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Sep 9, 2009 11:08 AM

Chicken Fried Steak

Looking for a place to get an old fashion chicken fried steak fix in the area.
Crummy but good joints, diners, as well as white table cloth emporiums will do as long as its good.
Rob M

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  1. king street blues has a CFS that will do to sate your craving. cowboy cafe on lee highway has one on the menu but i have not tried it...same goes for silver diner and southside 815. let me know if you find what you're looking for, rob!

    5 Replies
    1. re: littlew1ng

      Don't go to Silver Diner for a CFS fix. Horrid pre-breaded near tasteless pattified breast meat -- no black pepper to speak of in the coating -- with a miserly tablespoon of "gravy" as a garnish on top.

      I have not tried the others, so can't speak to their quality or lack thereof. If you're out around Manassas or Fredericksburg, the Cracker Barrels will have passable CFS. I don't know if the Bob Evans resto in Fair Oaks/Oakton area has it or not.

      1. re: weezycom

        chicken fried steak with breast meat? whachoo talkin' 'bout Willis?

        1. re: Ericandblueboy

          They thought chicken fried meant chicken, I guess.

        2. re: weezycom

          You must be thinking of that great American nuevo diner specialty "chicken fried chicken" for those who think chicken fried steak is too unhealthy. <g>

          The Black Eyed Pea restaurants used to have a decent CFS, so I've been told (never really cared for the idea myself) but I don't think there are any more of those around here, just in Texas and I think one around Nashville TN.

        3. re: littlew1ng

          I agree with Southside. Their CFS w/ collards and a basket of biscuits will take care of it. I also like the CFS at the Mountain Diner in Frederick. Also, the ubiquitous Cracker Barrels have a pretty good version if you can endure the ersatz country marketing scheme while waiting for a table.

        4. Which area? DC, Balt, MOCO, PG or NOVA? Do you want white gravy or brown?

          12 Replies
          1. re: ktmoomau

            Hey, if it is from scratch, let's do both. I live in DC but usually roam up to bmore and down to Annapolis too

            1. re: RobertM

              If you are ever out Route 70 to Hancock the Park and Dine makes a very good one, brown gravy, but really good, especially with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans.

              There was a big thread about this a few years ago.

              To add to the ok, but probably not as good as Southside 815 list is Old Hickory Grille. And as bad as this sounds, Cracker Barrel normally has pretty decent chicken fried steak- they make pretty good white gravy versions.

              1. re: ktmoomau

                I recently had the CFS at Southside 815: they use NY Strip, not chuck, so the flavor is totally different. Not bad, but not a chuck steak that's been beaten all to hell. Brown gravy, not white.

                I used to recommend Elsie's Magic Skillet for CFS, but they switched to an inferior CFS. Bethesda Tastee Diner used to have a decent CFS with white gravy but they only sold it for breakfast on Sundays and if you didn't get there early enough, it sold out.

                So, out of all of them Cracker Barrel is the most like the real CFS and they're pretty consistently good; I've been to three between DC and New Orleans.

                1. re: monkeyrotica

                  Today I tried the CFS at Mini's Cafe in Columbia.
                  108 off 175 across from the Best Buy.
                  Franks diner on Route 1 was just as good or better: $7.50 Vs $16 final bill.
                  Going to check out South-side 815 next week.
                  To date none of them match country boy joints for the same meal.
                  Any suggestions?

                  1. re: RobertM

                    bob & edith's has a decent one, but it's with brown gravy, not white. :( if you're into that kinda thing you might like it though. i've also heard the one at ted's bulletin is good...i'm skeptical...

                    1. re: littlew1ng

                      I SO didn't like the Country Fried Steak at Ted's Bulletin. First of all, it's SIRLOIN STEAK, which makes no sense at all: it's too lean, so when it's deep fried, it's completely tough. And it's not even a particularly good quality steak; it's a notch below the Sysco 1/4"-thick breakfast steaks you get at the Tastee Diner. The crust was alright and the white gravy was good, but the steak was just terrible. All this for $16. I also had the soup, which was inedibly salty. The milkshakes were tasty though. I'll keep trying some of the other menu items, but I'd stay away from the Country Fried Steak.

