Where is the best Chicken Fried Steak in Texas?

by david on January 1, 2010

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Here’s an email I received recently from a friend and reader.

Hey David, this is the Kidd in Odessa. Where can a REAL TEXAS HUMAN BEING find a place to eat the best chicken fried steak in Texas? Me and two other buddies are going to spend 2010, sacrificing our time, money, and taste buds trying to find that one place that will satisfy our lust for the best chicken fried steak.

I enlist you for 2 reasons.  One, I know you and your bride appreciate good food.  And two, you have a large readership. This would help our search for the holy grail of the best chicken fried steak.

We would appreciate it if one of your readers might write in and suggest a cafe, resturant, bistro…..whatever.

Here is my reply:

What a noble endeavor!  I can think of no better quest for three Real Texans from Odessa than to search out the very best chicken fried steak in the Great State.  Now that is a goal that is worthy of any good Texan in the year 2010.  And three Real Texans from Odessa are automatically qualified to be the very best of judge of what is and is not a good chicken fried steak in any Texas Cafe or restaurant.

As a certified 5 year survivor of quadruple by-pass surgery no doubt brought on by a lifetime consumption of prodigious platters of chicken fried steak, I also have an informed opinion on this matter.

Two good places to start that are in semi proximity (by West Texas standards) to you and your friends would have to be:

Grandma’s Kitchen – Big Lake, Texas.  Grandma’s make as good an all around chicken fry as you would ever want to eat.  Make sure you get it fresh made.

The Hitchin’ Post – Ozona, Texas.  Their batter and crust is a little different than some you have had, but still good.

My disclaimer:  Times change, restaurants change, and cooks change so what used to be best a few years ago might not be best today.  However, a great chicken fried steak is a thing of beauty to a Real Texan.

Here is a link to a series of articles on another connoisseur’s search for a good chicken fried steak.  The author can recognize a frozen patty CFS (chicken fried steak) a mile away and he gives some really good tips on what an outstanding chicken fried steak should look like and taste like.  And he explains some of  the criteria used to judge an outstanding chicken fried steak.

Every young athlete in Real Texas knows what it is like to eat a chicken fried steak after a sporting event in a neighboring town.  We all grew up on chicken fried steak and we’ve had the good, the bad, and the ugly of this Real Texas dish.

What say you Readers?  Where should three good ole’ boys from Real Texas go to start their search for a great chicken fried steak?

{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

FlorentinNo Gravatar January 1, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Sometimes I just wish there was some kind of Texan/mexican restaurant over here in New Caledonia! even though french cuisine is world-renowned food, i miss texan food ;p. This chicken fried steak picture just threw me tons of old sweet and tasty memories from when I was over big lake 10 years ago!

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JustinNo Gravatar January 1, 2010 at 7:29 pm

I strongly recommend Hill Country Cupboard in Johnson City. I believe it’s the best I’ve had and I, too, love to tour for CFS. Hill Country Cupboard makes the clame that they have the world’s best CFS “with nearly 3 dozen sold”.

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JustinNo Gravatar January 1, 2010 at 8:32 pm

“clame”???? Sorry, “claim”. I can spell.

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Jim in MexicoNo Gravatar January 2, 2010 at 9:02 am

I don’t remember the name of the place but on the highway coming into the square of Stevenville from Ft. Worth there was a small (By Real Texas standards) familey cafe about a block before the square. We used to go, when I was young, to what my folks called a “Singing” and the best reason to go was because we always ate there before we left. Don’t know if it’s still there but for the CFS it would be worth checking out.

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davidNo Gravatar January 2, 2010 at 10:25 am

Hey Jim, good to hear from you as always. We’ll pass that place along
Also, ‘Texas Spring’ replied via twitter: Jake & Dorothys, Stephenville; New York Hill, Thurber. Those are in my neck of the woods.
I’ve noticed the New York Hill and have stopped at the Smokestack in Thurber….

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LowellNo Gravatar January 2, 2010 at 11:45 am

Jim,

I’ll bet you are thinking of Jake and Dorothy’s. It was a fairly small place. They also served waffle cut fries before everybody and his brother did.

