Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dixie Diner - Texarkana, TX

Continuing along Highway 59, Chicken Fried Father and I rolled into Texarkana late and looking for sustenance.

We again did a Google search for a place for grub -- although this worked out great in Nac, it didn't work so well in Texarkana. We came across the Dixie Diner for a late night supper.

Having three chicken fried steaks in as many days, I switched it up and ordered a chicken fried steak sandwich. The dish came with a side and rolls for a slightly inflated $9.95.

The rolls were fine and the cornbread was pretty good (even if a bit dry). I got the fried okra which were way overcooked, dried out and salty. I pity ate four more than I should have.

The CFSS was decent -- layered with tomato and lettuce (and some stolen gravy from Chicken Fried Father's CFS) it made for a nice dish. The steak was tender enough to bite through, critical for biting a sandwich. The flavor wasn't great, but in a sandwich this is forgivable. The pillowy bun was nicely toasted and could hold on to all the supporting cast which I included mayo and mustard.

Overall an uneven meal but it hit the spot after a long day of traveling. I'm not sure I'd go back but the menu was large and varied and the staff friendly (even for 9 pm on a Wednesday).

Monday, August 15, 2011

Butcher Boys - Nacogdoches, TX

Continuing our road trip up and down the 59 highway, we rolled into Nacogdoches ("Nac") around lunchtime. I've always liked Nac when I've visited but never gotten to explore the town much. After strolling through the old downtown, including another in a series of unfortunately abandoned interesting theater, we did a Google search for CFS and Nac. This doesn't always work out well, but in this case it worked brilliantly.

The iPhone search turned up Butcher Boys, a large restaurant with an expansive menu. Since we had donuts about an hour earlier in Lufkin and since Chicken Fried Father is a senior citizen (but just barely), we ordered the $5.95 senior lunch: a CFS and a side.

Wow, what a deal. The CFS was amazing. The steak was so tender and had the perfect bite. There was so much flavor, even under the crispy breading and gravy. The gravy was perfect - great seasoning, flavorful and creamy.

We also ordered a side we haven't seen much in our travels: fried green tomatoes. The CGT were the perfect mix of tart and savory. Although they are often served with a ranch-type sauce, the absence of this on the plate made us even more appreciative of the flavor. (it even inspired us to buy some on the roadside in Tenaha, TX and make it at home).

I don't say this much, but this is among the best CFS in Texas. Go get some!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fried Chicken?

An email from a reader recently asked me about the best fried chicken in Texas. My favorite is Frenchy's in Houston (followed by Bar-B-que Inn in Houston) buy I want to hear what you all think. Leave comments below.

This certainly reminds me that there are more chicken fried items than just steak. This is fortuitous because the State Fair is just around the corner....!

The Hanging Tree - Goliad, TX

Indulging our summer wanderlust, Chicken Fried Father and I hit the road to explore the culinary bounty of south and east Texas. This summer, we took Highway 59 north and south - Laredo to Texarkana.

Our love of Texas history matches our love for Texas vittles, so we stopped in Goliad for a lesson in Texas history. Nestled in a wonderful town square, we took lunch at The Hanging Tree, named for the actual tree where those found guilty of capital crimes outside the courthouse, which is across the street from the restaurant.

I had the chicken fried ribeye and it didn't disappoint. Pounded thin and packed with flavor, the CF'R' was tender (almost fork tender) and coated with a unique thin crust. The crust was more crispy than crunchy, a perfect compliment to the tender steak, anything more dense would upset the balance of textures. The broccoli was terrific - fresh and flavorful. The mashed potato, covered in the same gravy as the CFR, had great potato flavor and was well seasoned.

Although an unconventional choice, try the $3 upgrade to the chicken fried ribeye. There is more to 'chicken frying' than top round.

(Excuse any errors! I'm testing a new blogging by phone app.)
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