by Steven Doyle Babe’s CFS
Today is a day of celebration and joy as we mark the official Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day. The day’s founder, Jeffrey Yarbrough, said on this auspicious occasion, “I am honored to have worked closely with restaurateurs Tom Perini and Ralph Sheffield to elevate this savory southern dish that reflects our state history. Besides my wife and kids as the loves of my life, creating the official Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day has been a dream come true and makes me so proud to be a Texan.”
We detailed the storied history of the day here, and now we offer a few sizzling hot CFS plates and our personal recommendations for our favorites around the DFW area. A few years back we polled many chefs in the DFW area and unanimously they agreed that Babes Chicken Dinner House was their favorite. This is coming from the likes of Kent Rathbun, Jon Bonnell, and many more. You can also make your own!
We compiled a list of our favorites, so consider this a bucket list of Chicken Fried Steak. For those playing along at home and wishing to make this a drinking game, take a shot each time you see “Chicken Fried Steak” or “CFS”. Take a double drink if you find the word “double-fister”. Makes things a bit more fun. As Chef Mo Assi at Crush Taco said to us once, “Eat Responsibly”.
Lastly, before the list, we want to know your favorite. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it is the best list around.
Jonathon of Jonathon’s Cafe is the Gravy King. The steak whisperer. Go there today. This is the “Big D Chicken Fried Steak Best of Class” as nominated by CraveDFW.
AllGood Café: The Deep Ellum Mecca of CFS offers their steak fashioned from tenderloin simple with a side of mashed and a choice of fresh veggie. Pretty tasty.
Street’s Fine Chicken: This is a fried steak with history as the Street family takes us back ages with the dish in various incarnations of hospitality.
Ellen’s: This CFS comes with sausage gravy and a few sides for good measure. Ellen’s features brunch all day and has an extensive menu. And what Texan doesn’t love a website called Gritsrule.com.
Haywire: Insanely good Plano haunt that will scream to you for you to order the chicken fried steak. Do it.
Lounge Here: The lounge, is owned by Julie Doyle — co-founder/manager of musical groups Tripping Daisy, The Polyphonic Spree, and local fave store, Good Records. She is responsible for the killer southern-inspired menu and the Lounge as well as fine cocktails.
Mama’s Daughters Diner: If you haven’t tried this ethereal version of CFS you are missing out. Best served with a side of eggs and loads of gravy.
Celebration: Celebrating 40 years of good luck and great CFS, this version is palate pleasing and the most requested menu item for the restaurant. Superior eats. That’s jalapeno gravy in case you were wondering.
Norma’s Diner is a staple in Oak Cliff and they serve a mean chicken fry. They would do a chicken fried steak tour every year but were silent this year. None the less, try Norma’s.
Raven’s Grille: This rates high on our hit list for CFS in DFW. The tiny clubhouse at the Texas Star Golf Course in Euless hosts one of the better chicken fried steaks around. The steak is so large it literally hangs off the plate. At $9.95 this is a bargain that could be tackled by a pair of willing souls.
Fred’s Cafe: in Fort Worth is deserving of a drive from anywhere in the DFW area. Try their massive CFS made with patented sourdough batter smothered with plenty of cream gravy.
Cat City Grill: A huge chicken fried steak with a light breading and pepper gravy just like mom made.
Reata: Possibly the priciest, but well worth it, the Reata offers a chicken fried steak that is pan-fried (not found in too many restaurants these days) and has this delicious crispy beef flavor that you are looking for.
Ranchman’s Cafe: The steakhouse made famous in Ponder, TX makes a perfect Chicken Fried Steak. These people have been featured on the Food Network, and here on Crave. Never fear, the gravy is served in a punch bowl on the side for good measure.
Jake and Dorothy’s: Tops of our list for true Texas CFS. Order today for a true bargain when served with their signature waffle fries. Legends are made of this in Stephenville.
Mary’s Cafe: Drive 140 miles due west of Dallas and you can enjoy the best the state has to offer in CFS. Strawn is home to Mary’s Café which serves a pan fired CFS with real cream gravy and French fries. The steak comes in a small, medium and OH MY GOD large. For years there was not a choice of mashed potato, but that has been rectified. Monday is all-you-can-eat CFS night. Enjoy.
YO Ranch Kerville: Nothing like enjoying your steak and gravy among 29,000 acres of cattle, giraffes and other wild beasties. Fantastic cut if beef and an even better steak.
Don’t Forget the Sandwich
Not in the mood for a huge dinner plate with a slab of beef hanging off the side that’s been fried to deliciousness? Shame on you. But we can still help you out with this CFS Sandwich:
Haystack Burger: We were particularly thrilled with the Chicken Fried Burger, a sinful plate that will have us all going back for more in the very near future. The best part of the burger, besides the burger itself, is the sloppy good jalapeno-bacon cream gravy. It is worth the trip to Richardson all by itself.