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MaryNo Gravatar April 6, 2010 at 9:01 am

The name of that restaurant is Jake and Dorothys in Stephenville. Was just down there this past weekend, my son had twins!

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Jakes CafeNo Gravatar July 8, 2011 at 9:08 am

Jake and Dorothy’s Cafe in Stephenville….been there since 1948 and still going strong…CFS made from ribeye…same as in the beginning..

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SueNo Gravatar January 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm

The best Chicken fried steak in Texas can only be found at Neal’s Cafe at Neal’s Lodges in Concan, Texas. They have been famous for this delicious meal for over 70 years and its still being run by the same family. Concan is north of Uvalde on highway 83 before you get to Leakey. Its a great place to stay also. Their swimmin’ hole is the best on the Frio.
http://www.nealslodges.com

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BobNo Gravatar January 2, 2010 at 4:31 pm

The best chicken fried steak is cooked at the Section Hand in Brownwood, Texas. You will get a big platter full to make the tummy full and happy.

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VernonNo Gravatar September 27, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Bob, I used to tell my kids about Section Hand, I finally got the opportunity to take them and it was the worst experience I think I have ever had. My son had the Jalapeno Poppers to start, they were burnt. The chicken fried steaks were so greasy the gravy wouldn’t stay on them. After I paid and we hadn’t even touched our food, I asked for a manager, I showed the manager the problem with the food. He didn’t seem to care and blew it off. Until I finally picked up the chicken fried steak and squeezed the grease out like ringing out a dirty dish rag. At that point, I was told to leave and never come back. Since we had only eaten a couple of bites, I requested a refund, at that point, I was told that the “manager” was the owner. I could hardly beleive it. He was given the restaraunt by his dad and in my honest opinion, run it into the ground. Sorry to disagree with you on this matter but cannot see a recommendation for Section Hand and not let my story be told.

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Dale SellmanNo Gravatar January 2, 2010 at 5:27 pm

The best “Chickin Fried Steak” according to my guests who have eatin it with us is…….Dale Sellman’s. We are transplanted Texans who live in West Palm Beach. Fl. now and If you want to drive down and eat with us, we would be happy to have you!

Oh, did that sound like I bragged? Well, there is a reason for that, I did!

Always remember, that atmosphere, friends and fellowship, will guide your decisions on the best of anything.

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the kiddNo Gravatar March 3, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Dale, where is your place at. The “3 Amigos” are planning thier next trip.

Need to check out your “brag”

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the kiddNo Gravatar March 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Ok, so it is in Florida, (just noticed that), we could turn our quest into the best CFS in the South.

Need names and pictures…….

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Dale SellmanNo Gravatar January 2, 2010 at 5:50 pm

mia culpa, mia maxima culpa,. I just noticied that you were looking for the best Chicken Fry in TEXAS I should not have responded. I apoligize

Dale

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the kidderNo Gravatar January 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Dave, maybe I should break the CFS into two categories. One category would need to be breaded and the other category should be lightly or non breaded.
I will admitt that I have eaten at Grandma’s in Big Lake and they do serve a good, but not great, CFS. I have been to Thurber and ate at those two places and the opinion of the “three traveling amigos” was they were “ok”. Nothing stood out about them. Basically Grandma’s was better in comparison.
Gosh, I know that I am going to be ex-comunicated from being a REAL TEXAS HUMAN BEING by saying this. But right now the standard for all CFS to beat is at the Western Sizzler on I-40 in Elk City Oklahoma. I have a farm near this place and by a fluke went in there and ordered a CFS. I finally stopped a 3 and a half.
So please help me. Oklahoma has been subjugated in the REAL TEXAS sport, for sure there is a place in this great beef State that can outdo them when it comes to a Chicken Fried Steak.
I appreciate your readers interest.

