Chef Saul Ramirez

Chef Saul Ramirez and Mason Grisom, sous chef in training, prepare lunch at the Queen St Grille.

Chef Saul Ramirez is introducing a new menu featuring local flavors to the menu at Palestine’s Queen St Grille this year. He is upgrading the Grille’s traditional steakhouse menu to based on regional tastes in a combination he calls “upscale Texas cuisine.”

A certified executive chef who attended culinary school in Reno, Nevada, Ramirez proudly creates American cuisine that reflects regional taste. He is adding local flavors to the Grille’s steakhouse menu, from roasted peppers and corn to jalapeno and pickled onions.

The menu is based on fresh, high-quality ingredients, including seasonal vegetables and fresh herbs.

Ramirez said the Grille’s menu is unique to the area.

“We wanted to accomplish an upscale menu you cannot find anywhere around here,” Ramirez said. “It has infused the flavor profile that people like in this area.”

Proprietor Jean Mollard agreed.

“He’s actually redesigning our style of food here and upgrading it all,” she said.

Mollard also expressed appreciation for Ramirez’s professionalism, skills and dedication.

“It is a physical job requiring talent and in Saul's case, years of training to fully get there to serve this quality food,” she said. “The ability to combine tastes that are compatible and deliver complicated dishes to a table full of guests at the same time is a difficult task.”

As a member of the American Culinary Federation, Ramirez is training Mason Grisom, who completed courses at Tyler Junior College. Grisom is now a sous chef in training and will continue learning from Ramirez over the next few months.

The Grille’s new dinner menu features appetizers such as Chilled Texas Shrimp Cocktail, Baked Brie, Artichoke and Brussel Sprouts and Crab Cakes.

Though the Grille specializes in offering high-quality steaks such as the Angus Fillet and Angus Ribeye, a variety of alternative dishes, from seafood and vegetarian entrees to pork loin and chicken, are available. 

A favorite on the new menu is Vegetable Wellington, made with sauteèd fresh vegetables baked in puff pastry with a roasted red pepper sauce.

Seafood entrees include Grilled or Blackened Salmon, Sauteèd Redfish, and Bacon Wrapped Prawns. Menu items vary seasonally, depending on the availability of fresh ingredients.

Some desserts available include strawberry Grand Marnier in a chocolate cup, vanilla ginger creme bruleé, chocolate tuxedo cake and salted caramel cheesecake.

A full menu of wines from Texas and around the world is available. The bar features cocktails named after Palestine’s railroad era, such as the Rusty Nail, the Switch Back and the Train Wreck. Many of the restaurant’s cocktails were served at the restaurant when it opened more than 100 years ago.

The Grille is located in the hotel’s original dining room, which was recently remodeled after a kitchen fire in 2020.

The decor features high ceilings and 11-foot windows with views of two other historic buildings, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Palestine’s Carnegie Library.

The Redlands Hotel opened in 1914 after a group of investors pooled their resources to build the state’s finest hotel north of Galveston.

The Grille is open for dining, takeout or delivery, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner, Tuesday through Saturday. See the new menu at www.queenstgrille.com or call 903-723-2404 for information.

Reservations are recommended but not required.

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