Texas Red was also the nickname of the man who built the first building that became Texas Reds Steakhouse in Red River, NM. John Richard Gill, an entrepreneur, western actor and stuntman, rodeo rider and raconteur had his pick-up break down on him in Red River while enroute to a rodeo in Wyoming. Not only was there no one to fix his truck in this little mountain village back in the 50’s, but even if there was, he couldn’t have paid for it. So he stuck around and became a legend. He had always hoped Red River would be the site for a John Wayne movie so he built his office and home on Main Street to look like an old west store front. John Gill never did get to see his building in a western but he did appear in “The Alamo” with John Wayne. His somewhat more industrious brother and his family turned the historic looking building into a legend itself, Texas Reds Steakhouse.
Why do you throw peanut shells on the floor?
Mostly because it’s fun. We’ve never seen a kid, no matter what age, who doesn’t love to throw things on the floor. At Texas Reds it’s not only allowed, it’s required. It also gives you something to do while reading the menu and the roasted peanuts inside keep you from starving until your appetizer gets out. Besides that, the rich oil in the shells makes the hardwood floor look great.
Who sweeps them up?
The manager at the end of the night. That’s how he makes his money, from all the quarters that get thrown on the floor along with the peanut shells.
Why do you use 100% cotton tablecloths and terry cloth napkins?
The red and white tablecloths are a tradition in the old west and at Texas Reds in particular. Even though they are much more expensive to use and require more of the wait staff’s time, our patrons appreciate it, ’nuff said. The terry cloth napkins soak up more. Our steaks are very juicy.
Where does all the western art come from?
All of our existing and proposed steakhouses are right on the outskirts of thriving artists communities. What do the artists who are on the outskirts, not quite in the mainstream, of an art community need most? Exposure.
Almost all the really fine original western art work and prints you will see on the walls is there on consignment or is an example of a commissioned artist’s work. Many of the artists who once displayed at Texas Reds are now showing in galleries around the world. Some have paid their consignment fee with pieces that fit in best at the steakhouse and some have given works in gratitude for a place to start. Still others traded their work for a few meals until they became famous.
Aren’t there locations better suited to success for your restaurants?
It all depends on your definition of success. Texas Reds is family owned and operated, and depends on people who are looking for a special place to dine, celebrate or entertain. Those people seek out Texas Reds, and have for over thirty years.
The regular customer who comes in at least once a week and families looking for a good meal at a good price appreciate the constant quality and fair price for a superior product. Event planners appreciate the attention to detail that insures their party’s success. To be treated like family you don’t have to be on the interstate.
Why don’t you take reservations?
There’s no way to tell how long it takes for everyone to enjoy their meal and we feel it’s rude to ask them to get up before they’re ready. However, sometimes the wait for a table can get a little long so in Red River we encourage people to call ahead (754-2922) and put their name on the waiting list, if there is one.
What are Sody Waters?
That’s what the ole timers called sarsaparilla and root beer.
What are Green Chiles?
A wonderful mild to medium (sometimes hotter) pepper grown all over New Mexico that compliments the flavor of nearly all meat and vegetables. (Not particularly recommended as a topping for the peach cobbler a-la-mode.) Their flavor is really enhanced when served roasted and peeled, hot off the char-broiler, Texas Reds style.
What’s going on in town?
The employees of Texas Reds will talk to you if you ask them a question. That comes from hiring the best and the brightest. They will be happy to find an answer for you if they don’t already know it, but they probably do. And, bucking the latest trend, you will not get your waiter’s life story unless you ask for it.
Why does the wait staff wear bandannas?
Since all our locations have their own unique atmosphere, to say nothing of climate, the one constant uniform accessory is the red bandanna. There have been occasions when that bandanna has been auctioned at the table to the highest bidder.
Can I keep this menu?
Yes. There are at least six reasons why our menu looks like a newspaper:
1) It’s the cheapest paper we can find so it doesn’t cost much for us to give them away,
2) It looks cool,
3) It gives our employees a creative outlet to write new articles every once in a while,
4) If they get dirty we can just throw them away. You’re always guaranteed to get a fresh, clean menu,
5) It’s great advertising, and
6) They make a good fire starter.