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davidNo Gravatar January 3, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Yep Mr. Kidder, hope you are just joshin’ us about the O-place having a great chicken fry. But I have faith, just keep looking in Texas. There have been some good suggestions,. Have you tried Sue’s suggestion. And Threadgills down around Austin way is semi-famous. Just keep on trying the Texas fare and you won’t get ex-communicated. …..but you did come close to heresy.

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ANDY BOWENNo Gravatar January 4, 2010 at 3:03 pm

THREADGILL’S IN AUSTIN ON N LAMAR. REALLY GOOD CFS WHICH COVERS (SOME HANGING OVER) A LARGE PLATE, COVERED IN GRAVY, SERVED WITH GARLIC MASHED POTATOES (WITH SKINS ON) THEY ALSO SERVE REALLY GOOD FRIED CHICKEN LIVERS WITH KETCHUP AND TOBASCO. i HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYONE FINISH THE PLATE ( ALWAYS GET A TO GO CARTON TO MAKE SANDWICHES FOR NEXT DAYS LUNCH)

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Irvin BrunkenhoeferNo Gravatar January 4, 2010 at 3:18 pm

try all of these and then end up in the little town of Strawn, just off I20 on your way West to Ranger & Cisco. Not only the best, but also the largest! Plus, they serve mountain oysters too! Every time I return to the Cisco High School All Years Reunion via air into Dallas, I detour to Strawn’s Mary’s Cafe. The 2 pieces of steak take up the whole platter (not a plate). If that doesn’t suit you, order the giant Mexican dinner!

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davidNo Gravatar January 4, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Mmmmm…..man that place sound great Irvin. Gonna stop there next time for sure.

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MaryNo Gravatar April 6, 2010 at 9:07 am

I grew up in Dublin and went to college is Cisco. Had the best time of my life there. Haven’t been back to Cisco for many years. Wish I had it to do all over again.

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GwenNo Gravatar July 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm

i’m with these marys cafe has the best cfs ever!!!!

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jim pNo Gravatar January 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Jake & Dorothys is very good. Try Jax Grill, Kelly’s and Hickory Hollow when in Houston area.

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LowellNo Gravatar January 11, 2010 at 1:00 pm

The Section Hand in Brownwood is OK. The Hobo Depot in Liberty Hill is also fair. I don’t think I have found a CFS like we used to get 20-30 years ago. Perhaps is is a lot art. My wife still makes the best.

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louNo Gravatar January 13, 2010 at 2:07 pm

best CFS in texas….besides at my house, try mary’s cafe in strawn. i drive from austin to strawn, have lunch, drive back. it’s that good.

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davidNo Gravatar January 15, 2010 at 9:13 am

Hey Lou – Good to hear from you. I Googled Mary’s Cafe and a whole bunch of references came up. You can bet I’m gonna try it asap. How ’bout it Kidder, ever been to Strawn and Mary’s Cafe?

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the kidderNo Gravatar February 24, 2010 at 10:40 am

David, this Friday, the 3 amigos are making a pilgramage to Strawn to check out the CFS. There are 3 different tongues that will be able to give the CFS a fair taste test. I will be in touch………

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louNo Gravatar February 24, 2010 at 11:00 am

kidder et al,
this will be a great weekend to have one of mary’s cfs…beautiful weather, nice drive. i know y’all will love it. and if you feel adventurous the next weekend, try a cfs at the gristmill in gruene…but i still vote mary’s cafe in strawn as the best. and i’ve had a few…i seem to remember excellent cfs at the 67 steakhouse in big lake when i was young. ahhh, youth…

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davidNo Gravatar February 24, 2010 at 11:22 am

Dang y’all are making me hungry! I drove through Johnson City earlier this week and took a photo of the Country Cupboard restaurant. They say THEY have the world’s best Chicken Fried Steak……Mr. Kidder, you’ll have to post back and tell Lou how it went in Strawn…

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louNo Gravatar March 2, 2010 at 7:17 pm

i’m waiting…

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davidNo Gravatar March 2, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Lou Lou-
Here is what Mr.Kidder had to say so far…..
We left Midland at 8:30 and drove to Strawn to get there by lunch. It was, by oilfield standards, just a regular “cafe”. There were dining rooms added to the main building kind of like the old Lowake’s had.

