Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dosey Doe - Woodlands, TX

We came across the Dosey Doe by accident, desiring to see the legendary Joe Ely in concert. It turns out that the Dosey Doe is also a fine eating establishment in addition to a neat place to see a concert and get a fine cup of coffee. A visit from Chicken Fried Friends for the distinctly non-CFS holiday of Thanksgiving prompted us to visit the Dosey Doe and see Texas Trubador Shake Russell.

The Dosey Doe is a unique place and very neat. It is actually a transplanted barn – from their website:

Our Dining/Live Music Hall is a 150 year old barn from Kentucky. Hand Hewn (cut by axe instead of saw). It is made entirely of 300 year old growth Oak and Birch. The process of taking the barn down, re-raising it, and finishing it out took two and one half years.

Unique to say the least. The Dosey Doe is dotted inside with dozens of tin metal signs from the petroleum industry’s past and the food/road culture (including sodas made with bark and herbs).

The CFS: Overall, it was very good. The steak was well flattened, chewy and flavorful. It was moist, but not too moist, but this unfortunately added to the soggy factor.

Breading: Southern style. Really southern fried chicken style. The breading was thin like you’d find on fried chicken. Although the gravy was thin (see below), the thin breading got a bit soggy because it was so thin.

Gravy: Classic and excellent. Like a traditional gravy should be, white gravy had strong notes of both white and black pepper. It was very thin but it was only modestly applied. Perhaps there wasn’t enough, but the quality certainly made up for the quality.

Knife: A sizable steak knife was provided but probably not needed! The steak was thin, the breading was thin and the gravy was thin.

Sides: No options – it came with mashed potatoes and “summer vegetables” (which were green beans, zucchini and pearl onions). The mashed potatoes were very good – garlicy and smooth. The veg were also very nice, especially the pearl onions which were a nice touch. I didn’t particularly like that it was served underneath the CFS (see picture) because this caused the potatoes and veg to blend together and make the bottom of the CFS mushy. (also try the Bourbon Pecan Pie – it was fantastic).

Cost: $16.00. So, a bit higher than average but the quality of the food and the experience was worth the price.

Service: Not great. The tables on the main floor are long and all connected together (think Cambridge eating club style). This appears to create a bit of havoc with the wait staff (and apparently the kitchen – our appetizer came out after our main course and a food runner tried to give us a meal that wasn’t ours). But, after dinner was sorted out, our waiter was constantly on the spot with additional whiskey and Coke orders.

Music Selection: Nothing during dinner, but Shake Russell was the live entertainment.

Figuring out whether or not people would go to the Dosey Doe for great music or great food would be folly – both are great and it is always a fun time. They’ve got a great formula and I hope it stays that way.

Monday, December 8, 2008

CFS Homestead - Humble, TX

As a special holiday treat, I decided to bring my knowledge of CFS to our own CFS Test Kitchens! What follows is a (rough) recipe for my first homemade CFS. And, because she doesn’t trust me to diagnose my own illness, Mrs. CFS reviews the final product below.

Breading: The powder consisted of a cup of flour, and a tablespoon each of fresh ground cumin, fresh ground pepper, Kosher salt and white pepper. The liquid was a cup of buttermilk and a cup of heavy cream. I double dipped the steaks (liquid, roux, liquid, roux).

Steak: Cube steaks I bought at H.E.B. It would have been smart for me to retenderize the meat that wasn’t as perforated as it needed to be. I poured about an inch of vegetable oil into a pan (heated to 350 degrees) and tenderly slipped in the meat. I turned the meat part of the way through which, unfortunately, stripped off some of the breading.

Gravy: One cup of buttermilk and one cup of heavy cream. One teaspoon of fresh cumin, two tablespoons of white pepper, a teaspoon of Kosher salt, a teaspoon of garlic and onion powder, a pinch of smoked paprika and a few grinds of black cracked pepper.

I periodically added a pinch of the flour roux from the breading and …whisk, whisk, whisk until it is at the consistency you want (I like it the consistency of a pea soup).

The side was a roasted garlic (about 3 cut up cloves), brussel sprouts and carrot medley. A little salt, pepper, a drizzle of vegetable oil put under a broiler on low for about 30 minutes.

Happy holidays and I hope you enjoy!



Because, as we all know, chefs notoriously overrate or underrate their own cuisine, this is Mrs. CFT’s review of the CFS created by the Chicken-Fried Texan. Overall, the CFS was a good start and Mrs. CFT is hopeful that the dish will be repeated in the CFT household.

The use of buttermilk and white pepper in the gravy left the CFT kitchen smelling great and boded well for the actual CFS. Tater Tot assisted in the preparation of the gravy but Mrs. CFT was not privy to all of the secret ingredients therein.

The meal also was completed very quickly and proved itself to be a tenable weeknight treat.
Steak: A little tough. We used steak knives, though an ordinary one probably would have worked.

Breading: Tasted great, but did not stick well all over the CFS. The taste was nice and peppery, and the breading was crisp but not burnt. Given that CFT does not own a deep fryer, the ability to create a perfect breading might have been but a dream. He tried mightily, and though only ¾ of my steak was actually breaded, the breading itself had great flavor and I am confident that with practice CFT will achieve the full breading required.

Gravy: The gravy was by far the best I’ve had in the CFS realm. Wish they had this gravy at some of the other places we’ve visited. It was peppery, but not too peppery, had good consistency and was plentiful.

Service: …with a smile, and a well-paired beer. Can’t complain.

Side: The CFS was served with a side of roasted vegetables (carrots and brussel sprouts). The veg was nicely seasoned and a nice accompaniment to the CFS. The carrots were nicely roasted and soft but not too soft. The sprouts were flavorful and matched well with the carrots. Though I expected an okra component given the CFT’s predilections, this was a nice, healthy alternative that was both flavorful and filling.

Overall, I enjoyed the at-home CFS experience, and I hope it becomes a more frequent one.
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