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Babe's Roanoke worth the drive?

I'm taking out of towners to Babe's this weekend and want to know if the Roanoke location is that much better than the Carrollton location, or Garland or any of those locations closer to downtown Dallas. I've never been to any of them.

Any other suggestions for eating there?

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  1. You might look at the menus online. Roanoke only offers fried chicken and chicken fried steak, whereas some of the other locs have other items in addition - pot roast, catfish, green beans and desserts......

    Roanoke is generally my preference, but I have have been to the Carrollton location a couple of times and there's certainly nothing wrong with it.

    Can anyone tell me what the unique flavor/herb is in the pot roast?

    1. Both the Carrollton and Roanoke locations offer a great atmosphere with all of the decorations and such. I prefer the food at the Roanoke location, but both are good.

      1. Yes. But, make sure you have your cardiologist's number on speed dial.

        1. In a word, yes. Not the food, it's fairly standard IMO except for the menu variations (I have never been able to bring myself not to order the fried chicken, so not an issue for me since they have that everywhere), but I think the vibe in Roanoke is noticeably better than the other locations. Since you're taking people for their first time (always the best at Babe's!), Roanoke is the place to go. I've also been to the Carrollton and Frisco locations.

          IMO you're not missing anything by missing Babe's desserts, and there's more than enough food without them.

          2 Replies
          1. re: foiegras

            I live about 3 miles from the Garland location and it's the only one I have ever been to. (And believe me i have been multiple times) It is excellent there are about six entree choices and it's great. I can't believe the one in Roanoake is that much better and worth the drive. Just discussing this makes me hungry.

            1. re: Dallassooner

              I've been to the Garland, Frisco, & Carrollton locations and I like the vibe in Garland best. The strip mall setting adds a nice touch.

          2. I discern no difference in the locations other than the fact that Roanoke is funkier, and that might appeal to out of town guests.

            1 Reply
            1. re: DallasDude

              second that notion, I think the food at Babe's is good and remarkably consistent from location to location.

            2. I personally think that Sanger is one of the nicest and just north of Denton. It's right off the square in a real old city downtown. That being said Carrollton is also find and again decent surrounds.

              1. You could also road-trip down to Granbury and get your fill of Cute Square & Antiques, capped off with a trip to their Babe's, just off the square.

                My suggestion: Don't try to fight it, that iceberg lettuce salad is delicious. Delicious. It shouldn't be, but it really, really is.

                2 Replies
                1. re: shanagain

                  If you're interested in a town square, I second the Granbury recommendation. The entire square is a Texas historic landmark, and each of the buildings has a historic marker telling about the original business, if you're interested in that. I believe the preservation effort started in the 70s, and it shows. The square is well worth visiting on its own (i.e., the stores and restaurants), and Babe's (as mentioned) is right there.

                  I went to the Babe's in Sanger this week ... the best that can be said for that square is that it's occupied. I wasn't impressed with the Babe's as Babe's go ... probably the last on the list of the ones I've been to. The food was the standard product.

                  The reason I think Roanoke is worth the drive ... well, it depends on how much you want to impress your guests. If you want them to leave saying, That was some good fried chicken, any of them will do. If you want them to leave saying, Wow! what a place!, Roanoke is your best bet for that. In my experience the employees there are a significant cut above the other locations I've been to, and that makes the difference. They're also really enthusiastic about first-timers--let them know you want the full experience!!

                  1. re: foiegras

                    Sanger generally depends on how you like your fried chicken. The cooks there generally go for a few more minutes and crispyness over the other locations.

                2. If your group is the type that would like to walk a little after an overly indulgent meal, Carrollton invites that with a number of curio-type shops right in the square. If any in the group are in the 50+ age range, they may enjoy a moment of nostalgia spent at the candy shop around the corner. It's stocked with candies way back from the 50's - they even have candy cigarettes which I thought were taboo'd eons ago!

                  1. Well after we wore them out around town, we opted to stay close and hit the Carrollton location. I'll have to venture out to Roanoke with the wife and kid another time.

                    The chicken was great! Fresh, crispy, hot and tons of it. Best in town? possibly, certainly beats my home version. The CFS was pretty good, but probably just outside of my top 10 in town as the breading was a little doughy. Sides were unremarkable but not bad, although I hadn't seen italian beans since my mom made them when I was a kid.

                    Service was very friendly and way fast. Probably one of the better values in town overall.

                    Only complaint/suggestion would be to have outdoor seating. They have a nice big patio but it's only a waiting area. The dining room was a bit hot and loud, but I guess that's part of the charm.

