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Best chicken fried steak in Dallas?

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steakrules85 Jul 2, 2010 05:50 PM

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

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  1. c
    CocoaNut RE: steakrules85 Jul 2, 2010 06:23 PM

    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.

    http://www.babeschicken.com/Babes-Chi...

    1 Reply
    1. re: CocoaNut
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      pmallett RE: CocoaNut Mar 14, 2011 12:47 PM

      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. air RE: steakrules85 Jul 2, 2010 07:50 PM

      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
        air RE: air Jul 3, 2010 08:48 AM

        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:
        http://www.dallasfood.org/modules.php...
        http://donnacooks.wordpress.com/2007/...

        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
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          gavlist RE: air Jul 5, 2010 09:08 AM

          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
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            foiegras RE: gavlist Jul 5, 2010 12:32 PM

            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
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              gavlist RE: foiegras Jul 6, 2010 03:01 PM

              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
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                CocoaNut RE: gavlist Jul 6, 2010 03:10 PM

                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
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                  foiegras RE: gavlist Jul 6, 2010 05:24 PM

                  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
                  irodguy RE: foiegras Jul 7, 2010 08:37 AM

                  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
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                    Mike C. Miller RE: irodguy Mar 3, 2011 11:32 PM

                    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
                    bhoward RE: foiegras Jul 7, 2010 11:56 AM

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

                3. re: air
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                  randyjl RE: air Jul 22, 2010 01:44 PM

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

                  1. re: air
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                    CocoaNut RE: air Jul 22, 2010 05:17 PM

                    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
                      air RE: CocoaNut Jul 22, 2010 07:50 PM

                      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
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                        luniz RE: air Jul 23, 2010 08:45 AM

                        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. twinwillow RE: steakrules85 Jul 2, 2010 08:29 PM

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

                  1. r
                    RobbnTX RE: steakrules85 Jul 3, 2010 11:58 AM

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

                    Rob

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: RobbnTX
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                      RobbnTX RE: RobbnTX Jul 4, 2010 03:48 PM

                      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.

                      Rob

                      1. re: RobbnTX
                        twinwillow RE: RobbnTX Jul 4, 2010 05:00 PM

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

                        1. re: RobbnTX
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                          luniz RE: RobbnTX Jul 6, 2010 01:27 PM

                          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
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                            CocoaNut RE: luniz Jul 6, 2010 02:03 PM

                            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
                              amokscience RE: CocoaNut Jul 6, 2010 04:58 PM

                              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
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                                foiegras RE: CocoaNut Jul 6, 2010 05:25 PM

                                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
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                                  randyjl RE: foiegras Jul 22, 2010 01:47 PM

                                  I have never been disappointed in Mary's.

                                  1. re: randyjl
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                                    FoodLover1970 RE: randyjl Mar 3, 2011 02:02 PM

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

                              2. re: luniz
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                                RobbnTX RE: luniz Jul 9, 2010 05:25 PM

                                sorry replied to wrong post

                                1. re: luniz
                                  r
                                  RobbnTX RE: luniz Jul 9, 2010 05:27 PM

                                  deleted, sorry

                            2. f
                              frognot RE: steakrules85 Mar 6, 2011 08:16 PM

                              Poor Richard's in Plano does a good CFS.
                              http://poorrichardscafe.com/

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

                              1. r
                                rdcole RE: steakrules85 Mar 14, 2011 10:57 AM

                                These seem to do a good job with CFS.

                                Matts Rancho Martinez
                                Lucky's Cafe
                                Ozona
                                Mama's Daughter's

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