Review #2: Beehive Restaurant and Saloon – Abilene

I visited the Beehive Restaurant and Saloon a few weeks ago for my very first time and review. The visit was spontaneous since I did not know what the establishment was known for, aside from the Long Island Iced Tea. I ordered the salmon entree with the potato skins as an appetizer and both were rather forgettable. As soon as I shared the review, the feedback was swift and in bunches. A few of the comments were: “Why didn’t you order a steak?” “The Beehive in Albany is better.”

I figured it would not hurt to return to Beehive for a follow-up review, but this time I would drive to Albany. Albany is a 30 minute drive to the northeast of Abilene. The drive takes you through some winding turns and provides continuous views of windmills. Before leaving, I checked the Apple Maps and was assured the Beehive Saloon in Albany was open. 

After making a few calls enroute, I arrived at the Beehive Saloon. The parking lot was empty, except for a truck on the side of the building. Being rather naïve, I thought everyone in the town must be at work. I approached the wooden door and found it locked. Not only was it locked, but there were no hours listed outside. This was so infuriating. Before anyone says it, I did not call because the hours on Apple Maps are supposed to be an accurate representation for potential customers.

I sat in the parking lot for some time to gather my thoughts. Ultimately, I decided to head back to the Beehive in Abilene. To ensure I would not be shutout twice, I checked the Apple Maps hours.

Ah, the hours listed for lunch and dinner were correct. As soon as I walked into the bar, I was welcomed back by Ebony, the bartender. The visit started off better than my last. The bar area was way less crowded than before, which I appreciated.

I ordered a Long Island while I had a look at the steaks on the menu. The mission was steak and I was not going to be denied. Ebony recommended the filet after knowing my intentions.

While I am sure the filet would have been a good call, I wanted to try the ribeye so I could compare it to Lytle Land and Cattle’s Ribeye. I ordered the 14 oz ribeye ($38) and baked potato with a beef and rice soup starter. The price of the steak was comparable between the two restaurants.

I had a couple of minutes to spare while Ebony input the order and provided a dinner setup so I checked out the main dining area. There were a few different rooms and seating options available. A couple of the rooms were packed with guests, while the others were fairly empty. I did my best to snap only pictures of the empty spaces.

Beef and Rice Soup. The soup came out three minutes after I placed the order. It was the soup of the day so I can imagine there was a huge pot of it in the back. The soup was super bland and watery. The “broth” ratio was significantly higher than the beef and rice. I added Cholula and cracked pepper to the soup to try to salvage it. Rating: 2/5

Ribeye. The steak arrived nearly 15 minutes after ordering. It appeared to be a better cut of meat than the one I received at Lytle. The steak was thicker and missing the huge piece of fat. As I cut into the steak, it appeared to be cooked more towards medium than my request of medium rare. The seasoning and marinade, much like Lytle, was a house secret. I could taste salt, pepper, garlic. This steak was one of the best ribeye steaks I had ever eaten. It was almost perfect…almost. Rating: 4.75/5.

I absolutely crushed the steak. The baked potato was an afterthought.

Final Word

This follow-up review got off to a rocky start. So rocky that I almost scrapped it and went somewhere else. I brought up the issue with hours to one of the managers, Scott(?), and he assured me it would be corrected. Thanks.

As for everything else, the appetizers and sides I had on my two visits could use some work. On second thought, just scrap the entire menu and leave only the Long Island and the steaks. I understand wanting to satisfy more guests, but the steaks are it…or at least this one was. I will have the filet during my next visit to ensure this was not a one off experience. For my taste buds sake, I hope it was not.  

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