West Coast Vibes Find New Southern HomeFeb 01, 2018 ● By Rachael Beaird
The franchise originally began as Buckhorn Steakhouse in Calif. in 1980 when it was opened by Mr. John Pickerel. Before long, it had expanded to 10 locations. Then, in 2009, Mr. Pickerel decided to open a more casual dining option called Tri Tip Grill in New York City, one in Rockefeller Center and the other in Grand Central Terminal. After seeing great success, the butcher-turned-businessman decided to venture south to Texas to show us his “California-style barbecue.”
The great location within The Star offers an exciting atmosphere not only for dining, but also for stopping in to have a drink. Upon entering Tri Tip Grill, patrons are greeted by a large menu hanging above the counter that might be confusing, if not for the friendly staff ready and able to assist you. My sisters came out with me for lunch on a Saturday afternoon and, prior to ordering, I had no idea “tri-tip” was even a cut of meat. I simply thought it was a cute name for a casual grill! Upon hearing that it was our first time at the restaurant, the woman who took our order explained that their tri-tip cuts are 35-day-aged certified angus beef and even offered us a few samples of the meat to try before we ordered. I was sold on this place immediately!
The menu offers an array of items, including burgers, platters, salads and steaks, but given that it was our first time there, she recommended we order sandwiches, as they were her personal favorite. One of my sisters selected the Roadhouse Tri Tip Sandwich, which contained four ounces of char-roasted tri-tip, roadhouse shoestring onions, blue cheese and the restaurant’s signature Red Ranch sauce. My other sister went for the Black Pepper Baby Back Ribs that were served with red mashers, gravy, roasted vegetables and cornbread. I ordered the Bacon Cheddar Tri Tip Sandwich, complete with four ounces of char-roasted tri-tip, bacon, cheddar cheese and Red Ranch sauce. I opted to add avocado upon the staff’s recommendation. Doesn’t avocado make everything better? Both sandwiches came with fries and we also ordered some cornbread, as an extra side. We also decided to split the Krispy Chicken and Avocado Salad three ways, just for the sake of saying we tried a little bit of everything! The salad features crisp romaine lettuce, crispy chicken pieces, avocado, tomatoes, blue cheese and a tangy and delicious honey lime dressing.
Our food arrived not long after we sat down in the spacious dining area and both sandwiches were very large and dripping with the juicy cuts of meat. With one glance at the half rack of ribs, my mouth was watering! You will definitely need to ask for extra napkins because a meal here can get pretty messy quickly! Adding the avocado to my sandwich was an upgrade, but the meat itself stood out among the other flavors as the highlight. It was cooked medium-rare, at the perfect heat for optimal flavor. My sister hardly had time to tell me between bites how much she was enjoying her meal! As I stated earlier, the restaurant is somewhat advertised as “California-style BBQ.” I would not have described my sandwich as BBQ at all, but rather just a hardy steak sandwich. Tri Tip Grill really is great place to go if you want to mix it up from a classic Southern BBQ restaurant!
The French fries were a delicious addition to the dish, as well. On each table, Tri Tip Grill offers a signature ketchup, a Carolina mustard that is “tangy with a chili twist,” a sweet fire BBQ sauce that is “sweet with a black pepper edge” and a smokehouse BBQ sauce that has “a sweet beginning with a smoky finish.” I tried all four sauces, but my personal favorite was the sweet fire BBQ. I also asked for a side of ranch, which they gave me at no additional charge. The cornbread was not to be missed and was served with butter. The texture of the cornbread was ideal and extremely savory. It practically melted in my mouth!
The overall design of the restaurant is very welcoming, with the bar being the focal point. The bar offers seating and two large televisions that were both showing football games. In addition to the full-service bar, Tri Tip Grill also offers Pepsi products and iced tea. Another aspect of the restaurant I really enjoyed was the open kitchen. While we were eating, I could see the meat being smoked and cut and all of the food being prepared fresh. Also, I really could not say enough good things about the staff. Each worker I encountered was so friendly and we were checked on multiple times throughout our meal to see if we needed anything.
Between comments about how delicious our meals were, we noticed some people around us with platters of smoked sausage or barbecue chicken that also looked amazing. There are a variety of platters to choose from and each is served with red mashers and gravy, roasted vegetables and cornbread. If you are dining with your family or a large group, Tri Tip Grill also offers their “feasts.” There is a feast for two that includes your choice of two meats, two sides and rolls or cornbread. Then, there is also the family feast that includes the same items, except with a third choice of meat and a third side. The menu boasts a large salad selection, as well as a New York strip and a Tri Tip Wagyu Steak that would be great if you are in the mood for something a little fancier. Personally, I cannot wait to come back and try some of the Smoky Garlic Pulled Pork or one of the six burgers available on the menu.
While my sisters and I enjoyed Tri Tip Grill on a very cold afternoon, we could not help but notice the large, inviting patio outside the restaurant that would be perfect both for an after work happy hour or watching the big game with friends. The bar is double-sided, so it can be opened up to the patio as well as the indoor dining area.
While we went for lunch, Tri Tip Grill could easily be a great spot for either a family dinner or date night. The Star in Frisco is already a booming spot and Tri Tip Grill only adds to its ever-growing popularity. Head out with friends, family or a date sometime soon to give this unique place a try!
Tri Tip Grill is located at 6775 Cowboys Way, Suite 1305. While valet parking is offered, you can also find parking behind the building in a parking garage. You can also go to tritipgrill.com to order online or view the menu!
Frisco STYLE Magazine dining reviews are not scheduled with or paid for by the featured restaurant. All reviews are completed for the purpose of helping readers know and enjoy local dining options.