Tex’s Star Grill is is a restaurant that is, in some ways, similar to fast food restaurants such as Burger King or Jack in the Box, and in other ways, a lot like traditional sit-down restaurants, kind of like Denny’s or Steak ‘n Shake. It is like a fast food restaurant because customers need to step up to the front counter to give their order and then, when the order is ready, come up to the counter, pick up the tray or trays, then visit the condiment and soda fountain before sitting down. The food is often prepared at speeds somewhat comparable to how long it takes at a fast food for the food to hit the trays, although at Tex’s Star Grill, the wait is a bit longer. The Rufe Snow Drive restaurant does though share similarities with such restaurants as the International House of Pancakes, Steak ‘n Shake and Denny’s. The quality and kind of food that can be ordered at Tex’s Star Grill is pretty similar to the types of meals offered at the International House of Pancakes, Steak n’ Shake or Denny’s, and the prices at Tex’s Star Grill are more comparable to the prices on the menus at the aforementioned restaurants, rather than say at a fast food restaurant such as Wendy’s, McDonald’s or Whataburger. Like a fast food though, no tipping is necessary because there are no waiters or waitresses. Tex’s Star Grill is the type of restaurant that thus manages to incorporate some of the best qualities from both fast food chains and traditional sit-down restaurants, such as the speedy food service of a fast food and an extensive menu of items found in sit-down restaurants. Yet despite these positives, and others as well, Tex’s Star Grill is not a restaurant that I personally recommend or find myself going to on a regular basis.
Tex’s Star Grill is not a restaurant that serves up value with its meals. The menu items are overpriced, even more so during a time when the economy is fragile and people are in search of cheap meals to save some extra bucks. While the fast foods have and continue to offer dollar menu items and restaurants such as Denny’s, Steak ‘n Shake and the International House of Pancakes are coming up with promotions, coupons and meal deals, Tex’s Star Grill continues to charge, for example, $5.49 for a 1/4 lb cheeseburger, medium fries and a drink. If a person wants to upgrade the combo to a larger size or Tex Size as it is called at Tex’s Star Grill, an additional $0.75 is added. The hamburger is flame-broiled and it does have a good flavor to it, but the hamburger is, in my personal opinion, no tastier than Burger King’s flame-broiled hamburger, and Burger King has been running a promotion for some time now where a double cheeseburger can be enjoyed for just $1.00. At Wendy’s, a person can order a deluxe value meal for $2.99 and that includes a hamburger, fries and drink. Steak ‘n Shake, Denny’s and International House of Pancakes have all offered and continue to offer discounted platters that include a hamburger, fries and drink. Tex’s Star Grill is overpriced in my view, especially considering the fries served with the hamburgers and other menu items are bland and not crispy. Fortunately though, onion rings can be ordered in place of fries at no extra charge and the onion rings are usually pretty crispy and flavorful. Onion rings only come with large combos, so no substitution can be made when it comes to medium combos. There are other menu items that I consider to be overpriced, in particular, the Philly Cheese Steak Combo, which has a menu price of $7.29. The combo is overpriced because the restaurant tends to be kind of skimpy when it comes to how much roast beef is placed in between the bread. Plus, almost $2.00 for either a hot dog or corn dog, with no fries or a drink included? That is high, in my view. As I mentioned though, Tex’s Star Grill does have a very extensive menu that extends well beyond hamburgers, roast beef and chicken, Gyros, shrimp and fish, hot dogs, steak, turkey, salads, desserts and more are all available for ordering.
The prices are not overly appetizing and at times the portions can be not so plentiful, but Tex’s Star Grill is, undeniably, a clean, friendly place to eat. The most recent health inspection report is always displayed where the customers can read the report, so clearly management works hard to maintain a clean restaurant. The dining room area, which includes the condiment station and fountain machine, seems as clean as the area behind the counter, and on the occasions that I dined in, I never did see food on the floor or sit down to a table that was sticky. The windows are kept clean and dust is not given a chance to take up residence. The environment is a family-friendly one, too. There are two televisions that generally show one of the following: a twenty-four hour cable news broadcast station, cartoons or live action shows aimed at kids or sports. Some nights, the restaurant will have a “watch party” for like American Idol. Other times, the televisions will be muted with closed captioning turned on and classic 1950s, 1960s and 1970s music will be playing. The employees are generally friendly and attentive, although they do sometimes make mistakes, which can happen at any restaurant or fast food, really. Employees generally seem to keep busy and there is usually one walking around and cleaning areas of the dining area that require attention. In addition to the dining area, customers can also have their food prepared for take out or go through the drive-thru, thus customers can choose from one of three options that is the most convenient for them.
Tex’s Star Grill is a clean, comfortable restaurant that sports comfy booths and soft shades of brown and other dark colors and it is staffed with nice people that are pretty efficient when it comes to keeping the restaurant clean, taking customers orders and preparing food. It is a family-friendly place to eat, but it can get expensive if the whole family comes along. While the food is fairly flavorful and well-prepared, the value is not something that is as easy on the stomach as the food is. The portions could be bigger when it comes to certain meals such as the Philly Cheese Steak Combo and the Sirloin Kabob Dinner and the prices are not as easy on the wallet as some of the meal platters found at Steak ‘n Shake, Denny’s or the International House of Pancakes. Tex’s Star Grill has a lot to offer customers in terms of menu selection, friendliness and fast service, all in an environment that is very clean as well as casual and laid-back, but the lack of a good value for my money is the one and only reason that I do not stop in for a bite at this restaurant, except on rare occasions.