Sunday, March 27, 2011

Brady’s Restaurant -- Brady, Texas

EDITOR’S NOTE: Embracing our wanderlust in the summer of 2010, Chicken Fried Father and I set out on an adventure to traverse the “Amarillo Highway,” a stretch of road that runs from Port Lavaca to Texline (on the border of New Mexico) and immortalized in a song by Terry Allen. The following entries chronicle our trip, food-wise at least.


“The Duke” approves. Brady’s Restaurant, located just off Highway 87 in the little town of Brady, is a tidy little roadside place (if a bit over decorated with western style motifs and John Wayne pictures).

Dizzied by traveling many miles from Amarillo and hungry for some classic road food, we started with an order of jalapeno poppers with a blue cheese dressing for dipping. This was a mistake, as the poppers were clearly store bought. They also came out with the fiery heat of a hundred volcanoes. Famished by road hunger, I bit in and was scalded with a scorching blast of processed cheddar cheese. The memory (and scar on the top of my mouth) still haunts me.

Seeking a bit of a change, I chose chicken fried chicken over the chicken fried steak (Chicken Fried Father ordered the steak). It was a good choice. The chicken was well seasoned and pounded very thin (very, very thin). It was so thin that it ended up curling up into a winged origami shape. With a tasty gravy, we’d be all set. Unfortunately the gravy was too soupy and with very little taste. Even a liberal dose of salt and pepper could not bring this CFC back to quality. The chicken fried steak, on the other hand, was also pounded thin but was flavorless. Coupled with the flavorless gravy, there wasn’t much good to say about it, except that I was pleased I hadn’t ordered it.

The CFS was accompanied by green beans, which tasted tinny and were clearly from a can (a tin can), and the CFC was sided by corn, which was also from a can but was less offensive. The mashed potatoes were actually quite tasty. They were lumpy with the skin on and a good garlic flavor. A perfectly buttered and toasted Texas toast was the saving grace for a meal that didn’t satisfy in terms of quantity.

A few tweaks and the CFC would be a good dish. As it is, ask for the gravy on the side.

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