July 2004 Archives
Recently I've renewed my search for the perfect chicken fried steak. I've had some good ones around town, but the best come from places that are on a highway (but not an interstate) and aren't afraid to put cream gravy on anything (including the gravy). The glorious piece of battered beef should arrive on a green plastic cafeteria-style plate, but you should not discover this until you're done eating. A proper CFS will cover the edges.
One of my nearby favorites is at Springhill Restaurant on Hwy 71 at RR 620. They definitely have their frying technique down pat. The breading is not exactly the style I like, but it's close. I wish I knew how to describe it, but I can tell before I take a bite if it's up to my standards.
Last Saturday Mary Alice and I took a trip out to the Hill Country Cupboard in Johnson City. I've been wanting to drive out there for years. They were still busy at 2:00 in the afternoon, which I took as a good sign. My anticipation grew as I saw other diner's plates arrive. Beautiful gravy slathered dishes abounded. I was a little disappointed by my serving size when our order was delivered; I'm fairly sure I received a small instead of a large serving. Despite the mixup, the entree was perfect. Floured and fried just right, with no pockets of breading devoid of steak. If the sides had been up to the same standard, I would have declared my search over. Unfortunately, the fries needed about another thirty seconds of cooking, and the green beans a little more flavor.
The next places on my list are Royer's Cafe in Round Top (before the ownership changes) and a return trip to Cafe 290 in Manor. Someday I hope to return to Goodson's Cafe in Tomball, which I believe is where my whole obsession started when I was about ten years old. My mom also reports a one-pounder at Lambert's in Missouri. That may take more than a day trip, though.
And no, it's not me.
I think I actually recognize the guy's face from the halls of Taylor. Does that count as name-dropping?