Lobster mac and cheese on the menu at Berg Hospitality Group's The Ranch Saloon & Steakhouse timed to run at NRG during HLS&R. (Courtesy photo)
Benjamin Turner Berg's initials are the brand for Berg's foray into fine dining during Houston Rodeo & Livestock Show, a two-tiered full-service eatery in NRG Park next to the Astrodome.
Carpetbagger on the Half Shell appetizers are among the fan favorites from Berg Hospitality Group restaurants that will be offered at The Ranch during the HLS&R. (Photo by Felix Sanchez)
A5 Wagyu Tenderloin, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, served tableside on a pink Himalayan salt block at The Steakhouse at The Ranch pop-up during HLS&R. (Photo by Felix Sanchez)
Apple Rum Cake on the menu at Berg Hospitality Group's The Ranch Saloon & Steakhouse timed to run at NRG during HLS&R. (Photo by Kirsten Gilliam)
Benjamin Berg arrived in Houston in 2011 to begin his hospitality career that has catapulted into an ever-growing restaurant empire. (Photo by Leah Wilson)
Ben Berg, the transplanted New Yorker who has been tantalizing Houston tastebuds with a host of wildly successful restaurants since opening B&B Butchers & Steakhouse in 2015, is now taking on the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo with a high/low take on rodeo dining. Think high-style dining room and lowdown saloon, two food ideas married under a vast tent at the southwest corner of the NRG Astrodome.
Both approaches will offer an upscale version of dining in an arena that is better known for greasy barbecue and wacky food concoctions such as Flaming Cheeto pickle nachos.
The Ranch Saloon + Steakhouse, with two full bars, will run the duration of the rodeo, from February 28 to March 20. The true restaurant-style setting is a first for Houston Rodeo. Berg might hail from New York but his boots are polished and his Stetsons are at the ready. The vast Aztec tent started going up on Tuesday.
“As a longtime rodeo fan and an active member of the Steer Auction Committee, we are excited to work with the rodeo on this new concept and engage with rodeo attendees,” the Berg Hospitality Group founder says in a statement.
“This is a place where I’d want to go and hang out, grab a great meal and listen to some live music before or after the main concert. Plus, we are very excited to also offer private dining options for Rodeo committees or any larger groups who want to celebrate at the Rodeo. The Ranch will have a little something for everyone.”
The Saloon will welcome diners to a casual upscale experience where musicians will perform nightly and dining is offered inside and on a covered patio which has its own bar. The Steakhouse offers a more sophisticated experience where reservations are required and tables can be booked for the entire Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Fans of Berg Hospitality Group will welcome the menus that include favorites from B&B Butchers, The Annie Cafe and B.B. Lemon. Think Chef Tommy’s Bacon, Carpet Bagger on the Half Shell, Crab Tostadas and the like.
The 140-guest Saloon menu will feature TX Wagyu burgers, hot dogs, lobster rolls, steak frites, the Snake River Farms pork chop and more. This menu also will be available in the 56-seat main bar and on The Porch, a covered patio that can seat 100.
The Steakhouse, which can seat 240, kicks it up a notch with Kobe, Texas and Japanese Wagyu beef and dry-aged USDA Prime beef and other entree offerings. For rodeo high-rollers, there will be caviar from Berg Hospitality’s reserve caviar as well as caviar offerings from Petrossian.
As one would expect of a Ben Berg orchestrated spot, the 16,000 square foot, climate controlled tent will be richly outfitted with a serious nod to Western heritage, under the design talent of Swift + Company. The Steakhouse will be swaddled in accents of wood and leather embracing a certain upscale Western flair while The Saloon will be outfitted in a more casual decor.
Hey, Big Spenders: Ben Berg Sees You
Berg’s hospitality genius is on display with his VIP Steakholder option at The Ranch. Participants who pony up $10,000 for a table of six or $15,000 for a table of 10 get access to a designated premium table throughout the Houston Rodeo. Perks include branded table signage engraved with name or logo, a personal restaurant concierge and unlimited access to the reserved table. Food and drink are extra.
Steakholders have the option of adding a table for four on the covered terrace from $5,000.
Several of the event spaces within the tent are available for full buyout for private parties. Much more on all aspects of The Ranch Saloon & Steakhouse can be found here.