Valley Ranch Grill & Barbeque marks 28 years in Spring, Klein community


Nearly three decades ago, Spring resident Doyle Carter opened Valley Ranch Grill & Barbeque on the corner of Hwy. 249 and Spring Cypress Road. While the restaurant has since relocated to a new building and completely changed its facade, Carter said little else has changed.

“I’m a firm believer in ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’” Carter said. “Our customers prefer dependability, and they know they can count on us. We’re in our 28th year now. … It’s very humbling.”

After spending several years working in other Greater Houston area restaurants and learning the business of hospitality, Carter said he decided to take the plunge and opened Valley Ranch Grill & Barbeque on Dec. 8, 1991. Described as a combination of Luther’s Bar-B-Q—where he used to work—and Chili’s, Carter said the eatery offers a full line of slow-smoked, South Texas Mesquite meats with complementary sides such as green beans, potato salad and corn on the cob.

“Our most popular items are probably our ribs and our chopped baked potato—it’s huge,” Carter said. “It’s the biggest potato you can buy, and it’s about 20 ounces of potato.”

In addition, the eatery also boasts half- and three-quarter-pound burgers, grilled catfish, grilled pork chops, fajitas and a variety of salads and desserts such as fresh fruit cobblers and fried ice cream.

While Carter said the original restaurant was located in a strip center, decked in dark wood and donated boots, he decided to build a new standalone building in the same shopping center in 2008.

“The new restaurant is actually 1,000 square feet smaller than the old restaurant, but it’s a much more usable space,” Carter said. “We have a banquet room that can be reserved for special events, or it can be opened up for extra seating if our dining room gets too crowded.”

The new restaurant also features a drive-thru, a designated pick-up area for to-go orders and a playroom for children. Inside, the decor includes a windmill, waterfall and a toy train that runs the perimeter of the restaurant.

While Carter said little has changed about his eatery’s dedication to quality food and customer service since it first opened 28 years ago, his outlook on business has been completely overhauled.

“Originally, it was a way to make a living,” he said. “But once the Lord came into my life, I realized I needed to use my restaurant as my mission—as a place for people with searching hearts. So this is his; not mine. And we’re just trying to glorify him in all that we do.”

Valley Ranch Grill & Barbeque
22548 Hwy. 249, Houston
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

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Hannah Zedaker
Born and raised in Cypress, Texas, Hannah Zedaker graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and a minor in political science. She began as an intern with Community Impact Newspaper in 2015 and was hired upon graduation as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in May 2016. In January 2019, she was promoted to serve as the editor of the Spring/Klein edition where she covers Spring ISD and Harris County Commissioners Court, in addition to business, development and transportation news.
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