NO FEAR OF FRYING In Texas, fried chicken and chicken-fried steak rule. That’s not to say that Texans don’t appreciate grilled seafood or al dente pasta. But you just can’t beat a juicy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside piece of chicken. At Babe’s Chicken Dinner House in the North Texas town of Roanoke, diners get the best of both possible worlds: an entrée choice of crunchy chicken-fried steak or half a fried chicken. Period. No other meats, no appetizers or desserts, no froufrou. Your order comes family-style with salad, mashed potatoes, cream gravy, corn, and fabulous buttermilk biscuits. To make the chicken-fried steak, the folks at Babe’s start with inside round and cut it half an inch thick. The succulent chicken, which is cooked in canola oil, ranks right up there with the fried bird that my college roommate’s mother used to make on Sunday afternoons when we visited her in Ballinger. Is there some special meaning in the fact that the owners, Paul and Mary Beth Vinyard, are also from West Texas? Probably not. But we’re still glad we found them.
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