The Old Montgomery Steak House: A Haven for Regulars

By: Ruben Borjas, Jr., Columnist, Montgomery County News
| Published 04/03/2024


MONTGOMERY, TX -- Any place that idolizes John Wayne on its walls, I’m game for. I’m in Historic Montgomery this week, at the bright red building on McCown Street, The Old Montgomery Steak House, having a late breakfast then early lunch with ‘The Duke’, and scores of other regulars that frequent the restaurant. It’s Veteran-owned, which checks a top box in my column, and every waitress seemed to know every customer that entered the premises. That’s why I love Historic Montgomery.

I first tried the Breakfast Taco, which is a meal in itself. It’s a mix of scrambled egg, bacon, hash browns, and as many other ingredients you want. Mine had bell peppers and onions. And the taste. Awesome. And be reminded that the cook only lightly salts his creations, in respect to the senior citizen palates that frequent the OMSH. I also asked for some bacon, sausage, home fries, and hash browns, as sides. They have the crispiest hash browns I’ve ever devoured, and the home fries were spot on. I only lightly salted them to my taste.

Everything’s bigger at Old Montgomery Steak House, even the lemon slices are an inch thick. The waitress sticks to you like glue. They are talkative and make you feel welcomed. Of course, there are so many other breakfast options with omelets, eggs special, house specialties, and kids menu as well as senior breakfasts specials.

By the time I was finished with breakfast, it was time for lunch. I first tried the hamburger and fries. And be reminded that nothing is cooked to well-done at the OMSH. You dress your own here, making it the way you want. My first bite verified it was just a touch of pink in the middle, very nicely done, and delicious. The thick half-pound patty makes sure you will be stuffed when you leave. And for those Montgomery High School linebackers, double up the meat and cheese, and you’ll be satisfied. The fries were also very tasty, and natural cut in the kitchen, but remember to salt to your needs.

Next, I tried the lunch special. It was a Thursday, Beef Tips over Rice. Nice and soft, and perfectly seasoned. The gravy was made on site, not canned, allowing for the meat to be perfectly coated. Even if you just have gums, you could still enjoy this dish. I love how the rice absorbed the flavor of the gravy, playing its part to perfection. I like rice more than potatoes, but I saw one customer, who had his over mashed potatoes. So it works both ways. They have a great Lunch Special menu here. Everyone loves Wednesday, with their Shrimp Basket. 15 pieces of shrimp, a little bit smaller than their Tuesday special of 6 Large Shrimp pieces, but for the price, it is hard to find someone that constantly does it week in and out. I tried samples of the fried and grilled shrimp, with their house made tartar and cocktail sauce. I was blown away with the texture of the fried shrimp, it held up to bites and saucings, and was nicely seasoned too. They even have a steak night, every Wednesday and Thursday after 3:00 pm, where you can choose from a 12 oz Ribeye or New York Strip with 4 large shrimp, fried or grilled. Of course, they have steaks on the menu, and grilled to perfection at that, mouthwatering chicken fried steaks, fried pork cutlets, and grilled pork chops.

Owner Wayne Kung, a Chinese born American, came over with his parents from Hong Kong to San Francisco, at a very young age. Kung served in the US Navy, and was deployed to Operation Desert Storm in his early 20’s. After his military service, Wayne started in the restaurant business, like his family. His father was a master noodle maker, and his family’s restaurant tradition dates back 500 years in China.

Incredibly, Kung admits he is terrible at cooking Chinese food, but he is great at cooking American fare. He worked for Luby’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, and others. Wayne even worked in Jeddah for 8 years, where he cooked for Saudi royalty and the American Ambassador. He came back to Texas during the pandemic, to have a fresh start.

It was several years ago that Kung drove up to Montgomery and fell in love with the restaurant, and since then owners Lloyd and Nancy Ashbaker, were ready to retire, Wayne bought it and didn’t change a thing. He might sell more shrimp than before, but why mess with a great thing. The OMSH has a little bit for everyone, if you're dieting, they have soups and salads. For those who aren’t, they have everything else.

You gotta try Old Montgomery Steak House. It’s a proven winner. You will feel welcomed and treated with kindness and respect.

Old Montgomery Steak House is located at 204 McCown Street, in Historic Montgomery. Their website is:

Ruben can be reached at:

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