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Chicken Fried Steak in Boston??

ebfeeney Apr 27, 2007 12:10 PM

I shamefully admit my occasional cravings for this dish, but have NEVER seen it on a menu in Boston. Anyone know where I can go for a fix??

  1. h
    hoplover Apr 27, 2007 12:18 PM

    That is something that I would never ever eat but I do remember back in the 90s when Chili's Grill and Bar started opening in Massachusetts they had it on their menu. I am not quite sure if Bostonians took to it. Fajitas yes chicken fried steak?...

    1. b
      Bostonbob3 Apr 27, 2007 12:19 PM

      Okay, I'm setting myself up to be sliced and diced. But when I have a hankering for chicken fried steak, I go to Denny's (although I believe they call it "Country Fried Steak" there. Same thing though.).

      I know there's a Denny's in Danvers, and one in Lawrence.

      1. passing thru Apr 27, 2007 12:34 PM

        the last one i had was at uncle pete's, and it was terrible. chicken fried steak certainly not a boston strength, imo.

        1. g
          GULawKA Apr 27, 2007 12:59 PM

          Ok. I've been lurking on here for a couple of weeks, and I have to say that this site is great. I figured this is as good a topic as any to cause me to join and reply. As a Texan living north of the Mason Dixon line for the past 5 years, the ONLY place I have found that does a credible chicken fried steak is Chili's. I don't know if it is on the menu at Chili's in Boston, but it is the only restaurant where I would even consider ordering it here. Chili's version has a great crisp batter and most imporatantly is served with white, cream gravy rather than brown gravy (a common failure of northern attempts at this southern delicacy).
          If your really craving one, I would advise just making your own. It is not difficult and is pretty cheap. All you need is some round steak, flour, eggs, and milk/cream for the gravy.

          1. i
            InmanSQ Girl Apr 27, 2007 01:19 PM

            It is not in Boston, but the best Chicken Fried Steak you'll find in eastern MA is at the Cracker Barrel. I go there whenever I go shopping at the Wrentham Outlets and they make a bunch of wonderful "down home" favorites.

            1795 Andover St.
            Tewksbury MA 01876-1129
            (978) 858-3717 I-495 & SR 133 39 18.35 miles

            1048 South Street
            Wrentham MA 02093-1537
            (508) 384-0477 I-495 & SR 1A 15 26.98 miles NO

            5 Replies
            1. re: InmanSQ Girl
              GULawKA Apr 27, 2007 01:35 PM

              I forgot about Cracker Barrel! Definitely a great chicken fried steak option--probably better than Chili's, though I haven't had one from there in a long time.

              1. re: InmanSQ Girl
                ebfeeney Apr 27, 2007 01:37 PM

                Thanks for the suggestions! Someone in my office just suggested Cracker Barrel too...I'll give it a go next time I hit the outlets! I think my grandparents stop their during their drive to and from Florida...so it must at least be reliable and affordable ;)

                1. re: ebfeeney
                  fecalface Apr 27, 2007 01:51 PM

                  There was a CH post on this a while back. I am proud to admit I enjoy this dish.

                  Redbones in Davis Sq has it, but it's not very good. They serve it with wet tomato-centric veggies, and the juices consume the plate, thus ruining the crispiness of the fry.

                  Texas Roadhouse in Everett has a far superior version...probably better than Chili's.

                  1. re: fecalface
                    hiddenboston Apr 27, 2007 01:59 PM

                    Texas Roadhouse has good burgers--tough for me to get past those, but I love chicken fried steak, so I'll have to give it a shot there some day.

                    Great username, BTW! :-D

                    1. re: hiddenboston
                      Bostonbob3 Apr 27, 2007 02:02 PM

                      Actually, Marc, it's not what you think.

                      It's Fe Calf Ace.

              2. Sgt Snackers Apr 27, 2007 03:09 PM

                As a transplanted Southerner myself, I'm a huge CFS fan. As far as I'm concerned the ONLY meaningful side to a big honkin' Chicken Fried Steak is fried okra. What could be better?

                So: any sources for fried okra around here that are half decent? Redbones has it, and for some damn reason I always end up ordering it there, and regret it - too soft, not enough breading.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Sgt Snackers
                  Food4Thought Apr 27, 2007 07:53 PM

                  I held out on replying for fear that I would be publicly drawn and quarted for suggesting Cracker Barrel. Not ever having the "real McCoy" CFS I have no right to judge, but as far as my New Englander mind can wrap around this dish, I find it pretty pretty close to as I imagine how it "should be"

                  1. re: Sgt Snackers
                    Dax May 1, 2007 06:01 PM

                    Fried Green tomatoes are pretty good with country-fried steak and gravy. Magnolia's does those, but no CFS.

                  2. BarmyFotheringayPhipps Apr 27, 2007 08:07 PM

                    I have more than once stated that if Deep Ellum, the beer bar in Union Square Allston, really wanted to have something properly Texan on the menu, they would start serving CFS. They even have a nearby bakery, Clear Flour, where they can buy pain de mie for Texas toast! Add some mashed potatoes and white gravy and a seasonal veg and they would have a dish that would fly out of the kitchen every single night!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                      Sgt Snackers Apr 28, 2007 06:21 AM

                      YES. Let's start a petition...

