Texas Chicken-Fried Steak

by Jane & Michael Stern
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It seems logical that the Lone Star State’s favorite comfort food, chicken-fried steak, traces its heritage back to central European immigrant cooks who found themselves in Texas but without the fixin’s for a fine, tender cut of veal to make wiener schnitzel. Instead, they took a hunk of cow and beat the chaw out of it, then fried it up like southern-style chicken and served it with pan-dripping peppered milk gravy and mashed potatoes. This genealogical speculation is supported by the fact that the Hill Country, with its preponderance of German great-grandmas, is home of so many excellent chicken-fried steaks. In many other places throughout the Southwest, CFS means diner grub at its worst.

1

Monument Café

The Monument Café in Georgetown makes some of the best pies in Texas; meals that precede them (including breakfast) are masterful roadside-restaurant classics.

2

Hoover’s Cooking

One of the great enduring restaurants of Austin, Texas, Hoover's Cooking has a wide menu from smoke-cooked meats to classic southern sides & Cajun specialties.

3

Private: City Café

The City Cafe of Elgin, Texas, has a fine full menu, but its chicken fried steak is supreme: gnarled and crusty, golden brown with a brittle crust.

Must Eats
Pie , Yams
4

Hill Country Cupboard

Texas Hill Country is is home of some superb chicken-fried steaks; this spacious restaurant in Johnson City is a contender for the blue ribbon best.

Must Eats
Chicken Fried Steak , German Sausage Dinner, Ice Tea
5

Norma’s Cafe

For biscuits and gravy in the morning or square meals and mile-high pie, Norma's diner has been a Dallas favorite since the 1950s.

6

Stockyard Cafe

Located in the big sale barn at the Amarillo stockyards, this cafe is cowpunchers’ heaven with a mostly-steak menu plus honest hash-house breakfast.