Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Texas >
Aug 27, 2007 06:14 PM

Alamo Cafe (San Antonio), home of the worst cfs in Texas

I stopped at Alamo Cafe on I-10 for lunch today without realizing that it was a Mexican restaurant. I had a Hamburger in mind, but settled on the chicken fried steak because from somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind I had remembered someone praising it. And besides, the waiter assurred me that it was a popular item.

What arrived at my table was was a strange concotion that oozed grease and water with every attempted bite. The said liquids so overwhelmed any flavor this piece of meat might have had, that even the globby and thick white gravy (which I wound up spooning off) could not compensate for it. And to add insult to injury, the green beans side was of the canned variety, another water soaked mess that had long ago lost any nutritional value that nature had granted it.

Thankfully, the waiter offerred to bring out some grilled vegetables, but they turned out to be greasy also. Then, seeing as I had barely eaten, he had the good sense to remove the cfs from my bill. Discussing the cfs, he mentioned that it was not really steak but, rather, ground beef, batterred and fried like cfs. Which might explain why it was so liquidy: In order to keep its shape, a flattened ground beef patty would have to be frozen and thawed out while frying; hence the water content, right? I guess Alamo Cafe does good Mexican food...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Given your experience with the CFS, would you be surprised to hear that their Mexican food is terrible, too? Yet for some reason, Alamo Cafe constantly wins "awards" for their flour tortillas—despite the fact that S.A. is full of more delicious options.

    1. If you want good CFS, try the Tip Top Cafe on Fredericksburg.

      2 Replies
      1. re: saeyedoc

        Never heard of using ground beef for chicken fried steak.If I did that at home I would form it into patties and cook it first,then dip in batter and fry.
        Alamo Cafe is mainly Tex-Mex.Trying to think of some other places for cfs.
        I try to avoid eating it since fried foods give me an upset stomach.I had one at Jim's that was alright.

        1. re: saeyedoc

          I second Tip-Top Cafe, bring cash, I don't think they take Credit Card.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. I remember Alamo Cafe being pretty good about 20 years ago - when there was one location on San Pedro. Today, I only go under duress, which means family dinner out where my brother's kids can run around like lunatics. So, other than terribly mediocre food, the second reason I don't got to Alamo Cafe is because it's full of screaming children. But I digress ... If you want a really good chicken fried steak, I vote for Josephine Street Cafe.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SAgal

              I'll second Josephine Street Cafe. Wish I got into town more often.

            2. People have accused Barbecue Inn in Houston of using ground beef patties for their CFS. It's fork tender, free of gristle and you get 2 pieces that are round - shaped like thick hamburger patties. I haven't had it since the suggestion was made in another forum but it seems plausible and not such a bad idea so long as it doesn't come out like yours. Some people think it's great but I've found all the foods at BBQ Inn bland so I haven't been in several years. According to Robb Walsh when John T. Edge of the Southern Food Alliance came to Houston to promote his book on fried chicken he wanted to go to BBQ Inn - for the CFS, not the fried chicken.