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Babe's Chicken Dinner House (again), This Time Frisco. vs. Garland

In a previous post I stated I had eaten at the Garland location only once and while I thought it was good, I was just not blown away and was not sure I would ever eat there again or not.

Well I have people to feed this weekend and they want fried chicken and are anxious to try Babe's. I am thinking of taking them to the Garland location since I was impressed by all the bottomless sides I had there and I do have to admit that I liked the overall atmosphere and ambiance of the place. However since I have never been to the Frisco location ,which may be a bit closer to where I live in Plano, I would like to try it but am interested in hearing from anyone who has been to both Garland and Frisco and what their overall experiences were. Seems though among the co-workers I have talked to think Garland is the place to go.

Thanks!

Rob

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  1. I like the 70s strip mall ambiance of Garland.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kylewilliam

      Frisco definitely feels like manufactured kitsch given the nearly pristine surroundings.

    2. Of the relatively close in Babe's I like Carrollton better. It's on the old square... Food wise I really like Sanger. It's just that Sanger seems to Fry their chicken a bit longer.

      1. Personally, I wasn't blown away by the food at Babe's. I can only assume that the raves come from people who enjoy grazing on the unlimited side dishes rather than from the quality.

        The fried chicken at the Screen Door is MUCH better.

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        Screen Door
        1722 Routh St, Dallas, TX 75201

        6 Replies
        1. re: mahalan

          That assumption would be incorrect ... since when are CHs impressed by 'unlimited'? The creamed corn isn't bad, the biscuits are good--but the biscuits always seem rationed, who knows why. The sides are OK, the chicken is really good.

          Agree with amok that Frisco was built yesterday so that's not an advantage, but the food is the standard Babe's product. I don't think I've been to the Garland location. If you're going to drive, as I've mentioned before, Granbury is a worthwhile destination.

          1. re: mahalan

            Everyone is entitled to an opinion when it comes to tastebuds. Certainly, no two people's are alike and if they were, wouldn't life and food and food conversation being very boring. But to say that Babe's doesn't offer "quality"? Other than the potatoes being instant, I'm really scratching my head on that one. And just for the record, "unlimited" has nothing to do with my recs for Babe's, but I do love that salad.

            1. re: CocoaNut

              Want the dressing recipe? (My tweak: Don't add chopped onion, grate it instead.)
              http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sweet-an...

              1. re: shanagain

                Thanks. I asked about it once (Roanoke location) and it is merely vinegar, oil, white sugar, and a bit of salt. Now I'd guess they're probably holding back a "secret", but have never picked up any remote taste of celery (would not be a plus for me) nor onion. Mustard, don't think so, but maybe..... and I've picked up faint hints of cucumber, though dining companions haven't. In any case, the way the plain ole ice berg lettuce has a wilt to it while still remaining crispy...... some things just aren't meant to be recreated. :)

                1. re: CocoaNut

                  Understood... but in any case, this dressing is absolutely (oddly) phenomenal with spinach, bacon & strawberries. (I'm a salad over-doer, adding a zillion things, so this took restraint on my part!)

                  1. re: CocoaNut

                    I think they may well be telling the truth ... strikes me as a super simple dressing.

            2. Well just because it is closer we went to Frisco. We went on a Sat. evening close to 5 P.M. trying to beat the dinner crowd but apparently there was a wedding that had just concluded at the chapel next door so the place was packed.

              All in all it was a bust!! Our company ( five adults from out of town) had been told about Babe's from a friend of theirs so they all wanted to experience it. It began when our waitress did not do a very good job at explaining their pricing policy for side when two or more people are sharing one chicken plate and left everyone confused. Sour comments about the meal started with the salad when two of the ladies made faces after first trying it. They thought it was way too sweet so I suggested a little salt and pepper would help to round that out, they still made faces at it and shoved it aside.

              We had to ask three times before we were served biscuits and they were not good, I get better from Chik-Fil-A and I do not care for theirs very much! My wife got a wing that was way over cooked and was inedible. I had a drumstick that under cooked. The chicken was not seasoned and everyone made comments about how bland it was.

              On the way out my wife pinched me and told me to not ever take her there again.

              On of my guests stated when we got home that if he knew it was going to be this bad he would have sprung for a bucket from KFC! I felt embarrassed and disappointed as I had been really looking forward to this evening.

              Rob

              9 Replies
              1. re: RobbnTX

                Well, you definitely had an atypical experience.

