Ryan’s Steakhouse: A Restaurant with Something for Everyone by Anil Jahoor

115 West Bay Area Blvd.
Webster, TX 77598

April 2004–When it comes to steak no one else enjoys it as much as Texans do. Steak is perhaps a signature dish for Texas where it is very easy to find a good steakhouse nearby. Even with rising beef prices, Texans, especially the citizens of Houston , continue to consume large quantities of steak. No one loves steak quite as much as Texans do.

Houstonians are known for eating out more than residents of any other American city. It is true that we love to eat out, especially when you consider just how outstanding our restaurant scene is. When it comes to eating out Houston never disappoints with its large variety of restaurants that include Mexican restaurants, Asian restaurants, Italian restaurants, buffets and steakhouses, and countless others. Ryan’s is a restaurant that is both a steakhouse and a buffet.

Ryan’s Steakhouse is famous for having a buffet with all-you-can-eat steak along with many other different kinds of food. Ryan’s large variety of food, along with all-you-can eat steak and an affordable price, makes it a popular restaurant with folks living in the Southeast area of Houston . With all-you-can-eat steak nothing satisfies a true Texan’s hunger quite like Ryan’s.

The Ryan’s located on West Bay Area Blvd. is in the small city of Webster . Located just southeast of Houston , near League City , Friendswood and Clear Lake , Webster was founded in 1879 by James W. Webster and started out as a railroad town. Webster was incorporated in 1958 and boomed in 1961 when the space program took off. Its population is around 3,000, and it has a medical center.

Ryan’s Steakhouse isn’t a very fancy-looking restaurant. It is a rectangular one-story building made of brown bricks with a big blue sign near the road that says “Ryan’s” in big red letters. The inside of the restaurant has walls that are also made of brown bricks and have various pictures and paintings on them including a picture of several different types of corn Native Americans used to grow, and of people who have been a big part of the franchise’s success. It makes you feel as if you are inside a house rather than at a restaurant. Near the front entrance are the cashiers and the kitchen. Out in the middle of the dining area are the bars and the grill. The grill is right next to the kitchen, the dinner and salad bars are more in the middle, and the dessert bar is towards the back of the building. The regular tables and chairs and the booth tables are made of wood and have blue cushions. On each table are napkins and various condiments including salt, pepper, ketchup, and A1 Steak Sauce. The back of the restaurant has separate rooms for reserved meetings and parties. The whole restaurant is well lit by several chandeliers, and the floor is carpeted where the tables are and tile where the bars are.

Started in 1978, the Ryan’s franchise is not very old. Currently there are more than 320 restaurants in 23 states throughout the South, Southeast, and the Midwest , and new restaurants continue to open as Ryan’s continues to gain popularity as being an excellent family steakhouse. Now, hordes of hungry folks go to Ryan’s everyday to enjoy a good dinner there.

Ryan’s is fairly packed most nights, especially Friday nights. From the moment you walk in you can smell the steak grilling as well as the aromas of a medley of other foods. Ryan’s used to have dinner entrees in addition to its buffet. The entrees would include steak dinners while the buffet itself would have steak only occasionally. Now, Ryan’s is a buffet-only restaurant, and most everything that was on the dinner entrees, including the steak, can be found at the buffet every night. While the steak is delicious and can be cooked to your liking, whether you like it medium rare or well done, there is plenty of other food to enjoy.

After you have paid the $11.99 you are taken to your seat by a waiter or waitress who will bring you your drinks along with fresh hot dinner rolls while you get food from the bar. The bar has seafood like salmon, catfish and shrimp. There is also chicken, including fried chicken, baked chicken and chicken strips. Sides include bread, macaroni and cheese, baked potatoes, cole slaw, and french fries. There is even pizza and tacos.

The salad bar has a lot of fruits and vegetables for health-conscious people including lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pineapples, apples, and grapes. Of course there is also salad dressing and croutons.

The dessert bar has plenty of sweet treats to top off your meal such as cookies, cakes, candy, Jell-O, and ice cream with toppings such as hot fudge, nuts and cherries. This obscene amount of food is the main reason why Ryan’s has become such a popular restaurant. The foods that are available do change a little each day, but you can be rest assured that no matter what day you decide to eat at Ryan’s you will go home full and satisfied.

This restaurant really comes alive when there are a lot of people here. The diversity of all the different people who come here to eat is just amazing. In all the times that I have eaten here I have never had to wait for a table, so it doesn’t get too terribly crowded. While quite a few overweight people come frequently to chow down on all the steak they can eat there are also plenty of fit people who take advantage of the salad bar. Most of the time the other people eating at the restaurant just keep to themselves and whoever they are sitting with, but there are several times when someone will strike up a conversation with you, especially when you are at the bar and thinking about what to get.

People of all different races, cultures and lifestyles eat at Ryan’s. Whites, African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and many others come here to have a good dinner. Middle- and lower-class folks eat here as well as rich people who don’t mind eating at a restaurant that isn’t very fancy. Young and old folks, children and senior citizens eat at Ryan’s.

People of many different races and ethnicities also work here. The waiters and waitresses are always very friendly and courteous and they make sure that you are happy with the table you are sitting at, that your drink glass is always full and that you have dinner rolls when you want them. A lot of people who go here often are well known by the waiters and waitresses. This restaurant is a place where people come together, and when people come together here the atmosphere is unlike anything you would experience at any other restaurant.

A lot of families come to Ryan’s to have a nice dinner together. However, this is not just a family restaurant. Birthdays are celebrated at Ryan’s during which a group of waiters and waitresses gather around and sing for whoever will be blowing out the candles on the birthday cake. Companies hold large business meetings at Ryan’s normally in a separate room from the main dining area so that the attendees can converse among themselves while enjoying a juicy sirloin hot off the grill. School basketball teams eat here to celebrate their most recent victory with an all-you-can-eat buffet. Large groups of friends, as well as families with their relatives, come to Ryan’s to chow down and have a good time. Also, many couples find Ryan’s to be a great place to go out on a date. On crowded nights several different events like these all go on at once. This is why Ryan’s really comes alive when there are a lot of people here. It makes the restaurant a lot livelier.

Whenever I go to Ryan’s I always enjoy steak for dinner. Normally, I have my steak with french fries or a baked potato as well as a couple of dinner rolls. Sometimes I will also grab some chicken or a salad. I wash everything down with a coke or two (you get free refills on drinks), and then I go to the dessert bar where I get some cookies or an ice cream sundae topped with hot fudge and nuts. I hardly take advantage of the wide variety of food available, but that would require a lot of eating. Usually, I go to Ryan’s with my family but I also enjoy eating there with friends. I almost always sit at a booth table because they are very comfortable. I remember having a great time at Ryan’s the last time I ate there with four of my friends. It was a Friday and we were all exhausted from a hard week of school. We ate a whole lot, our waitress was very courteous, and we just talked about our weeks and what we were going to do during the weekend.

With a cheap and massive buffet filled with all the delicious food you can eat Ryan’s is one of my favorite restaurants and is very popular among people living in the Clear Lake Area. The food is the main attraction at Ryan’s, but its atmosphere is also enjoyable when there are a lot of people there. The different people that eat at Ryan’s and the several different events that happen here make it a restaurant unlike any other. Ryan’s is more than just a restaurant: it’s a place where many different Houstonians come together and have a good time. Houstonians really love their steak, and this is evident when you come to Ryan’s to see dozens of people eating hot-off-the-grill sirloin. It is well worth the price and is a favorite restaurant among people living in Southeast Houston



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