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Chicken Fried Steak in Boston??

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??

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

        1. 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. 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

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

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

                      It's Fe Calf Ace.

              2. 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

                  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

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

                  2. 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. 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: chowcat

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

                          1. re: yumyum

                            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: Northender

                                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. 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. 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. 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. 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

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

                                2. 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: Bostonbob3

                                      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.

                                  1. 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

                                      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.

                                      1. re: ScubaSteve

                                        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

                                          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

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

                                            1. re: phatchris

                                              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.