My original experiences with chicken fried steak — school cafeterias and TV dinners — were so bad I never wanted to eat it again. Then Rochelle introduced me to good chicken fried steak, and I’ve been gobbling them ever since.
In the Bay Area it’s hard to find. We know of only one place to get a really good chicken fried steak, the Bluebird Cafe in Hopland, at least an hour’s drive once you cross the Golden Gate Bridge.
In Texas, where we just went for the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s a little easier. I ate four of ’em in five days, and all of them were at least pretty good.
The best was Hoover’s in Austin, with a fine piece of meat in a delicious coating that stayed crispy the whole meal, and excellent gravy. Rochelle had a fabulous grilled pork chop with mushroom gravy that was out of this world. About four bites into our meal, we decided that Hoover’s would be one of our regular places whenever we’re in Austin.
A close second was Heitmiller’s, in Waco, where the meat was a little better (Heitmiller’s is a steak house), the rest a little less. I only had a half-order, which was more than enough. I can only imagine what my arteries would think of a full order.