I know you were planning on taking it easy the next few weeks. Thanksgiving in only a month away, and the gustatory excess always starts a few weeks early. Buttery baked goods, excess alcohol, sausage, gravy and the inability to say no to anything (unless it's green beans (unless they're covered in fried onions and cream)) will rule your every dining decision through the end of the year.
Which makes this the perfect time to bring up that tomorrow is Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day. No, the holiday fattening season doesn't start with Thanksgiving or even with Halloween candy; it starts now. Here are five great ways to celebrate.
Babe's (pictured above) You can't go wrong with Babe's. Their chicken-fried steak was enough to induce visions when I first had it in Carrollton, and when I ordered the dish again at the Roanoke location it was just as good.
All Good Cafe This Deep Ellum mainstay is known for its quirky wait staff and a chicken-fried steak that is the best in the world, according to the menu. How do you argue the merits of the "World's BEST chicken fried steak?" You don't. You eat it.
Company Cafe Because not all chicken-fried fans can tolerate wheat, Company Cafe gives you your holiday fix, gluten free. Even if you're not allergic there's a good reason to come here. The sides are made with a little more restraint than your typical restaurant. The potatoes here aren't loaded up with butter and the other vegetables retain their vibrancy. You could almost argue this stuff is good for you.
Tom's Burgers and Grill If you're bored with normal breading, Tom's is the place to go. If deep frying meat wasn't bad enough, these guys cover their steaks with crumbled potato chips before the submerge them in bubbling fat. It's almost obscene. And it's completely delicious.
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Norma's If you don't come worship at Norma's you'll miss the whole point. Owner Ed Murph helped concoct the the holiday, working with state legislators and the mayor here in Dallas. Chicken-Fried Steak Day has been gathering momentum since it was created in 2011, and it's given us all a reason to do something we know we shouldn't do. It's also given us an excuse to celebrate a classic dish with deep roots in Texas.
If only all the holidays tasted this good.