We found a table in one of the rooms and ordered.

When they brought this meal out, we liked to have pissed in our pants. The table was not big enough to hold a lunch order for 3 people. It might have worked for 2 but not three.

Did the meal pass the taste test?

With flying colors. The CFS was a flour sprinkled, grilled fried chunk of meat. It was so tender that you could have cut it with a plastic fork.

Of course we did not eat it all. In fact the day we were there, the Strawn school system was having a power lift meet and every school brought their kids to eat at Mary’s. You would think these kids, who burn a lot of calories, would eat every thing on their plate. There was so much food on their plates that they did not even come close to finishing it off.

I made the comment that whoever cooked this meal had to be from Arkansas. A waitress overheard me and said that Mary herself was there, would we like for her to go get her? Yes we said, and in just a bit we had the privledge of getting to meet Ms. Mary. We had a great conversation and I think she was impressed that we drove from Midland, Texas to Strawn just to eat. In fact she gave us three huge-to go-CFS so we could have supper later when we got back home. She gave them to us.

Personally I had found a little bit of heaven. It is now the bar from which all FLOURED, GRILLED, FRIED CHICKEN FRIED STEAK will be judged by.

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the kiddNo Gravatar March 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Lou, you were exactly right, it was not just good, it was…….GREAT !

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JeffNo Gravatar March 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I don’t remember the name of the place but it is located in Zapata, Texas just outside of a Motel along the highway. The chicken fried steak hung over the edge of the plate and the taste was great. I have not been there since the early 90’s but ate there as often as I could.

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the kidderNo Gravatar March 10, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Jeff, was it milk, egg, and floured and then dropped into a deep fryer? Or was it lightly floured and fried in a pan or on top of a grill?
Remember we have separated the CFS into 2 different catergories now.

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garypilsitzNo Gravatar May 10, 2010 at 7:27 pm

I too quest for the holly grail of CFS, yet to try Lulu’s in Sna Antonio, but here it is great.

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CHUCKNo Gravatar August 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Guys the Best CFS is just arount the corner in San Angelo at Margaret Hines Western Skies on N. Chadbourne. Best CFS IN Texas. Dont go during Rodeo or Roping week you will wait 2-3 hours.

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JOHN KiddNo Gravatar October 2, 2010 at 9:56 pm

David,
The end of the year is coming to a close and the “3 Amigos” have truely had a wonderful adventure so far. Trying to find the absolute best CFS has been a daunting task. So far we have met some really nice people and ate some really great food. I can report that we have gained an estimated 13 lbs a piece! I will let everyone know what our finding was at the end of the year……

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WaleedNo Gravatar November 15, 2010 at 2:55 pm

David,

My girlfriend and I are visiting Texas and are looking for the best CFS anywhere between Dallas and San Antonio. Any recs would be appreciated. Also, the picture at the top of the article looks great, where is that CFS from? Thanks for your time.

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louNo Gravatar November 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm

i stand by mary’s in strawn…

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Johnny KiddNo Gravatar November 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Walleed, you have got to qualify whether or not you want a battered deep fried or a floured sprinkled grilled fried chicken fry. There is a BIG difference in taste and quality.
Lou is right, if you are looking for a loooottttttt of food and a great CFS then go south from Dallas to Strawn. Once you eat do not attempt to get on the road and drive until you have had a chance to take a nap.

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jim pNo Gravatar November 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm

I have been that route and thats how I found Jake and Dorthys in Stephensville. They have CFK and Country Fried Steak.

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ZakNo Gravatar November 19, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Best CFS I have ever had is in Zapata Texas at a place called El Paraiso.

