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May 1, 2006 10:39 PM

Chicken Fried Steak

  • p

I am looking for a good place to get authentic chicken fried steak (transplated southerner). Any suggestions on a good place to go in the city? Thanks for your help!

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  1. There are a bucketful of places in Oakland. I'm pretty sure the Southeren Cafe on MacArthur Boulevard does though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Samuel,A.L.

      I have never seen it on Southern Cafe's menu. I used to live in Texas as well, and have yet to find a great Chicken Fried Steak out here. Chili's actually used to have a decent version, but the last couple of times I have tried it the quality had gone way down.

    2. Don't believe it. I'm a transplanted Texas, 7 years, and have yet to find a really good CFS. Oh, I'll take that back, my kitchen with my wife behind the cast iron skillet, complete with cream gravy.

      1. m
        Mick Ruthven

        Take a drive north to Cotati to Marvin's Restaurant & Bakery for a really good Chicken Fried Steak.

        Marvin's Restaurant & Bakery
        7991 Old Redwood Hwy


        2 Replies
        1. re: Mick Ruthven
          Melanie Wong

          So did you have a chance to try it, Mick? Don't know how traditional Marvin's version is, made with a NY cut, but it is good, house-prepped, and the gravy is wonderful too. Can't go back to the run-of-the-mill Sysco frozen stuff after that.

          Another even more high falutin' version is at Alfred's Steakhouse in SF. Used to be lunch only, but now that it's not open at lunch time, you can order it at dinner time.


          1. re: Melanie Wong
            Mick Ruthven

            Sure did try it and loved it. When I went back to that year-old post and looked at our exchanges, I remember going there and finding the place and it was across the parking lot from the ex-Rasta Dwight's as I had thought. I had been there before for pastry after bbq at Rasta Dwight's.

        2. I usually wait and gorge on CFS when I'm back in Texas. I haven't found any place in SF worth a second visit since Max's Diner on 3rd St. closed and Max's CFS had issues.

          The vast majority of places out here use frozen Sysco CFS and you have to ask about the gravy because for some reason people out here think BROWN gravy on CFS is acceptable.

          Here's some places I've tried in the Bay Area --
          Hard Knox Cafe, SF - not recommended. mediocre beef, thin crust, BROWN gravy
          Texas Road House, Union City - recommended. good beef, thick crust, choice of cream or brown gravy (Note: its the only thing I've had on their menu but I've heard complaints about other stuff. And yes, I know its an chain but good CFS is good CFS.)
          Blue Bird Cafe, Hopland - highly recommended. good beef, nice crust, cream gravy. Best CFS I've had in California.

          Already Mentioned:
          Marvin's - worth stopping if you're there. decent beef, acceptable crust & cream gravy. Maybe I had too high expectations or was there on a bad day but I thought it was only okay. so I'll definitely give them one more try.
          Alfred's - good. excellent beef, panko(!?) crust, bechamel sauce. not really a classic/traditional CFS but certainly worth experiencing once if you understand what you're getting into.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Pssst
            Melanie Wong

            Thanks for mentioning Texas Roadhouse. I keep forgetting this place though I've asked you about it at least twice. Maybe this will help me remember it and give it a try.


            1. re: Pssst

              Since I know you know about one my favorite dishes. Have you try the verison at the Omni Hotel Chicken Fried Poterhouse Steak. One of the recently fired radio host John London loved it. But I have not tried it. Maybe another hound has.

              1. re: yimster

                The whole idea of CFS is to NOT use some expensive cut of meat. It's pounded and fried for a reason, to tenderize it. Why would one want to ruin a perfectly good expensive porthouse steak that should be grilled or broiled by breading it and frying it??? That's why round steak is the proper choice, inexpensive and can be made nice and tender with the proper amount of pounding.

                How much was the Chichen Fried Porterhouse. In Dallas, a plate size CFS with 3 sides and cornbread use to be $3.95. Now I admit, that was several years ago so it's my guess it might be close to 8 or 9 dollars these days. Don't think a good porterhouse would fall into that price range.

                Not trying to be rude. Just happen have a passion for good CFS, one that's made correctly.

                1. re: Monty

                  I agree that CFS is a cheaper slice a steak. I have never had it I was just hoping a hound had to see if it worked. I sure it is not cheap. Want to see if this verison was any good.

                  I normally get a great CFS in many coffee houses for under eight bucks.

            2. I just had good CFS last Sunday at Polker in SF. It came with white, creamy gravy (not brown) . It is on their breakfast menu which is served until 3 pm.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Meatball
                Chris Rising

                Did you notice if they have chicken fried chicken on the menu? Also, location please.


                1. re: Chris Rising
                  Melanie Wong

                  Polk and Green --- thought this was on your beat, Chris! Last time I walked by, Polker's menu had fried chicken on it.