About 10 years ago Mason and Brenda Wright were considering opening a restaurant, but couldn’t reach a decision. A family member told the couple, “If you don’t jump, then you will never know.” So, they jumped and have experienced success ever since as the owners of Wright’s Ranch House.
The Wrights were previously employed by a regional grocery store chain and would cater special occasions as a hobby. When they jumped into the restaurant business, they purchased Ranch House barbecue restaurant in the Pine Bluff/White Hall area. After many years of success, the Wrights were encouraged to open a second location in Sheridan.
“We wanted to be more than just barbecue, but we kept the Ranch House name and added our name to it,” Mason said. “Now, we are best known for our barbecue in White Hall, but in Sheridan we are known as a steakhouse.”
The restaurant operation is a family affair. Children Megan and Glenn lend a hand along with Mason’s mother, Madlyn Wright. “We try to always have a member of our family or very close friends overseeing the operations of our restaurants,” Mason said. “We have very friendly staff members who are great at providing our customers with a great dining experience.”
Mason said that customer service and made-from-scratch menu items are a signature of Wright’s Ranch House.
“People can go anywhere to eat. Our goal is to ensure that we don’t make them wait for their meal,” he said. “About 98 percent of everything we serve is cooked from scratch. It makes a difference.”
The appetizers include many options, but I loved the breaded mushrooms that were fried to a perfect, golden-brown goodness. They were served with house-made ranch dressing. The house-made pork skins are a favorite and are available in plain, barbecue or Cajun flavors. You can even get a huge bag of these to take home. The Wrights created their Gunnar Bites appetizer in honor of their 1-year-old grandson. This creation includes sliced baked potato rounds that are loaded with bacon and cheddar cheese. Each appetizer was superb.
I learned that the barbecue is excellent. I dug into the Ranch House BBQ Sampler that included barbecue beef and pork, smoked sausage, loin back ribs, potato salad, coleslaw and Texas toast. Each item was smoky good, tender and moist. I liked both the hot and mild barbecue sauces.
Many customers love the Fish and Shrimp Combo. This plateful of goodness included three hand-battered fillets of USDA, farm-raised catfish cooked to a Southern perfection. A skewer of six large grilled shrimp accompanied the fish, along with
hush puppies, coleslaw, french fries and homemade cocktail and tartar sauces.
Next, a beautiful 16-ounce, hand-cut ribeye steak was delivered to our table. This steak was very good. I learned that the steaks at Wright’s are 21-day-aged choice beef.
My favorite was the chicken-fried steak. This gem is huge. The creation of this plate-engulfing goodness
begins with the team at Wright’s hand-cutting the meat, then tenderizing it. Next, it is battered and deep-fried. The final step in production is a ladle of creamy white gravy atop. If you are a chicken-fried steak lover, do yourself a favor and try this! I was served cornbread salad as a side. If you’ve never tried this delicious Southern treat, I know you will love it.
The desserts included homemade banana pudding, and homemade peach and pecan cobblers. I loved each of them, but the pecan cobbler — warm pecan pie-like cobbler covered with vanilla ice cream — was a standout. Heck, each of them were bowl-scrapers. I ate it all!
Dining recommendations? Contact Rob Roedel at email@example.com