I have a soft spot for Randy's Steakhouse in Frisco. When my husband and I moved to Texas, our anniversary was just a couple weeks after we moved into our new house. Not knowing the area well, I searched for restaurants online and read reviews, and Randy's was the restaurant we chose for our first "dress-up" meal in Texas.
Randy's is located in an historic house on Main Street in Frisco. They've kept the home-like décor and all the "character" that goes along with an old house, complete with uneven wood floors, narrow staircase, and portraits on the wall. There are several large rooms that serve as separate dining areas, as well as a piano bar.
Randy himself will typically make a couple of appearances during the evening, to roam the dining room in his white chef coat, say hello, and see how everything is going. A couple times Randy has actually called us the day after dining there, to thank us for coming. He's obviously a man who cares about his restaurant. He and his staff also actively promote their weekend specials on Facebook, and they have frequent Wine dinners. In the highly-competitive area they are located in, they do a pretty good job of competing with the big boys.
We enjoyed our first visit enough that we've been to Randy's several times since. The food rarely disappoints, but watch out for the service on a really busy night. We gave up going there for Valentine's day after our last visit on that holiday a couple years ago, when we were seated upstairs (which I think is their "overflow" area), and our waiter basically disappeared half way through our meal. Another waitress had to handle our dessert and bill.
We were invited to Randy's last Friday by some friends at work (another married couple who, like us, work at the same company). Their college-age daughter also joined us, because it was Prime Rib Night at Randy's.
My husband and I arrived a little bit before our friends, so we took it upon ourselves to order the wine for the evening--a nice bottle of 2009 Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon. Our waiter offered to decant it for us, and our friends arrived just as he brought out the wine.
As with most good restaurants, Randy's has some signatures. They provide fresh bread with an awesome compound butter, which I could happily stuff myself with.
While we didn't order appetizers this time, I've had their calamari and shrimp appetizers in the past. Their remoulade dipping sauce is, of course, on the spicy side, so if you don't care for spicy food you should go with their less-spicy alternatives.
For my first course, I normally enjoy Randy's Walnut and Feta Cheese salad, which is served with a nice vinaigrette, but this time I decided to go with The Wedge, just to have something different. The iceberg lettuce was nice and crisp, the dressing was tasty and the cherry tomatoes included on the plate were a nice way to cut the richness, but someone got a little too heavy-handed with the dressing. No amount of cherry tomatoes could help save the lettuce from drowning. I ended up only eating about half of the salad because it was simply too overdressed and rich.
Our waiter was obviously new and a bit timid, but I give him high marks for effort. Our friends (who were similarly watching their diets and trying not to overdo it too much with this rare steak dinner) asked for a special preparation on their green salad--dressed with a little olive oil and lemon juice--and he happily obliged.
All of us, except my husband, ordered the prime rib special. I had been tempted to try the Blackberry Filet because it looked intriguing, but since the prime rib was on special and I hadn't had it at Randy's before, I decided to go for it. My husband got the blue-cheese stuffed filet, which was perfectly cooked and he enjoyed it even if the blue cheese made it a bit rich for our current diet-sensitive tastes. We ordered the side of Garlic Mashed Potatoes to share between us (it was enough for 3), which was another highlight of my meal that I whole-heartedly recommend. It wasn't too rich and it was very well seasoned. Our friends ordered sides of steamed asparagus and broccoli, and seemed to enjoy their prime rib as well.
My prime rib was cut much thinner than I was expecting--I think it was barely 1/2" thick--and it had a significant chunk of fat in it, but that was OK because I probably couldn't have eaten any more than what I was served. I was very disappointed in how it was cooked, though. I had ordered medium doneness. I'm not that picky; if my steak is on the rare side, that's fine. The only time I'll send a steak back is if they give me charcoal. What I got, though, was a steak that had obviously been carved from the middle of the roast and then stuck in an oven or salamander in an attempt to cook it to medium doneness. The problem is, it had originally been far less than medium-rare. Just underneath the slightly-cooked top of my steak, it was raw in the middle. It hadn't even been cooked enough to break down the connective tissue in the middle, so it was difficult to cut. It was a pity, because the outside of the roast was cooked beautifully. The seasoning was downright yummy and the meat was nice and juicy.
Since we were with friends and I didn't want to ruin everyone's evening, I didn't put up a fuss about my steak or my overdressed salad. We all skipped dessert to spare our waistlines, though we have enjoyed the desserts there in the past.
I know that what I've written here is a less-than-stellar review, but Randy's is a Frisco institution that everyone should visit at least once. Decide for yourself if you want to make it a regular haunt. To beat the crowds and get a good parking spot on a weekend, I recommend that you make your reservations sometime between 5pm and 6pm because the place is packed after 6. Our friends also say the wine dinners are great, so we will probably try one of those in the future.