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It’s not all meat and potatoes at Steak Nite. Diners can sample an international array of side dishes prepared by the famous Don Strange Catering family. Photo by Phil Houseal

Steak Nite happens every Wednesday (and only Wednesday) from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the General Store in downtown Waring, Texas. The surest way to get there is to take the Welfare exit 533 off IH-10. Follow the signs through Welfare to reach Waring, and the Store will be in front of you at the four-way stop. Meal and music is $20 for adults, $7 for children. More information is available by calling 1-800-749-2332, by emailing info@steaknite.com, or by visiting www.steaknite.com.

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Steak Nite

by Phil Houseal
Sept 14, 2005

“How would you like your steak?”

Such is your succinct and savory introduction to Steak Nite, a community picnic/dinner/concert/reunion that sizzles every Wednesday evening at the General Store in Waring, Texas.

I had read about Steak Nite, but never quite grasped the concept until I actually visited.

Having played at the General Store years ago, I confidently struck off across country, and promptly got lost. I finally rolled into town around 6:30 p.m. and found the familiar store at the town’s only intersection.

“We average about 250 people a night during the summer,” Steak Nite empresario Jason Strange told me. “We get tremendous support from Fredericksburg.” The number of diners sometimes peaks at 600, which tells you something about its appeal.

Steak Nite started in 1996. For years, the famous Don Strange Catering family hosted events at the General Store. It was a unique venue, and they thought more people should know about it.

“We were looking for something to show this place off, like an open house. We really wanted to find more reasons to hang out here - there are only a handful of places like this left in Texas,” Jason said. So Steak Nite was born. “We had no idea it would turn out like it did!”

The Steak Nite concept is simple. You turn in your steak preference at the door (they also have chicken) and you find your seat. Within minutes your 10-ounce rib-eye and baked potato arrive, hardly giving you time to enjoy the famous Don Strange hors d’oeuvres.

But you must make time.

The side dishes are catered buffet style. You help yourself to appetizers, salad, side dishes, and drinks. If you are still hungry after that meal, you have your choice of homemade desserts of cobbler, cake, pudding, pie or other treat, all homemade by Jason’s grandmother.

In warmer months, families gather out back on about 20 picnic tables under the large oak. The night I was there, kids rolled hoops and played tag while their folks visited.

Then there is the music. The entertainment starts with singer-songwriter Brian Strange, Jason’s brother. That is followed by Greg Forrest, joined by Jay Boy Adams, young guitar slinger Will Owen-Gage, and Texas Music Hall of Famer Ronnie Leatherman. Some nights you might hear Lee Roy or Rob Roy Parnell, Cooter Graw, or other music legend. Whowever is playing, the blues are always as tasty as the food.

After 365 Steak Nites, the Strange family has no plans to change anything.

“As long as people still come, we’ll still cook the steaks,” Jason said. “If you love Texas as much as we do, this is a great place to get out and enjoy the food, music, and atmosphere.”

Provided you can find it.