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The Steaks Are Cooked to Perfection! And the Carrot is a Talking Point!

By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

Texas Border Business

Peter Higgins, the managing partner, and Juan Luis Mussenden, general manager for Bob’s Steak & Chop House, are two eager businessmen. They are in preparation to open what is perceived as the best steakhouse to land in Edinburg, Texas. The new venue is scheduled to open on July 14, 2017, and since they announced during a breaking ground ceremony last year, it has been the talk of the town.

The steakhouse is number fifteen for the chain. Bob’s Steak & Chop House is known for excellent steaks, and service beyond friendly.

Since the opening of the first Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Dallas, Texas, in 1993, the name “Bob’s” has been synonymous with a great steakhouse experience.

Juan Luis Mussenden, General Manager for Bob’s Steak & Chop House holds a bottle of fine wine. He is inside the temperature-controlled wine cellar in the restaurant.  Patrons will have a choice of more than 700 bottles of wine chilling at a 55-degree temperature year-round.  Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

Mussenden, originally from Puerto Rico with a degree in administration of hotels and restaurants, came to the Valley about fifteen years ago. He told Texas Border Business that he thought he was going to be here for one year, tops.

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After that first year, attempting to leave the Valley was difficult. He fell in love with the people and the unique combination of cultures that makes the region unique.

Mussenden is known in the restaurant industry as a seasoned administrator. During all these years, he managed the best steakhouses and evening-dining places in Hidalgo County. Even though Bob’s Steak & Chop House will not be open to the public until July 14, Mussenden joined the company one year ago. His training with new products and offers will come to a test when the new eatery opens.

People are surprised to hear that Edinburg has landed a prestigious, successful steakhouse usually located only in larger cities. Peter Higgins, the managing partner, is the best to explain why. “Edinburg has a tremendous growth environment.” He continued, “The city itself, with its growth, has attracted several world-class hotels, financial institutions, and a nationally-ranked university.”

Pictured L-R: Peter Higgins, Managing Partner for Bob’s Steak & Chop House; with Edna De Saro; and Juan Luis Mussenden, General Manager.  Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

Higgins is the most enthusiastic when he talks about Edinburg and the region. He is part of a group of entrepreneurs who operate under the First Hartford Realty Corporation, the company that developed The Shoppes at Rio Grande on Trenton and U.S. 281 in Edinburg. The realty corporation is engaged in the acquisition, development, and management of land and properties. They own and manage the company through various subsidiaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Texas. The Shoppes at the Rio Grande is a 450,000 Sq. Ft. occupied retail center with plans to expand to over 1,000,000 Sq. Ft.

Bob’s Steak & Chop House adds a distinction to Edinburg and the region. The venue comes to the right place and opens at the right time when multiple large entertaining projects are making the area so unique, difficult to recreate, or impossible to recruit and combine in other parts of the Valley.

Higgins calls the area the entertainment corridor. He said that the Bert Ogden Arena would serve as the home for Rio Grande Valley Vipers professional basketball that currently play their home games at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo. The RGV Vipers have an affiliation with the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

He also mentioned the newly developed H-E-B Park, a 9,700-seat stadium is managed by the USL’s Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. The City of Edinburg also hosts the Carmike Cinemas with the Rio Grande Valley’s first IMAX theatre and the Cinemark Bistro theatres located a short distance from all business activity.

Higgins stated, “These made us recognize we needed to join in the entertainment concept.” He continued, “We think we’ve partnered with the best steak house in Texas and want to participate in their growth with our initial license here at The Shoppes.” He also pointed out that they are confident they will do “terrific business.” He said, “We invite you to experience elegant dining in a comfortable atmosphere, both for social dining as well as very important corporate entertaining.”

Mussenden, who is bilingual, said that when patrons visit Bob’s, they will find value in every experience. He acquired experience working with other steakhouses that have great national standing, so when he talks about Bob’s, he knows the difference. He has worked at Morton Steakhouse, The Palm Steakhouse, and in El Patio on Guerra in McAllen.

