Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 37: Babe's

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Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

The work of incompetent fry jockeys has lead us to believe that anything baptized in bubbling oil is terrible for us. Fried foods should be heavy and greasy and require at least a 90-minute nap, to be offset by a disturbing visit to something called a gym.

This is, of course, wrong. Fried food may never belong in your pre-summer diet, but it also doesn't have to eat like wet cement. Proper cooking temperatures and draining techniques prevent oil from infiltrating that golden crust that makes all deep fried things delicious. It's carelessness that allows ingredients to take on old canola oil like a sinking ship.

This not the case at Babe's in Roanoke, where the menu forces unparalleled specialization. The cooks turn out nothing more than chicken-fried steak and fried chicken, and they've gotten very good at it. This is why your mother always told you that practice makes perfect: because she saw that the CFS at Babe's is indeed perfect.

There are other reasons to trek to the Roanoke location. Years ago, before the strip was developed and filled with restaurants like Twisted Root and Hard Eight Barbecue, customers used to wait for their tables in the empty lot across Oak Street. They'd sit on tailgates and drink beer.

Shops were eventually built across the street, which has dispersed the party a touch, but the hungry still congregate. And they still drink beer.

No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's No. 49: East Hampton Sandwich Co. No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint No. 47: Taj Chaat House No. 46: Mot Hai Ba No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill No. 42: Mughlai No. 41: Russian Banya No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria No. 38: Carbone's

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