There are National Food Holidays, then there are NATIONAL FOOD HOLIDAYS. Today’s falls into the latter category, cause it’s homegrown … that thin cut of meat dipped in batter, deep fried and smothered in gravy. Giddy up, it’s National Chicken-Fried Steak Day, y’all!
The exact origins of the Texas staple are unclear. Did it come from German and Austrian immigrants to Texas in the 19th century, who brought recipes for Wiener schnitzel from Europe? Or was it invented by accident in 1911, when a short-order cook named Jimmy Don Perkins at Ethel’s Home Cooking in Lamesa, Texas got an order that was missing that crucial comma for “chicken, fried steak.” Thinking it was one dish, he dipped the steak into fried chicken batter and the rest is history. (If this isn’t the true story, don’t tell the good people of Lamesa as the last weekend in April they remember Perkins with a Chicken-Fried Steak Festival)
Wherever it came from, Texans can’t get enough of the large, popular dish, and there’s no shortage of it in Irving. While places such as Aunt Cissy’s, Jam + Toast and PJ’s Cafe have excellent reviews for their versions, they won’t be open for dinner tonight. So here are the places we suggest you hit to celebrate that guilty pleasure know as Chicken-Fried Steak (CFS).
4070 North Belt Line Rd | 972.255.3919
On Chicken Fried-Steak Day in 2015, "Texas Highways" named Po’ Melvin’s the fourth best place to order chicken fried-steak in the entire state, so that’s certainly worthy to get our number one slot. And we’ll just borrow their copy since it still rings true: “Known for such Cajun specialties as spicy Louisiana fried pies, oyster and catfish po’boys, and New Orleans-style red beans and rice, Melvin’s has developed a fan base for its crunchy chicken-fried steak. Served with cream gravy and a choice of three vegetables, this CFS is a winner.” And today if you buy one CFS dinner, your second one is half off, dine in only.
857 West John Carpenter Fwy | 972.506.7262
If you prefer your CFS a little more upscale, then head on over to The Ranch at Las Colinas, where only a locally sourced menu is served, including premium, hand-selected Texas beef from ranchers across the state. So naturally their version of CFS is made with Texas Wagyu Beef, topped with jalapeno sausage gravy, and served with buttermilk chive whipped potatoes and sautéed green beans, all for $17.95. Want to sit on the patio with your pooch? There’s a whole section of the menu called Rover’s Bites, just for your best friend.
2525 W. Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway | 214.496.0451
At Texas Roadhouse, a quintessential ranch-style restaurant with an atmosphere straight out of the wild west, they call their CFS country-fried sirloin; fresh-cut sirloin served crispy and golden, topped with made-from-scratch cream gravy. Served with your choice of two sides and their famous, irresistible, fresh-baked rolls. $11.99 for the meal, and if you're counting calories, this one comes in at 1,100.
So put on your jeans and boots (because it's kinda chilly out there) and visit one of these local places tonight.