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Best CFS in Texas!

randyjl Aug 19, 2009 12:53 PM

I am a chicken fried steak freak and proud of it! I order it everywhere. The best, hands down, in Texas is at Mary's in Strawn. I just drove 2 hours, one way, to get my semi-annual fix. It is perfectly seasoned, tender, and the gravy is wonderful. Mary has 3 sizes. Small is LP sized, the medium, hubcap size, the large, garbage lid size. She also had all you can eat CFS on Monday night. And order the great homemade fries as a side. Be prepared to wait in this tiny town.

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  1. irodguy RE: randyjl Aug 19, 2009 08:42 PM

    Wow how the heck can any human eat more than a medium Mary's CFS?

    11 Replies
    1. re: irodguy
      DallasDude RE: irodguy Aug 20, 2009 12:47 AM

      How does she fry these steaks? I have yet to see a fryer that large lol!

      Try the CFS out at the golf course in the mid cities (believe me you will freak) in Euless. The municipal course is Texas Star and the restaurant is Raven's Grill. Amazing menu for such a place and even better CFS. Huge but tasty with a delightful cut of beef.


      1. re: DallasDude
        CocoaNut RE: DallasDude Aug 20, 2009 07:07 AM

        ALL of the food at Raven's is good - at least the 5 or 6 items I've had, although it's been well over a year since I've been there.

        The CFS is good, but too bad they don't make the gravy from scratch. The fried catfish is unique in the way they do it - too bad I don't remember what that uniqueness is. They have some great breakfast offerings - but again, the gravy on the buscuits is lacking.

        The only drawback is that it's not on the cheap, but this isn't a little snack shop either. They have some quality offerings on the menu.

        1. re: DallasDude
          luniz RE: DallasDude Aug 20, 2009 08:16 AM

          The CFS at Mary's is pan fried, not deep fried. That's 1/3 of the reason they're good. The other two reasons are the quality of the cut and the gravy made with drippings from said pan.

          1. re: luniz
            DallasDude RE: luniz Aug 20, 2009 09:47 AM

            I am sure, and I couldn't eat a garbage can lid sized steak for any reason. That's gotta be one helluva frying pan. Still, would be interesting to go to see it. And more fun to get invited to the kitchen to watch.

            1. re: luniz
              joanna.mcmaster RE: luniz Aug 20, 2009 09:53 AM

              What cut of meat are they using that is that large?

              1. re: joanna.mcmaster
                randyjl RE: joanna.mcmaster Aug 20, 2009 11:33 AM

                Don't know. I have never ordered a large. I don't see how it holds together to get on the plate. I have thought about ordering a large and get some gravy to go so I can have seconds later! I see lots of people carrying to go boxes!

                1. re: joanna.mcmaster
                  DallasDude RE: joanna.mcmaster Aug 20, 2009 01:16 PM

                  The meat is the underbelly of the same animal Fred uses when he gets those giant ribs that flips over his car, rendering him toes up till he finishes just before heading to the drive-in movie with Dino. Sort of a giant pre-historic flank steak. Makes sense to me.

                  1. re: DallasDude
                    joanna.mcmaster RE: DallasDude Aug 20, 2009 01:19 PM

                    Oh ok, so Brontosaurus top round. Makes perfect sense. LOL

                  2. re: joanna.mcmaster
                    luniz RE: joanna.mcmaster Aug 21, 2009 09:14 AM

                    my guess is bottom sirloin.

                2. re: DallasDude
                  LewisvilleHounder RE: DallasDude Aug 20, 2009 09:53 AM

                  Actually Texas Country Reporter featured Mary's several years ago and they brought it back with the Best Of series. They showed a glimpse of the kitchen from what I recall and it was grilled fried. The secrets to the breading though were not given nor the recipe for the gravy. You can try searching through TCR's YouTube postings. I do know they have Zamykal Kolaches in Calvert on their YouTube list.


                  If you are unware of this program it comes on Chanel 11 (CBS) on Saturdays. Below is a schedule.

                  For small town info and a glimpse into Texas hospitality and what makes this state the best there is no show any better. Bob Phillips has been doing the show for 37 years now.

                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                    randyjl RE: LewisvilleHounder Aug 20, 2009 11:28 AM

                    I knew I had seen Mary on TV but could not remember where and when. Thanks! Another place that grills its CFS is M&M Steak House in Ft. Worth. It's great if you can't get to Strawn. Don't let the location and "dive" atmosphere turn you off! It's near the Stockyards.

              2. irodguy RE: randyjl Aug 20, 2009 01:50 PM

                I do believe Mary's is indeed grill fried. Most of the time the technique calls for basting in butter or oil while frying.

                Here is the link showing them frying.

                4 Replies
                1. re: irodguy
                  scrumptiouschef RE: irodguy Aug 22, 2009 07:25 PM

                  Here's a discussion we had on the Austin board.Lots of chicken fried steak discoveries...


                  1. re: scrumptiouschef
                    tuckspop RE: scrumptiouschef Aug 26, 2009 05:10 AM

                    It's been a while since I was there, but there is a little restaurant on the main drag in Sommerville, Texas that had the best chicken fried steak that I have ever had. Does anyone know if it is still there.

                    1. re: tuckspop
                      DallasDude RE: tuckspop Aug 26, 2009 10:25 AM

                      Was at Brooklyn's not all that long ago and a friend had the CFS, one bite called it amazing. That is just nap food, and can rarely handle such a plate. But delicious none the less.


                      1. re: tuckspop
                        lovelel RE: tuckspop Aug 26, 2009 01:35 PM

                        Country Inn in Somverville is great. So is Country Inn 2 in Brenham, though not as authentic.
                        Best CFS's - City Limits in Denison, County Inn in Somerville, Mary's in Strawn, Coffee Kup in Hico, Montana's in Stephenville, Hitchin Post in Ozona, Perry's in Dallas and Paris Coffee Shop/Montgomery Street Cafe/Massey's in Fort Worth

                  2. c
                    Cripcow RE: randyjl Sep 10, 2009 08:16 PM

                    Jake & Dorothy's Cafe in Stephenville -- hands down. Followed closely by the Tip Top Cafe in San Antonio.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Cripcow
                      joedontexan RE: Cripcow Sep 11, 2009 08:30 PM

                      have got to get to marys in strawn asap

                      1. re: Cripcow
                        EdLagniappe RE: Cripcow Sep 15, 2009 02:23 PM

                        Is DeWese's Tip Top better than Lulu's in SA (for CFS)? I know Lulu's brags about the size of their CFS but I've always ordered something else there so I have no idea of the quality they produce.

                        I can't brag that I'm a fanatic for CFS ... so am sure you guys are listing better places.
                        Hill Country Cupboard in Johnson City was recommended on Chowhound years back & I stopped by there for that. Definitely good by my standards ... but I'll be glad to find better.

                      2. d
                        dfwdean RE: randyjl Sep 11, 2009 08:30 PM

                        My Mom's: pan fried in a skillet she inherited. Mary's in Strawn is a close second best, worth the drive, Massey's in Fort Worth is third, Arlington Steak House used to make a darn good one too, but have not been there is a few years to confirm if it is still worth it.

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