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Brian BrandtNo Gravatar January 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm

My great grandfather trailed a herd from the Brazos country around Roby to Miles City Montana after the Brazos drought of 1887. I assume some of that bunch headed north in those days brought the Chicken Fried Steak to Montana — the only place outside Texas I’ve had a great one. Now 95% of them come off a Sysco truck. I have a serious end-of-life quest too — the best CFS, the best Irish Coffee, the best Rueben, and the best Philly Cheese Steak sandwich. So when you tally up the results of your CFS quest, zing it along and I’ll drive down to Texas and eat me one. Or a couple. Spent a lot of time in Houston, Austin, and the hill country — feels like home.

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Johnny KiddNo Gravatar February 15, 2011 at 11:32 pm

I can’t do better than Marys, you will like it to. Dining there will fulfill two of lifes bucket list items.
1. you will get probably one of the best CFS that the Great State of Texas has to offer. And when you think how big our state is, that is saying a lot.
2. You will meet some of the BFF one could possibly have for the rest of thier life.
When you get here, let me know.
I am beginning to think Davids readers ought to have a semi convention of some kind there.

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HaroldNo Gravatar January 22, 2011 at 10:19 pm

My wife and I have eaten at Mary’s in Strawn and we had to split the meal, it was so huge. Great CFS with all the trimmings.

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JerryNo Gravatar February 15, 2011 at 11:02 pm

I’ve eaten a lot of cfs in my 62 years and I must say that The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo (home of the free 72oz steak) rivals any that I have had elsewhere in the state.

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Johnny KiddNo Gravatar February 15, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Jerry, the Big Texan Steak Ranch was one of those places that the three amigos had on thier list to visit. The way things worked out, I was the only one who got to try the Steak Ranch. And for me it was the second time. However the recent trip proved to me that over the years these guys had not improved on thier quality or taste. Thier sides were not all that good either.
The bar for the CFS was set by Marys cafe in Strawn Texas. My suggestion to you is to not eat for about a week, go visit Marys, order the LARGE CFS, try to eat it all, but I promise you will wind up taking a to go box home with you.

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louNo Gravatar February 16, 2011 at 8:56 am

…i think it’s time for a little road trip to strawn…haven’t been to see mary in a while now…kidd, i knew y’all would not be disappointed…

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Jakes CafeNo Gravatar July 8, 2011 at 9:12 am

Forgot to mention the hand cut waffle fried potatoes along with the CFS…@Jake and Dorothy’s Cafe in Stephenville, located just 3 blocks east of the court house…4 sizes of CFS available..

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DavidNo Gravatar July 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

Jake, there are tons of mentions of Jake and Dorothy’s and we have to put you place on our list for sure…..sounds like a genuine Real Texas chicken fried steak to me!!

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MaryNo Gravatar July 9, 2011 at 10:21 am

I live just outside of Tulsa, OK now but make frequent trips to Stephenville (to see the twins who are 15 months old now). Next time I go “home” I am going to Strawn for Mary’s CFS. Now that I am thinking about this, I may just go real soon. Thanks for all the posts. TEXAS here I come!!

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CoachNo Gravatar July 20, 2011 at 9:59 am

Mary’s is awfully good and quite possibly the best in the state. It ranks in my top 5 easy:

1. Goodson’s Cafe (Tomball)
2. Mary’s Cafe (Strawn)
3. Heitmillers (Elm Mott, which is north Waco)
4. Bluebonnet Cafe (Marble Falls)
5. Rocket Cafe (Rocket)

I’m hungry now!

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ken kennemerNo Gravatar August 28, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Mary’s cafe in Strawn…hands down it is the best. Too bad its so Damm far from anywhere.

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Johnny KiddNo Gravatar August 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm

I am really enjoying all of the comments that are being posted. I hope that everyone has had a chance to visit Mary’s. It would be pretty neat if the next person who had heard about it on this blog might mention it to Mary. I am going to go back to my alma mater (Howard Payne University) and make a little side trip to Stephenville to Jake & Dorothy’s. I will give a post as I think the Mary’s compares. This ought to be interesting.

