Foodie Favorite: Lisa West’s Double Nickel Steakhouse
A couple centuries ago, we Americans developed a keen taste for beef. Inns and bars in New York and Philadelphia ventured into this new type of dining establishment that became what we now know as a steakhouse. In Texas, this gave rise to an enormous cattle ranching industry that has shaped this land and culture for generations.
It didn’t take long for the steakhouse concept to move west considering there was ample fresh product grazing in the pastures. My great-grandfather was a Texas cattleman. A purist, he would allow nothing but salt and pepper, to touch HIS beef served at HIS table, suggesting otherwise was sacrilege. When you take that sort of West Texas pride and combine it with an outstanding product, you end up with places like Lisa West’s Double Nickel Steakhouse.
Consistently ranked in Tom Horan’s list of Top 10 Texas Steak Houses and receiving a rave review in Texas Monthly, Double Nickel has cemented itself as a local favorite since opening in 2005. Lifelong Lubbock resident and Texas Tech grad, Lisa West met a Dallas restauranteur through her famed fried cheese recipe from her first restaurant (and Lubbock staple), Spanky’s. After teaching him the recipe and having a conversation about her situation at the time, the suggestion was put forth to start a steakhouse, to which Lisa responded she “didn’t have two nickels to rub together.” Sounds like a good name for a new restaurant is in there somewhere.
The red tablecloths and dimly lit chandeliers create an atmosphere of fine dining while thoughtful accents are reminiscent of an Old-West saloon. It’s a cozy environment, perfect for a date night or special occasion. The music and casual murmur are comfortable for a conversation as we are seated at a table for two near the bar and start perusing the menus.
Double Nickel has an extensive wine list with several options available by the glass. Handcrafted cocktails and a solid whiskey selection round out the drink offerings. Training for their servers is wine-intensive, and they pride themselves on being able to find a perfect pairing to complement your dinner. Service was impeccable from start to finish.
Browsing through the appetizer section of any menu, I have a hard time passing up a crab cake. Double Nickel’s version is made with blue lump crab with red and green bell pepper. It’s pan seared, finished in the oven and topped with a Creole mustard sauce.
When it comes to steak, everyone has their favorite cut. Some like a hearty ribeye while others prefer a strip, but my first choice is always a filet. I think if you can get a nice thick filet right, the other cuts will be top notch as well. All the beef at Double Nickel is corn-fed, USDA Choice, upper two-thirds beef that is wet-aged in-house for 30 days. Hand cut per order, seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked to perfection in an 1800 degree broiler, this is a steak lover’s steak. We went with the traditional sides of mashed potatoes and a creamed corn that could be accused of trying to upstage the steak.
Planning a rehearsal dinner or a presentation to high-profile clients? There are four party rooms available to host your event. The “Poker Room” seats up to 10, perfect for a small group looking for a little privacy. The “Board Room” seats up to 22, great for dinner meetings and presentations. Adorned with art from famed Saturday Evening Post illustrator, Henry Patrick Raleigh, the “Raleigh Room” is plenty spacious for larger gatherings up to 100 and can be split into smaller rooms of 60 and 40.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet table for two, celebrating a special occasion, or just a steak aficionado on a quest for an exquisite cut of meat, Double Nickel fits the bill.