Fred Harms, a Valleyite, had moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and loved living there. But, as with so many Valley natives, he decided he wanted to come home. Having become accustomed to the lifestyle of Santa Fe, he found he missed having a good steakhouse and enjoying a relaxing piano bar. The young entrepreneur had opened a successful restaurant in the ski resort of Angelfire, and so resolved to make a difference in the McAllen lifestyle. His decision has changed the face of the city for the last 25 years.
“My intent was to bring a little bit of Santa Fe here, thus the name,” co-owner Harms, began. “Some of the menu items are still our signature Santa Fe style dishes, such as the fish which is done in clay, a Navaho Indian type preparation.”
Successful from the beginning, Santa Fe Steakhouse is one of the most award winning restaurants in town, with its rustic ambiance and New York elegance. Winning Top Steakhouse in The Monitor for years, it has won multiple wine awards including Best Award of Excellence for three years from the prestigious wine magazine, Wine Spectator.
“Nobody else in the Valley has that,” Harms said, speaking for all three owners gathered – himself, and Sony and Albert Rego, a merger that has lasted for 12 years.
More than anything, the three expressed the desire to thank all those who have been involved with the restaurant from the beginning and all the customers who have made Santa Fe Steakhouse their place to celebrate.
Gratitude is evidenced in employees like Pedro Gonzalez, who has consistently produced perfect steaks to the talented line of chefs including current Chef Jorge Gonzalez (not related).
“We’re successful because we have great people working with us, we have a great team,” said Sony. “It’s also the creation of dishes every day.”
“It’s a constant challenge creating new dishes. On top of that, we have the monthly “Wine Dinners” with entire five course meals served with the specialty wines Fred presents,” Albert added.
“It’s an every day learning and training experience,” said Sony. “Every day is different. I never get bored.”
“At this point for me our partnership has gone beyond a marriage,” Harms said. “When I had the opportunity to sell the restaurant I couldn’t imagine not having it, not being involved with it, because it’s been such a part of me for so long. At this point, it’s just our lives.”
For more information go to www.santafemcallen.com, or visit at 1918 South 10th Street, McAllen.