This story is part of Tri-Cities Best, a viewer vote-driven section of News Channel 11’s community coverage. Hundreds of nominations and votes placed several local businesses within reach of the title of Best Steak:
- Americano Steak House
- The Butcher’s Block
- Label Restaurant
- Whistle Stop
Each nomination is a privilege, and each vote is an honor.
ROAN MOUNTAIN, Tenn. (WJHL) – The town of Roan Mountain had never seen something like Americano Steak House move in before Troy Boane, Bradley McMurray and their crew set up shop last year. Before long, the business would garner regional acclaim and News Channel 11’s title for Best Steak.
“I just think it’s great for Roan Mountain,” Boane, the owner of Americano, said. “I guess we’re sort of Roan Mountain proud.”
Americano Steak House opened in August 2021 and faced its fair share of struggles. During its early days, there wasn’t a ton of turnout.
“At first, I think it was challenging until we started to get a few of the outsiders coming in,” Boane said. “However, this place is like ‘Cheers’ at night, and it’s awesome. I get emotional, it’s awesome to see our friends and our family come in, and that’s the best part. Half this restaurant at any given time, we know almost every guest by name.”
Now the house is packed nearly every night, with new guests and familiar faces mingling over a good cut of local steak.
“We’ve had people drive two hours from Virginia,” Boane said. “I’m like ‘Wow, two hours? Like, you’re doing something else?’ [They say] ‘No, we just came to eat, we’re heading home.’
“Like, wow. It’s very humbling.”
A big part of that turnout, Boane said, is the fact his restaurant is one-of-a-kind for the town.
“We never had an option,” said Tanya Powell, Americano’s Sous-Chef. “We’ve always had wonderful hamburger places, but we’ve never had this option in Roan Mountain. And everybody loves it.”
Giving back is a big part of Boane’s business plan too, from breakfast gifts for local businesses to fundraising nights for organizations. No one builds a business alone, and Boane’s connections to the area are essential parts of daily operations.
“When I think of this place, I think community,” Powell said. “We do so much for the community, but it’s never mentioned. We do it because we want to, and in my heart, that’s why we’ve survived and done as well as we have.”
On top of that, the steaks are delicious. Locally sourced meat from Johnson City is hand-cut at Americano’s and seasoned with proprietary spice blends that not even Boane’s own employees get to learn. He whips those up himself.
“Probably our most popular steak is going to be our Hawaiian ribeye,” Boane said. “It’s a 14-ounce hand-cut ribeye that we marinate for 24 hours in pineapple, soy, ginger and brown sugar. Our sirloin is good as a filet, believe it or not.”
Visitors won’t find Americano’s offerings overly complicated or overpowering, since every dish was crafted under the restaurant’s mantra to “do ordinary things, extraordinarily well.”
What you will find, however, is a hardworking staff that puts their heart into pulling the best flavor out of every ingredient in the kitchen. Boane said as much himself.
“I’m blown away, every single day, what these guys and girls do,” Boane said. “I’m blown away to win this, and it’s not because of me. It’s because of them. They do an awesome job.”