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Jul 2, 2010 05:50 PM

Best chicken fried steak in Dallas?

I am coming from NYC and LOVE CFS. I really want the authentic real thing. Who serves the best?

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  1. Go to Babe's Chicken Dinner House. Multiple locations but if you're in the North Dallas area, the closest would probably be Carrollton. Also, the best fried chicken you'll ever wrap your lips around - but go hungry, each chicken order consist of 4 pieces, ie, 1/2 chicken (no sharing). All entree's include unlimited sides.


    1 Reply
    1. re: CocoaNut

      Babe's is fine if you want to eat a lot of food, but it's not exactly the best of anything. It's good and consistent and you get a lot for the money. Well worth it when it's what you crave. But really everything is just, "good" at best. Not great.

    2. I'll give a nod for Ozona. Can't think of any other that I've liked more than theirs in this area.

      13 Replies
      1. re: air

        That last post was quickly made from my phone so here's some more points to consider now that I've sat down on a pc:

        I last went to Ozona a little over a month ago and the CFS still has that nice balance between beefy flavor and well-seasoned batter. They no longer have Abita root beer, but that's because they're switching to St. Arnold. I'd suggest order them with a side of garlic potatoes and if the time of day is right, enjoy the patio. Donna mentioned Kelly's Eastside, and I'd agree they do a good one too, but not as tender as Ozona's so just a matter of what you are looking for in a CFS.

        And regarding Babe's and Norma's - both of them are frozen and pre-battered, so I wouldn't consider them anywhere near the best. Mama's Daughter's, Mecca... heck even Bone Daddy's (dead serious) does a better one than either of them.

        1. re: air

          I've only eaten CFS a few times, so I'm far from an authority. But I've also really enjoyed Ozona's version. AllGood Cafe was pretty good too. For me, "good" means reasonably tender meat with a noticeably beefy flavor, crispy batter, and a gravy that isn't too thick/pasty/heavy. It's an added bonus for me if the gravy has something interesting going on - like a nice kick of jalapeno or something. I've had good bites from the CFS at Park on Henderson, too - but those guys are notorious for uneven performance, and I've heard as many bad reports as good.

          1. re: gavlist

            IMO, cream gravy is a classic & I don't want anything 'interesting' showing up in mine!! Can you please disclose whose has a 'nice kick of jalapeno or something'?

            Recently I was at Saltgrass just because it was right around the corner from work, and I tried their CFS just because I've been trying it wherever I see it on the menu lately. Their gravy has an overwhelming flavor of bacon ... completely distracting ... and so wrong.

            1. re: foiegras

              yeah. As I was writing that, I realized that in this regard I deviate from my typical purist preferences. Probably because I didn't grow up with it, and I've found most cream gravies to be pasty and salty, but not very flavorful. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I had the "interesting" gravies... but I seem to recall having a couple that clearly had some atypical spiciness going on. I think one was at Hully & Mo's, where I had a single bite of my companion's CFS. As I recall, the gravy was good (meaty and spicy, and more brown than most)... the steak so-so.

              1. re: gavlist

                If it was "more brown" than most - it may have been made from pan drippings which always makes the best gravies - be they beef, pork or poultry.

                1. re: gavlist

                  It is supposed to be flavorful ... the flavor coming from the pepper (traditionally lots of black pepper--I use white + also a bit of cayenne in mine when I pan-fry chicken livers) and the dairy. I do make it in the pan, so mine is very flavorful. If you add other weird stuff, you can no longer taste the cream--not that most cream gravies are made with cream, but when they are, it's fabulous. I still remember a wonderful true cream gravy that I had more than 20 years ago ...

                2. re: foiegras

                  Several places are now doing Jalapeño cream gravy. Among these Kelly's east side and Tin Star. Kelly's steak is better, but while prefab the Tin Star variety is okay.

                  1. re: irodguy

                    Speaking of Jalepeno gravy, Celebration is touting it with their CFS. Against my better judgment inwas talked into it by the ravings of the waiter. So so at best and not an improvement IMHO.

                  2. re: foiegras

                    I agree with foiegras--best way to ruin a CFS is to do something "interesting" to the gravy.

                3. re: air

                  I have never had a frozen CFA at Babe's! Norma's used to be good, now it's terrible.

                  1. re: air

                    Frozen and pre-battered? really???? I've only eaten one CFS there, found I prefer the chicken - hands down - but I've certainly heard many people carry on (to the good) about the CFS. Hard to believe it's frozen when they do their own chicken so exceptionally. Will have to ask them about it the next time I go. I've found them (the servers) to be very honest when asked a straight out question, ie - the potatoes are not fresh, but that can easily be detected by taste.

                    1. re: CocoaNut

                      My cfs statement was only with regard to one experience that certainly will not be repeated again as it will take me a lot of convincing to believe otherwise. The cfs had this freezer burned taste and was gristly and rubbery. It seemed too uniformly shaped to be hand batterred and I stand by my assessment that it is nowhere near the best I've ever had in the area. I do enjoy their chicken much more.

                      1. re: air

                        We asked them what kind of beef they used and the waitress said "I'm not sure, it comes in a big box that says..." well I forget what exactly what she said but it was something generic enough that we couldn't tell for sure but probably round. "Beef cutlet" or something like that. It could be that the cutlet itself was freezer burned and it was breaded and deep fried on site.

                4. Try Norma's on W. Davis in Oak Cliff. It's a "down home food" institution and shouldn't be overlooked.

                  1. Try the Big Tex Chicken Fried Steak at Love and War in Texas in Plano.


                    10 Replies
                    1. re: RobbnTX

                      Oh by the way, I believe the Big Tex Chicken Fried Steak served at Love in War is a hand cut hand breaded pan fried steak more akin to what I grew up with than the deep fried versions found in most places today. It is a big steak and you have to have a good appetite to finish one off, served with garlic mashed potatoes, cream gravy, and smoked corn on the cob.


                      1. re: RobbnTX

                        Stop it. You're killing me! I want that meal, right now!

                        1. re: RobbnTX

                          I'm reasonably sure it's deep fried not pan fried, but it is pretty good, as are the sides. Better than Babe's which is overrated imo. Kelly's Eastside and Allgood are also pretty good, I haven't been to Ozona yet. If you really want the absolute best CFS money can buy, drive out to Strawn and get it at Mary's.

                          Allgood Cafe
                          2934 Main St, Dallas, TX 75226

                          1. re: luniz

                            I wonder, if after traveling by whatever mode from NYC, one would actually be willing to drive 2-1/2 hours for CFS. Maybe....... It is pan-fried and the gravy carries the credentials of what would be served by your granny of years gone by, but during my 2 visits, the steak had its share of gristle. Don't know.....

                            1. re: CocoaNut

                              A spate of pretty mixed (recent) reviews has kept me form driving out to find out about Mary's. Lack of consistency is just as bad as being bad.

                              1. re: CocoaNut

                                Thanks for the gristle report. To me, that kills CFS. I've been hearing about Mary's, and I guess you just saved me a trip ...

                                1. re: foiegras

                                  I have never been disappointed in Mary's.

                                  1. re: randyjl

                                    Our Place Restaurant in Mansfield, TX!!!! I made myself hungry thinking about it!

                            2. Poor Richard's in Plano does a good CFS.

                              Poor Richard's
                              2442 K Ave, Plano, TX 75074