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johnny kiddNo Gravatar October 1, 2011 at 11:01 am

David, just learned that there is a Chicken Fried Steak Festival in Lamesa Texas. It is held the last weekend in April. This year there were about 12(?) paricipants that were cooking. That may seem like a small number, but this thing just got started. I hope to be able to go this next year. I will keep up with the date and try to remind those lovers of CFS the date so they can come. I would love to see some of the Real Texas Texans there. Maybe we can wear something that help us to recognize each other. Something like a coon skin hat, aka Davy Crockett.

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ChrisNo Gravatar January 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm

I see a lot of recommendations for Goodson’s in Tomball, But I was wondering if anybody remembers the original. It was called Ma’ Goodson’s Cafe, a little “joint” with four or five tables, and Ma’ did all the cooking (and a lot of yelling at her help!). There were three sizes, and they were all an entire fried round steak, complete with the bone! I always ordered the medium, which completely covered the huge plate, with the french fries piled on the steak, pan-made gravy on the side. I never saw a large one, but it’s my guess that they served it on some type of baking pan! This is the Goodson’s that was known around Houston, and the place that made the name famous. I was away from the Houston area for a few years, and upon my return, a friend invited me to go to Goodson’s for a CFS. He didn’t have to ask twice! However, I thought we were in the wrong place when we pulled up to a large, fairly new restaurant. Long story short, the server told me that Ma passed away, and the current owner purchased the name and ran with it. Unfortunately, the new one is nothing like the old one. The CFS was good, but no better than most cafe CFS’s. It was a breaded cube steak that the breading didn’t adhere to, with packaged white gravy. Average for a city restaurant, but poor for a country cafe. I never felt the need to drive all the way to Tomball for a CFS again.

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ChrisNo Gravatar January 5, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Ok, writing about CFS’s built up a mean craving! I just went to Guerra’s Grill in Gonzales for a small Texas town cafe CFS. It was everything I’d hoped for! It was large, the breading was well seasoned and adhered tightly to the meat. There was absolutely no grease under the steak, and the last bite had almost as much crunch as the first. I’m pretty sure that the gravy came to town in the truck with the big blue “S” on the side, but they thankfully just used it as a base. The gravy mix was doctored up enough to have a lot of characteristics of good ol’ pan gravy. This may not be in the “Best of Texas” race, but the CFS had pretty much everything I look for in the dish, in this type of setting. Heck, I’ve driven a lot further for a CFS not nearly as good as this one, that I still enjoyed! They also have my favorite cheeseburger in town, and their Mexican food is top-notch. If you’re near Gonzales, I think it’s well worth the detour.

1303 Saint Lawrence Street
Gonzales, Texas

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David LylesNo Gravatar February 3, 2012 at 9:26 am

I grew up in Ponder Texas and believe The Ranchmans Cafe should fall in the best chicken fried steak category somewhere.

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john kiddNo Gravatar February 3, 2012 at 8:50 pm

David, can you believe this quest is still going? It is starting its 2nd year!!

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john kiddNo Gravatar February 3, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Ok, maybe it would be its third year to some mathmatical wizzes,…..sorry!

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Irv BrunkenhoeferNo Gravatar February 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I sent my recomendation of Mary’s Cafe in Strawn in 2010, and am glad that so many folks have tried it and agree that it is the biggest and best. Ate my first mountain oyster there and it was delicious (once I got past the though of it). Hope Mary’s is still there on my next trip to Cisco’s All Class Reunion, In fact, at 77 yrs old, I hope I’M still here too!

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HeraclitusNo Gravatar February 22, 2012 at 10:38 am

I’ve traveled extensively for many years now and have eaten CFS anywhere and everywhere I can find one. I could throw in some out of staters for good measure but to stick to the topic at hand, here’s my top 3:

1. HILL COUNTRY CUPBOARD (Johnson City)
2. Mary’s Cafe (Strawn)
3. Too many to call but maybe Ranchman’s in Ponder despite no mashed potatoes. Nothing aggravates me more than CFS without mash.

Far and away, hand’s down, Hill Country Cupboard is the best CFS I’ve had ANYWHERE, not just in Texas. In fact I live in North Texas and make the trip down to Johnson City multiple times a year just for this freakin’ CFS. It’s practically a pilgrimage. Perfect.

