Chicken Fried Steak
by Jim & Sandy (Quinlan, TX)
Now I admit I am a Texan through and through, and I may be a little predjudiced about some things, but this needs to be told. We just got back from our last road trip up to S. Dakota where we did the Mt Rushmore thing along with Custer and Crazy Horse. A few check-offs from our “bucket list”.
When we got to Hot Springs, S. Dakota it was gettin’ on about noonish and we had an appetite building. My wife/friend/navigater said we ought to stop and eat lunch at one of the local cafes. She had a hankerin’ for some fried chicken, and a big chicken fried steak sounded like a full feed bag to me. After all, our cardiologist wasn’t riding with us this time… so what the heck?
We found a nice looking family cafe, that was just as busy as all get out. Going on the rule that “if it’s busy as heck, the locals must like it” – that means good food. We went in, were shown to our table, placed our order and made our round of the salad bar, which was out fitted with all the rabbit food you could ever want.
About half way through our salad came the main course. My wife’s chicken was golden brown, just like mama used to make. On the other hand, my chicken fried steak was prepared like this: take a decent tenderized cut of meat, dip it into a batter that has a high amount of corn meal in it. Slap it in a skillet with about 1/4 inch of grease in it and cook it as you would a pancake but at a lower temperature. Then flip it over and cook the other side until it has soaked up all the grease. Then put an orange slice in the plate, pour two tablespoons of gravy over that and then put the “chicken fried steak” on top of all that, but for Gods sake don’t put any gravy on top of the pan cake… I mean pan steak. It might hide the grease still dripping off it.
Then the little waitress came back by and made the mistake of asking how everything was. I told her that I know it wasn’t her fault but that was the toughest, nastiest looking “chicken fried steak” I had ever seen, and wouldn’t even call it CFS. I told her that my wife’s fried chicken was great… what happened? To shorten the story, she got the cook to our table and I told her the same. She was proud of her “chicken fried steak” and “been doin’ it that way for many years”. I told her she needed to get out some, and come down to Texas cause she was missing out.
I am civil though, so I gave the waitress a proper tip and I paid for the meal I ordered. Requested a DOGGY bag for the “CFS” and told them someone waiting in the car named Molly would love this. Oh, that would be Molly Dog and her taste isn’t so picky.
So as we travel…we learn. Tastes vary from state to state… and some ain’t got no taste.
Good Roads to All