Pork Chops

Amarillo

Decorated with faux-log-cabin walls and outdoorsman ephemera—“Closed till the fish stop biting” reads a chalkboard near the bar— Montana Mike’s is intended to look like a mountain fishing lodge in the heart of the flatlands. Skip the fish and order the thin-cut grilled chops, which come two to a plate and perfectly spiced alongside a giant yeast roll.

Austin

Grilled or fried, the pork chops at Tony’s Southern Comfort are thin and tender, with that tasty little rim of browned fat around the edge; each table in the pleasant, simple dining room sports a tidy vase of red and white fabric roses.

Dallas

From the moment you taste the fried pork chops at South Dallas Café , the reincarnation of the late, beloved Clara’s Kitchen, near Fair Park, you’ll be forever spoiled. The enormous cuts are impossibly tender and especially luscious smothered in a blanket of rich brown gravy. Get in the lunch line as early as possible at tiny Vern’s Place , on the edge of the Deep Ellum neighborhood, or cool your heels while watching others tear into an oversized pair of thick fried pork chops, cloaked in an amber batter. Old hands request a ladle of comforting pan gravy on top.

El Paso

Fragrant with bay leaf, rosemary, and thyme, the juicy center-cut baked pork chops at Elmer’s, a quintessential all-American diner, are so good you’d think you were eating roast pork loin straight from the oven. You’ll be ready for a nap on the sofa afterward.

Fort Worth

Customers queue up at noon to get a foot inside bright, multicolored Drew’s Place . Anyone with a lick of sense comes here for extraordinary thick, deep-fried pork chops, presented beneath a rich gravy whipped up from the pan drippings. Down-home Massey’s, which recently got a face-lift (new carpeting, a fresh coat of white paint over dark paneling), surprises you with not one but two hefty, tender chops to an order, heavily battered and fried to a copper hue.

Houston

At Yo Mama’s Soul Food , where religious art and photos of black heroes from Nelson Mandela to Billie Holiday cover the walls, the smothered pork chops are falling-off-the-bone tender, and the thick brown gravy is salted just right.

Lubbock

In the striking red-and-black environs of the Rooftop Café , which looks like a diner without the chrome, one-inch-thick chops arrive juicy and hot off the grill. By the way, you can order them with fried eggs and hash browns if you so desire, because both breakfast and chops are served all day long.

San Antonio

The thin, crisp flat-grilled pork chops at Gini’s are so good you want to gnaw the bones; the restaurant’s Alice in Wonderland motifs are odd but cozy, especially if you order a cuppa hot tea. When it comes to skinny, well-battered, truly delectable pork chops, the tile-trimmed 410 Diner is the place to find them. Although Liberty Bar doesn’t offer that many plain-Jane dishes, the big old rustic frame house has a homey look and feel. Its lean pork chops, about half an inch thick and grilled to a juicy medium, are a welcome variation on the classic fried version.

Tags: FOOD

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