BTW for what it’s worth, Jake and Dorothy’s would not even make my top 20 if I had one. Not impressed and I’ve had it more than once.

ALL HAIL THE CHICKEN FRIED STEAK!!!

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HeraclitusNo Gravatar February 22, 2012 at 10:44 am

Update: I’d like to throw in Stockyard Cafe in Amarillo for the tie at third and maybe even outright.

Also like to mention I’ve had all those previously mentioned with the exception of Goodson’s and Grandma’s.

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Gary PilsitzNo Gravatar December 13, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Grandmas is not impressive at all.

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FriscoSteveNo Gravatar March 15, 2013 at 10:37 pm

I have been to Mary’s and I must say I was not impressed. I cannot say I have found the best chicken fried steak in Texas but I have had some good ones. I would have to rate the best one at a little breakfast and lunch diner in Farmers Branch, Texas called Pete’s. It is great and comes with good homemade gravy. Also, among the best would be Babe’s. There are several locations in the DFW area.

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davidNo Gravatar March 16, 2013 at 8:08 am

Good observations, Steve. Part of the fun in the life of a Real Texan is the search….and I agree it is ongoing. Some of the best CFS I have ever had has been at the little mom and pop places around the Great State.

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CBVNo Gravatar July 28, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Mary’s is a great CFS. What makes a good start on a good CFS is that it’s NOT cooked in the fryelator for starters. It’s cooked on the grill. Zentners in San Angelo used to have one of the best CFS around. The gravy was spectacular as well as the way the CFS was cooked on the grill. It was much like the origins of real CFS cooked in a cast iron skillet. Cooking them in the fryelator kills the taste of the meat because it’s cooked right in the same grease as the chicken, tater tots, fish, onion rings and everything else. All the meat essences are cooked right out.

The CFS cooked in the fryelator look great but just don’t have a lot of taste.

Mary’s does cook theirs on the flat grill top. It’s cooked right but has a bit of a grease aftertaste. That being said, it’s right up there some of the best I have had.

The Steak place in Goldsmith has a great CFS. Victorias in Iraan is pretty decent as well. Victorias used to be the “Old House”. The Market in Odessa cooks a CFS right. They do a combination of fryelator for a few minutes and finish it off on the grill. Good gravy most of the time.

If a place cooks their CFS in the fryelator, I usually don’t order it. It’s pretty simple. Cook it right, or I’m not going to waste my time on it. 🙂

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Tom JonesNo Gravatar December 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Tip Top Cafe since 1938 is the best!

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Gary PilsitzNo Gravatar December 13, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Henry’s diner in San Angelo makes a very good CFS, slightly orange in color with a very tasty sauce. On Thursdays it’s on the specials menus!

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Troy GipsonNo Gravatar December 26, 2014 at 11:46 am

I’m from Ky. and i visit Temple Tx. quite often over the years and my favorite CFS is at the “Oscar Store” near Temple, TX. The one I had there was near big as the plate, gravy was excelent. Well worth giving a try. Friendly staff and is an awesome place to visit. You can look them up on the web for directions. Well worth giving a try…Troy

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Troy GipsonNo Gravatar December 26, 2014 at 11:55 am

Question? Does CFS mean Chicken Fried Steak? If so, in my comments i meant to say Country Fried Steak.. Somebody school this old Ky boy…

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DavidNo Gravatar December 26, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Troy-
You are certainly correct in that CFS does stand for Chicken Fried Steak, a great staple of Texas foodstuffs. Mr. Kidd and his other dos amigos have considered a subcategory of breaded CFS and very lightly breaded CFS, so be sure and add those designations in your reports…..Always good to hear from you.

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Dale WestbrookNo Gravatar February 6, 2015 at 4:46 am

I am 62 years old and have eaten CFS all over Texas following the oilfield around. Since reading this article I am going to try some of these recommendations out. The Woolf’s Den in Gainesville Texas has a very good CFS. Very tender with Cream potatoes or fries and I usually get extra gravy. I have just been eating there since 1914.

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