                    The out of towners loved it and were suprised that you could get from downtown Dallas to a quaint town square in 15 minutes. Frankly so was I...

                    1. I think Babe's is one of the most overrated places in dfw. Their fried chicken is not much better than the chicken you can get at an albertsons or krogers deli. The bottomless sides taste like they came fresh out of a giant can. Mix in the weird waitress song and dance routines and all that wood framing and its easy to imagine that you just crashed Sunday lunch at the old Davidian compound.

                      14 Replies
                        1. re: down73

                          I don't recall anyone ever asserting that it's an ethereal chicken experience but it is nice that they are consistently better than average. Babe's is appealing since it's a good place to take out of town visitors.

                          1. re: air

                            Agreed, air. It is just chicken, but a prime example of fried chicken sold through out the DFW area. To compare this to the soddy version sold at a dying supermarket is nothing short of blashpemy.

                            1. re: DallasDude

                              I agree. And really, if you don't like Babe's chicken, maybe you just don't like Southern-style fried chicken.

                              1. re: shanagain

                                You are right. I don't like Southern-style fried chicken. I LOVE it. I love it when its hot and I love it even more when I can dig some leftover fried chicken out of my fridge the next day and eat it cold. I just happen to think that Babe's fried chicken is highly overrated. I think people that love that place get more caught up in the atmosphere than the actual quality of the food. I find that strange because I hate the atmosphere when that place is crowded. The tables are so close that you could actually grab a roll off of the plate of a person two tables over. And don't get me started on the @ss in the face problem that arises when a large person at the next table over gets up to leave before you do.

                                My suggestion for anyone considering a trip to Babe's would be to go get a bucket of KFC and eat it on a couch that you are sharing with 8 people while watching an old episode of Hee-Haw.

                                1. re: down73

                                  So you'd compare it to KFC? Interesting, I'd say those two are about as far apart as you can get.

                                  What's your favorite chicken place?

                                  1. re: shanagain

                                    Agreed. IF ONLY KFC could hold a candle to Babe's. There isn't one close to me, and I would love nothing better than to be able to get good fried chicken close by ... and there are certainly grocery stores and KFC and myriad other places selling something called 'fried chicken' close by.

                                    It's not that I don't think better fried chicken is *possible* ... I just haven't had it at a restaurant that is still in business.

                                    1. re: foiegras

                                      While I don't think there is any "better" There is some chicken that's different and good in it's own right. Big Mama's on Forest & Audelia is pretty darn good. It's not sit down, and it's in a so so area, but it's good chicken.

                                      1. re: irodguy

                                        Haven't been there--I'll have to try it.

                                        The fried chicken I remember fondly was at a place on 377 in Granbury in the mid-80s. I think it was called Farmer's Chicken (bought out by Church's I think--a capital foodie crime). The chicken was incredibly moist--I suspect they brined it overnight. It was amazing ...

                                  2. re: down73

                                    I could not disagree more. And what is wrong with snagging a roll off the next table.

                                    Have you actually been to Babes?

                                    1. re: DallasDude

                                      I too think Babe's is overrated. I have only ate there once and that was at the Garland location. It was good, just not great, at least in my opinion. I don't know, maybe it needed more seasoning or something. If I remember right it was good and crispy on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside but did not have a lot of flavor, just sort of bland. I guess I am too use to my own cooking.

                                      That said, I will admit it was certainly better than KFC and the dried up pieces you find in most super market delis.

                                      I do not eat chicken when dining out very often so I cannot say how Babe's compares to other places around DFW that serve fried chicken but just to say it did not blow me away, like I said it was good, just not great. I am not sure I would ever eat there again, maybe.

                                      Rob

                                      1. re: RobbnTX

                                        I'll echo what Robb said... the fried chicken (and the rest of the food) I had at Babe's (Frisco) was solid food. Not terrific but certainly better than anything found at a fast food joint (especially KFC) or under a grocery store heat lamp.

                                        Sadly, I haven't really found anything better in DFW. All my 'great' fried chicken experiences were home cooked.

                                        1. re: amokscience

                                          I think that's impossible to beat. If you know someone who does outstanding homemade fried chicken, count yourself among the lucky few - it's a dish that can give any but the most seasoned of grandmothers trouble, ime.

                                          I have a note on my profile that my best-ever meal was catfish (and bass) that'd be caught in the morning by "the men" and fried later that day in a huge iron kettle (also by "the men") at a family reunion. Everything else is just "good" in comparison.