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chicken fried steak in texas


I will be in the Austin and San Antonio area next week. Where can I get the best chicken fried steak in these areas? BTW, did Bourdain recently review a BBQ place ?

Best Wishes,

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  1. I can't point you to a chicken fried steak, but can hit BBQ

    Most likely Bourdain hit JMueller and Franklin in Austin. Franklin is the one getting national, even international, acclaim. They are at a level that it is not even fair to say that one is better than the other. What I like at Franklin is that there is a caramelized flavor to the brisket, like the crust on a great burger. You will get through the line at JMueller much more quickly though. If you choose to go to Franklin, make it a weekday, otherwise you'll spend a ridiculous amount of time in line.

    Sorry, I couldn't help with the CFS. I'm down in SA, so if you have any other requests, just ask.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kindofabigdeal

      Thank you, K.. We will be in SA as well. Can you tell me what I should not miss in SA: authentic mexican, I heard there was an amazing doughnut opp? Thank you again, you seem to know true gastronomy... Mille Grazie, Maria

      1. re: maria franzese

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/841231 This has a good listing.

        I'm not aware of any can't miss doughnut down here. I know there's a gordough's in Austin does donuts people rave about, but I've never been.

        For a can't miss, hmmm... I am more budget conscious than some of the other people around here. I think the Monterrey is one of the absolute best values around. Depending on where you're from, though, it may be old hat.

        When I have time on a Saturday I often just drive till I find a taco joint with Borrego or Cabrito, Lamb or Goat. La Bandera Molina is my go-to. Saturday or Sunday only for those dishes. Mapquest it. Google maps doens't work. I'm not saying they are the best, just my go to.

      2. re: kindofabigdeal

        He visited both of them. Hope there is an Austin show in the future! The new season just started with Croatia. A few pics he took in Austin....


      3. You can't go wrong at Threadgills - big, tender CFS, good gravy, with lots of sides to choose from and a cornbread muffin.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Veggo

          I went to Threadgill's (South) last June, and was seriously disappointed.
          Tough meat, crust fell off, peas undercooked.

          1. re: Veggo

            Threadgill's is kind of hit and miss sometimes. Last time i went (North location, about a year ago) i had a good CFS, and good sides. Actually, i 've usually have a good CFS. Other things (chicken livers), this has not always been the case.
            They have free seconds on sides which is always a plus.

            1. My BIL who loves CFS will drive 45 mins. to Austin for that dish at Moonshine. He and my sister will split one--it's huge--and pay a small surcharge for extra sides.

              1. Also, Austin and SA have their own boards, you might do a search on those too.

                1 Reply
                1. The best chicken fried steak I had so far (in order):

                  1. The Grist Mill - New Braunfels

                  2. Grumpy's Mexican Cafe - Selma

                  3. The Antler Cafe - Spring Branch

                  4. SaltGrass Steakhouse - San Antonio

                  5. Clear Springs - San Antonio

                  I want to try the CFS at:

                  Earl Ables

                  Radicke's Blue Bonnet Cafe

                  Tip Top Cafe

                  Jim's (I know it's a chain but I saw the CFS going to a nearby table recently and decided I need to try it sometime)

                  I did try and was disapointed by CFS at:

                  Alamo Cafe - San Antonio

                  Green Mesquite - Austin

                  I had CFS twice at Threadgill's. Once it was great and the other time not so great.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: San Antonio Sam

                    This may prove invaluable. Also, I wouldn't knock a chain. I remember Black Eyed Pea's being pretty solid.

                    1. re: kindofabigdeal

                      I gave up on BEP since last time ordered CFS I got CFC sent it back and got the CFS. I took it home and patched a hole in my driveway!

                      1. re: randyjl

                        Correct! BEP is a shell of its former self. The menu is the same, the food is not edible. At least at the one on Westheimer in Houston.

                    2. re: San Antonio Sam

                      I haven't eaten one in ages.Actually,Grumpy's is on Nacogdoches Road out near Bracken. If you go to Bracken,you can stop at the Bracken Cafe for their good burgers.Don't know if they have chicken fried steak..Have to try Grumpy's sometime. Not impressed by Alamo Cafe for anything,is okay but not worth me going out of my way for.The Antler Cafe is on USHWY 281 North,and there is also a Clear Springs south of New Braunfels on TX Hwy 46, in the town of Clear Springs, that's the original one. I think Popo's Cafe in Nelson City may have it.Their food is good.You have to take IH10 and go past Boerne and get off at the Welfare exit.It's located in the old Nelson City dancehall.

                      Another place is Specht's Store out off Blanco Road north of San Antonio.I think they have a website.

                      Specht's Store has been there for ages,but never eaten there. It might have been a little community at one time, but not much there except a few buildings and the cemetery.

                      1. re: San Antonio Sam

                        Oh yeah - I should add Tejas Rodeo Company in Bulverde to the list of CFS that I would like to try. I went with a ribeye which was pretty good . .but somebody else at our table had the CFS and it looked pretty awesome.

                        Depending on how many "Texas" places you've been to before, Tejas could be considered a "can't miss". It's a really unique place with a rodeo arena outside. They actually have rodeos (on Saturday nights - I think) A fun place to bring visitors to TX.

                        1. re: San Antonio Sam

                          YES!!!! The Tejas Steakhouse has AMAZING food. Honestly--it's soo, soo good. My husband has ordered their CFS, and he polished it off without a second thought. Their gravy is so just so delicious, and the sides are also all great. We also take all of our out of town guests to the Rodeo. It's $10 to get in (cheaper for military), and it's such a fun night. Eat at the steakhouse (or heck, even the BBQ shack which is also good) then go see a real small town rodeo. Very fun, and although it seems like it, it's very un-touristy. It's mostly locals.

                      2. Don't waste your time at Franklin's unless you have 3-4 hours to wait in line and then they may run out of food before they get to you. The only day when there is no line is Monday--they are closed on Monday. If you do decide to go on a weekday, get there between 7:30-8 AM. This is no joke and don't even think of trying to go on the weekend unless you want to hire one of the locals to stand in line for you. I personally think it is overrated. There is some seriously good BBQ elsewhere in Austin and surroundings.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: pollywolly

                          I agree, Pollywolly, we stood in line for over three hours and it was not worth the wait. What other BBQ places are good in Austin?

                          1. re: maria franzese

                            I just found this thread and can't believe no one mentioned Mary's in Strawn. THE best in Texas in a down-home atmosphere. Worth the drive which we do about twice a year! Her's is not deep fried but cooked on the grill top. Awesome gravy and hand-cut fries! Order the giant and take some home for a cold sandwich with Miracle Whip!

                        2. I agree with Randyjl about Mary's in Strawn, but the o.p. is going to be in San Antonio and Austin, and it's 3+ hours to Strawn. BTW, I was a Mary's just last Wed. and it's as good as
                          ever and still packed with eaters from about 11 to 2. Yummmmm.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: amazinc

                            I went to Lulu's in SA last week. Pretty fair CFS. Very meaty flavor. Mashed and gravy were pretty good. Green beans sucked! Watch everyone buy the 3# cinnamon roll! Also DeWeese Tip Top Cafe has good CFS and their cream pies are so good you'll "wanna slap yo' mamma"!