A legendary meat market and restaurant serving up Texas classics made just right.
Crispy chicken fried steak. Perfectly cooked ribeye. Buttery Texas toast. When people in Kemah and beyond have a hankering for a classic Texas meal—they come to T-Bone Tom’s.
This southeast Texas favorite first opened its doors as “Kemah Meat Market” in the 1960s. In 1974, it gained a new owner, the now iconic name and the restaurant side of the business. Fast-forward to today: Barry Terrell has been at the helm for over two decades—keeping the meat market going strong and the restaurant as tasty as ever. And thank goodness for that.
“We know there’s nothing worse than a disappointing chicken fried steak,” said Terrell. “You can always expect great food here.”
The best home cooking away from home
It’s impossible to read the T-Bone Tom’s menu without getting hungry. They’re whipping up everything you could want, with something for everyone: hearty sandwiches and po-boys; hamburgers sizzling straight from the grill; fresh-caught seafood; smoky, succulent barbecue; and of course, steaks.
“You can’t go wrong with our Tom’s Choice Marinated Ribeye,” said Terrell.
This customer favorite takes a premium ribeye steak and lets it soak up a soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and pineapple juice marinade for a tender, unforgettable experience in every bite.
And if you’re looking for a great appetizer, Terrell mentioned, “My brother says we have the best Armadillo Eggs in the world.” If you’re not familiar, they’re deep-fried jalapenos stuffed with rich, smoked brisket. (If you’re entertaining out-of-towners, this is the appetizer to order.)
A place to have fun with great food
Four-course meals have their place, but sometimes a casual, well-cooked meal is what really hits the spot.
“It’s a fun environment, but you can tell we take the food seriously,” said Terrell.
At T-Bone Tom’s, taking the food seriously means cutting their own steaks, chicken, ribs, pork chops and grinding their hamburger meat fresh every day. Couple it all with a well-stocked bar, friendly servers and live music six nights a week—and you’ve got a true, hometown favorite.
What drives T-Bone Tom’s?
For a meat market and restaurant that’s stood the test of time (and stood up to the tough standards of Texas restaurant-goers), you’d think there was a complicated secret behind their success. You’d be wrong. As Terrel simply put: “It’s fun feeding people and getting to know the loyal customers.”