                The worst that's ever happened to me at Babe's (in terms of food) was that I got a non-standard piece, and ended up biting into bone as a result. I'd never have guessed they started with whole chickens, but I guess they do. I figured, new employee, and it sounds like you may have encountered something similar.

                I've been to several locations, multiple times, and I've never had undercooked, overcooked, or bland chicken. I have gotten (other places!) still-raw chicken a couple times, and it doesn't get much worse than that ... The biscuits I think are a bit thin (need to be thicker to split well), but otherwise they have always been a standard product for me (and I like them).

                Not saying this is what happened, but I've noticed a restaurant experience (hey, any experience) can be colored by expectations. If you start out the meal with a big "This sucks!" ... sometimes it does.

                At Babe's, it's kind of a take it or leave it experience. It's clearly a re-creation of a particular Southern family's own home cooking. The salad and beans are not really to my taste, but I recognize them as valid examples of what they are, and I generally taste each at each visit ... I really like the sorghum and--need I say!--the Plugra on the biscuits.

                1. re: foiegras

                  If it's "a re-creation of a particular Southern family's own home cooking", I don't want to be invited to dinner. I prefer more bacon flavor in my beans, more interesting greens in a salad, more flavor in my chicken breading, and come on - instant mashed potatoes???

                  Like I said before, the Screen Door has MUCH better chicken.

                  -----
                  Screen Door
                  1722 Routh St, Dallas, TX 75201

                2. re: RobbnTX

                  Ouch. That's a bad experience, but IMO Babe's is way overrated on these boards.

                  1. re: Azn Gorger

                    Well in that case, what's another place that, in your opinion, isn't overrated? Just trying to understand what kind of comparison you're making.

                  2. re: RobbnTX

                    1. Never shared an entree so I don't even know what that rule is.
                    2. Sweet salad is what they are known for. I didn't like it the first time I tried it but I eat it every time I go know and I like it with some crackers before my meal. I also took some new folks there and explained to them that it was very sweet and anticipated they wouldn't like it but they did.
                    3. I've always thought their biscuits were good with some butter and honey or gravy with my meal. (You should not have to ask for biscuits though, at the Garland location the waitress brings them when she comes to get your order and introduce herself.)
                    4. I've had Frisco location twice I believe, and never had a problem but I like the Garland lcoation best. I guess some people just don't like Babe's. It's good to me, probably one of my favorite places to eat in the area. Sorry about your bad experience.

                    1. re: Dallassooner

                      I had the same experience with the salad. First time I went, I really turned up my nose at it. Then a couple of weeks later, I had a craving for it. Weird! There are times I wish I could just go in for the salad with crackers and butter on the side. I'd be perfectly happy.

                      Have only been to the Carrollton and Roanoke locations, with the latter being my overall preference.

                      1. re: Dallassooner

                        Dallassooner, I agree with you on these points.
                        You aren't required to share, I think they just serve such large portions that you can if you'd like. And the sides all come with the chicken, as far as I know. You should just get unlimited sides, biscuits, and whatever your choice of chicken for something like $11.
                        I personally like the salad, although I understand this is not going to be super healthy. I like the sweetness of the dressing; it's a nice change from what I'm used to.
                        Biscuits=yum.
                        I've been to the Frisco and Roanoke locations, and both were great as far as service and food.
                        I couldn't believe the comparisons to Chick-Fil-A and KFC! KFC's chicken is very little chicken/too much batter and grease. And CFA's biscuits are also incredibly greasy, although I love most everything else they serve.
                        Robbn TX, I think you just had one bad experience. Sometimes when one or two things don't go as planned at the beginning of the meal, you tend to see everything else in a negative way. Maybe give it another try.

                        1. re: seh0041

                          I think Babe's is not for everyone ... and no question, it's definitely not for food snobs. Me, I love both ends of the spectrum ... and the middle too, I don't discriminate against the middle.

                      2. re: RobbnTX

                        I had high hopes as well but the salad is gross with all that sugar. The chicken has been greasy every time (actually gave it several chances hoping it was just an 'off' day).

                      3. Hi,

                        What stood out to me in this entire post was that you were pinched and your friend was rude.IMO no need to mention kfc.

                        Darn,did they expect you to walk into the kitchen and rectify all the mistakes? That's what you get for trying to be nice :-)

                        Take Care,Robin