                    2. yumyum Apr 28, 2007 08:59 AM

                      There's an awesome CFS blog out there I just tried finding again -- one serious freak doing a horizontal tasting of all the CFS in Austin complete with rankings and pictures.

                      Couldn't find it, but in the meantime, I found this site, with a great description of how to make it, and mouthwatering pictures.


                      5 Replies
                      1. re: yumyum
                        chowcat Apr 28, 2007 03:32 PM

                        yumyum, were you thinking of this, perhaps?


                        1. re: chowcat
                          yumyum Apr 29, 2007 12:03 PM

                          That's it! I marvel at this person's quest. Thanks for the link.

                          1. re: yumyum
                            Northender May 1, 2007 09:09 AM

                            I am sure there was one on the Austin board as well which had a very lively discussion with strongly held opinions. As with many of the Austin posts there were a lot of laugh out loud observations.

                            1. re: yumyum
                              Northender May 1, 2007 09:14 AM

                              Here is the Austin post you may have been thinking of.


                              1. re: Northender
                                yumyum May 1, 2007 11:42 AM

                                Thanks for the link to the thread, but it was actually the blog (linked above from chowcat) that I was thinking of. The Austin thread is pretty damned funny though. Glad to see there are hyperbolic nuts all over, not just here on the BOS board. :-)

                        2. c
                          cambridgejen Apr 29, 2007 12:07 PM

                          I was at Deli-icious in Davis Sq for lunch today and noticed a chicken fried steak sandwich on the menu. They also have a dinner version (not a sandwich) that comes with mashed potatoes, gravy and veggies.

                          1. m
                            Moon Pie May 1, 2007 08:45 AM

                            The problem with CFS in Boston is that the few places that serve it use pretty decent cuts of meat, not realizing that the "steak" in chicken-fried steak is cube steak. CFS is economy food: if you could afford a nice juicy steak, you wouldn't cover it up with eggs and bread crumbs.

                            Sadly, places like Denny's are the only places around here that start with the proper cheap cut and do a decent job of it, and that's where I go when the craving hits. It will never be like Granny's though: hot out of the skillet, with mashed potatoes and milk gravy... oh MAN.

                            1. s
                              secretlyironic May 1, 2007 11:07 AM

                              Redbones in Davis Square has it as a special every week, although I can't remember which day of the week they have it.

                              It's delicious.

                              1. b
                                Bostonbob3 May 1, 2007 11:07 AM

                                A comparison:

                                CFS at Denny's


                                CFS at Cracker Barrel:


                                (I think they must be owned by the same holding company.)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Bostonbob3
                                  yumyum May 1, 2007 11:38 AM

                                  From the pictures, the Cracker Barrel version looks superior. But then, I like my gravy.

                                2. t
                                  tamerlanenj May 1, 2007 11:38 AM

                                  So I've never had chicken fried steak...I think it's time to give it a shot. I'm guessing the chili's version comes from a frozen bag, but if the Texan below gave it a thumbs up, and since it's the only place in the Back Bay that serves it, maybe I'll start there.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: tamerlanenj
                                    Bostonbob3 May 1, 2007 11:43 AM

                                    Here's the Chili's version:


                                    1. re: Bostonbob3
                                      tamerlanenj May 1, 2007 11:48 AM

                                      Still, it's kind of sad that it's from Chili's. I imagine Texans feel the way I felt in Tennessee when the only pizza I could find was pizza hut.

                                  2. t
                                    tamerlanenj May 1, 2007 11:39 AM

                                    oh, I just remembered too that John Harvard's in Harvard Suare has it. I have a friend from Texas A&M who orders it a lot and likes it.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: tamerlanenj
                                      GULawKA May 1, 2007 03:46 PM

                                      If an Aggie orders it, then it is probably good. Also I will retract my earlier Chili's endorsement in favor of Cracker Barrel. I just totally forgot about that place.

                                    2. ScubaSteve May 1, 2007 12:00 PM


                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: ScubaSteve
                                        yumyum May 1, 2007 12:06 PM

                                        Pops version sounds too upscale. Shiitake mushroom wah? I want my CFS to be down and dirty. Thanks for the reminder though.

                                        1. re: yumyum
                                          GULawKA May 1, 2007 03:45 PM

                                          I agree. Shiitake mushroom gravy on a chicken fried steak? Much too fancy! Chicken fried steak and eggs is a great breakfast, but if you are going to put anything in the gravy, it can only be sausage.

                                          1. re: GULawKA
                                            phatchris May 2, 2007 03:03 PM

                                            Magnolias has it on the menu till june for there Texas festival.

                                            1. re: phatchris
                                              phatchris May 5, 2007 07:59 AM

                                              Had the chicken fried steak at Magnoilas last night and it was awesome, very moist and tender served with white gravy, collard greens, and mashed white and sweet potatoes. I also had a bite of the tuna taco which in reality was a tuna steak( really thick) atop a corm tortilla with some salsa, and that was also very tasty.

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