San Benito – San Benito is just a few miles from the sand of South Padre and the border of Mexico, and along the busy highway between Harligen and Brownsville sits a spot called the Longhorn Cattle Company.
“Everything’s bigger in Texas,” Lisa Turner said.
Lisa and Bill Turner have owned this eatery since the eighties, and they do things a bit different here. That includes serving tea in pitchers!
“Everybody has a different take on it,” Bill said. “We have some people they think we are supposed to give them a glass to pour it in.”
Lisa’s father started this business back in 1985, but he handed the reigns to Lisa and Bill back when they first got married.
“Got married and a month later we were down here and took over,” Lisa said.
As if a barbecue joint down in the valley didn’t stick out enough, the Longhorn Cattle Company added a few things to really have horns up on the competition: Actual longhorns.
“You don’t expect it in a place like this,” Gary Hackler said. “You don’t see that at all, anywhere. These are like petting animals from the petting zoo.”
Then there’s the beans, served to everyone who enters. It sure makes the ride home mighty interesting.
“When you come into the Longhorn Cattle Company, you get pinto bean soup set in front of you before you ever see a menu,” Bill said. “Kinda like when you go into a good Mexican food restaurant you get chips and salsa set in front of you. Something to satisfy you ’cause when you walk into a restaurant, you came in there ’cause you’re hungry.”
Then there’s the baked potatoes that are so big they’ve become legendary.
“It was humongous and could not even…one person could not eat it,” Monica Chance said. “It took two to finish it.”
Ruben has been building these bad boys since 1992, and it’s not complicated. Chopped brisket, queso, and butter make these baked potatoes a masterpiece.
“It’s a phenomenon,” Bill said. “People just really love a good, a nicely cooked potato with chopped brisket in it and real sour cream and real butter, put some barbecue sauce on there and they’re all over it.”
For a Texas size potato with barbecue that’s good enough for the cows to come home, the Longhorn Cattle Company in San Benito, Texas, is well-worth a stop on the Texas Bucket List.
“You only live once so you might as well come see it and enjoy it before you kick the bucket,” Monica said.