“Bob’s is about prime steaks, chops, and seafood served by a friendly and knowledgeable staff.” He said, “No pretension, no intimidation; just a welcoming atmosphere.”

The wine list is the most impressive you’ll ever find in this market. The investors built an air-conditioned wine cellar room visible to the patrons that holds hundreds of bottles of wine, only the best from all over the world. The room is temperature-controlled to a 55-degree temperature year-round to keep the wine at its best.

So, you can say, that Bob’s Steak & Chop House is a haven for everyone that likes great steaks, comfortable dining areas, friendly service, and of course, fine wine.

Mussenden adds that when you taste the steaks they prepare; your palate will savor a melting experience. “That’s when you realize that Bob’s is indeed a unique and special place to dine.”

Bob’s also offers corporate dining. The restaurant features three dining rooms for any event, offering a great alternative to upscale corporate events and private dining available year-round.  Mussenden says they can do corporate events for lunch or evening. The restaurant is not open for lunch yet but opens for evening dining. “If a client would like a corporate luncheon we could certainly open our doors to accommodate the request,” he said.

Bob’s is also featuring a full bar, with knowledgeable bartenders trained by corporate professionals to deliver your favorite drinks. The restaurant is sectioned in multiple dining rooms, each one with a unique décor. One is called the Flag; various American flags are framed throughout the room. The second one is called Mirrors, and another one is called Sports room; it is all decorated with sports memorabilia. One room that I predict will be a favorite is the Lenox Room; named after the co-owner and franchisor of Bob’s Bill Lenox. “Unfortunately, Bill passed away in February of this year,” Higgins said.

He added that Bill wrote the Associate Handbook that is given to every member of the staff. He recommended Texas Border Business read the welcoming page of the handbook; we selected one of the paragraphs that Bill Lenox wrote: “Our list of accolades is long and impressive. We have one goal, and that is to be the best steak restaurant in America. To accomplish that, we need to make every customer who walks into Bob’s Steak & Chop House, a repeat customer. With your help, each of you doing his or her part, we know we’ll succeed.”

Mussenden said, “The room feels like home.” He continued, “The Lenox Room invites you to move in. It’s very comfy, feels like home, very relaxing.” Indeed, the Lenox room features all leather furniture to sit and relax while having your favorite wine. It also has a beautiful fireplace that invites and accentuates the room.

For events and corporate business gatherings, Bob’s features three rooms; they are named: Stockyard, Palms, and Vaqueros. At any given time, they transform into one large room.

Mussenden said, “We are known for our filets, Bob’s Steak & Chop House only serves prime cuts of beef.” He also pointed out, “Bob’s dinners have always included their iconic, larger than life, glazed carrot and your choice of potato.” Glazed carrot? “Yes,” he said. “It may seem silly for a world-class steakhouse to tout its glazed carrot, but once you’ve tried it, you’ll understand.”

For a great prime steak, there is nothing better than a signature side like a big glass of wine. Patrons have the choice of an abundance of fine wines like a buttery chardonnay, a spicy Syrah, or an earthy Cabernet Sauvignon. Bob’s has an extensive award-winning wine list with plenty of choices to compliment your meal.

To complete your experience, you need Bob’s fantastic, freshly prepared side dishes; a massive tower of hand battered onion rings, sautéed mushrooms, or fresh creamed spinach to share that will compliment any cut of steak.

If at the end you have the room, dessert is something you can’t pass up. Bob’s decadent brownie sundae with a peanut butter and chocolate brownie served with a scoop of triple chocolate and peanut butter cup ice cream smothered in a pecan, chocolate butternut sauce is a house favorite.  All of Bob’s desserts are made from scratch making each of them the perfect ending to the perfect meal. Higgins said, “Once you experience Bob’s unique brand of service and food, it won’t be long until you’re a regular.”

Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg, becomes number 15 for the chain. According to Mussenden, the only thing you need to worry about is what cut of prime steak you’ll order. See ya’ll there! Or as Higgins likes to say, “Bring your appetite.” TBB

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