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Ronnie Killen's Houston restaurant beefs up lunch
Killen’s STQ is mixing things up a bit for the new year. Ronnie Killen’s Briargrove restaurant that mixes steak and barbecue has been one of Houston’s toughest tables to book since it opened in December 2016, but Killen, director of operations Graham Laborde, and chef de cuisine Teddy Lopez are working to serve more customers.
The restaurant introduced lunch back in October on a limited basis, and that has been such a hit that it’s expanding the number of days lunch is available. Beginning this week, Killen's STQ will serve lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11 am-2 pm.
“I knew STQ was a hot ticket but being a neighborhood restaurant near Memorial, I wasn’t sure lunch would draw a working crowd,” Laborde tells CultureMap. ”That definitely surprised me that it’s done so well.”
Laborde attributes part of the lunch menu’s success to the way it offers diners lighter choices than the dinner menu’s meat-heavy focus. Rather than opting for steak, the chef says diners are choosing items like the tandoori chicken salad and the smoked jerk chicken wings.
“People are gravitating away from the steak things we do and getting into some of the creative things, which I find particularly exciting, because I got to have such a heavy hand in creating that menu. It’s nice to see those items are working,” Laborde says.
Burger lovers won’t want to miss STQ’s offering. Created by Lopez, the burger features onions that have been cooked down and topped with gruyere cheese over a patty that includes just a little dry-aged beef. On an episode of CultureMap’s “What’s Eric Eating” podcast, Laborde described it as an “ooey-gooey-juicy mess you’re about to have to tilt your elbows out to eat.”
Dinner reservations can still be tough to book, especially on the weekends, but Laborde says the initial frenzy has died down a bit. People who are willing to eat early or late are more likely to find a table on short notice — or walk-ins can sit at the bar.
Killen's STQ; 2231 S. Voss Rd.; 713-586-0223