NE Corner of 16th St. & Bethany Home Rd CFS Served 1,005,853

New Times Best of Phoenix Restaurant Guide 1996

For ten years, TEXAZ Grill was called Lone Star Steaks. But when a national steak-house chain with a similar name recently moved into the Valley, it forced a name change.

What's in a name? Not much. Whatever the moniker, this place oozes with friendly, down-home charm.

There's nothing mysterious about the straightforward cowboy menu. Except for a catfish plate and a couple of chicken dishes, TEXAZ Grill deals in beef.

If you're thinking about converting to a sprouts-and-berries diet tomorrow, consider making your farewell to animal protein with the T-bone tonight. It's full of juices and flavor. The eight-ounce filet mignon doesn't have the bulk of the T-bone, but for steak lovers who prize tenderness, it's the best option.

But I got the most pleasure out of one of the joint's least expensive platters. TEXAZ Grill's he-man-size chicken-fried steak is out of this world--fork-tender meat encased in crisp, puffy batter, moistened with a ladle of thick, peppery gravy. And the side of mashed potatoes--honest-to-God mashed spuds, with pieces of skin blended in--is good enough to distract you from the beef.

Following up steak dinners with rich sweets may not be nutritionally correct, but it is primally satisfying. TEXAZ Grill serves up two homemade crowd-pleasers: a dense bread pudding, drizzled with a hard-hitting whiskey sauce, and a pecan pie Southern cooks would be proud to claim as their own.

High-value meals and genuine neighborhood warmth turn TEXAZ Grill into a destination cowboy-country steak house. No bum steers here.