                      Tastee Diner
                      118 Washington Blvd S, Laurel, MD 20707

                      Ted's Bulletin
                      505 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

                        1. re: RobertM

                          Columbia Pike in Arlington. The original is East of Glebe about 4 blocks. There was a second (not sure if it's still there) West of Glebe about a mile or so.

                          I used to live across from the original one. Had to make a pact with myself not to go over there all the time.

                          Edit: Don't try going to the original on a Sunday morning.

                            1. re: Steve

                              Well, it's a classic diner, and with average or below average traffic, they'll cook to order quite well (or used to at least). I know years ago there were many complaints about the home fries being soft, etc. At that time, when requested, they would crisp them up extra.

                              But on a Sunday morning, all bets are off.

                        2. re: RobertM

                          I had a suprisingly decent CFS at iHop: chuck steak, batter fried, white peppercorn gravy. It's not a mom-&-pop, but it was competently made, served promptly, was less than $15, and was the size of a hubcap. They make a smaller 1/2 serving as well.

                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                            I agree w IHOP, if I cant find a Cracker Barrel IHOP is so far my best bet. Looking for a crummy but good hole in the wall just the same.

                2. Frank's Diner on Route One in Jessup, about a half-mile south of the Route 175 intersection.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: elgringoviejo

                    Frank's is passable, which in this area is a helluva recommendation. They use white gravy (if it has brown it's not CFS -- I don't know what it is, but maybe my dog would).

                    I hate to say it, but one of the better ones I've had in this area is at Chili's. It at least satisfies the craving until I can make a trip back to Oklahoma.

                    1. re: JonParker

                      Try Old Salem Cafe in Marshall, VA. Homemade biscuits and country ham too.

                      1. re: menmom1

                        I heard they had a change in ownership. Have you been recently? What's it like?

                      2. re: JonParker

                        Jon: well someone is a purist (joshing)

                      3. re: elgringoviejo

                        You mean near the flea market, below the Holiday Inn?

                        1. re: elgringoviejo

                          Ah, thanks, I hit Franks this morning.
                          Totally Ok
                          Going to try Southside815 in a few weeks, the body cant stand too many heavy meals after 60. But I had two eggs over medium, the CFS, and grits & toste.
                          Man, I only needed a TV and cartoons or WWE to make my throwback day. {Sorry, back in my day Saturday was cartoon day, or if older WWE shamelessly)

                        2. Speaking as a misplaced Texan, Cracker Barrel will do but Chili's also has a not too terrible one either. There are a smattering of Texas Roadhouses in the area that have a half decent one too; they all like to call it Country FS instead. In VA, go to Sonic and get the CFS burger. Most all use sirloin or S-P-A-M, not the pork byproduct; but stuff posing as meat.

                          Best rec: bring some beer to my house and I'll fry some up now that I have a hankering for chicken fried steak.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: drlee_susquespine

                            Sounds fair. Im guessing Shiner Bock? Or Lone Star?

                            1. re: Insidious Rex

                              shiner all the way. they still make lone star?

                              1. re: drlee_susquespine

                                Yes. In big plastic bottles. Nasty as ever.

                            2. re: drlee_susquespine

                              The Texas roadhouse CFS would be alot better if they reduced the amount of salt. So far i've had it at the Westminster and York locations and they both were a bit on the salty side for me. Cracker Barrel is not bad though and probably one of the better values.

                              1. re: AlexDer

                                I agree; Most chains use way too much salt for my taste, irregardless of the genre

                            3. wake up, thread! I had one at Ris for brunch that was good, albeit as far from traditional and old-fashioned as it could possibly be. Chicken-fried skirt steak, with collards, an egg, a light brown gravy with a little coffee in it. I ate the whole thing and I enjoyed the heck out of it — an interesting rendition of a classic. I also had a more traditional one at cowboy cafe a couple weeks back, also for brunch. The gravy was gluey and not creamy, gross, but the steak itself was good. I think it was deep-fried instead of pan-fried though — big no-no.