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