Kicking off the eating tour for the College Football Tour of 2010 was a local DFW place that had been on my list for some time: Babe’s Fried Chicken. Specifically, they were purported to have one of the better chicken fried steaks in the Lonestar State, and being only a stones throw from Southlake Carroll it was time to give it a shot.

Unlike BBQ, I don’t consider myself much of an authority on chicken fried steak, or deep fried foods in general. Candidly, I don’t see much of an art in it – how long can it really take to master rolling some chicken or steak around in flour and dropping it into hot oil? (I can hear my southern readers choking on their chitterlings with that statement). Purists would argue that I am probably missing the nuances of the dish, and they would probably be right. Generally speaking, to me, all deep fried foods taste mostly the same. You could deep fry a rusty screwdriver and to me it would still taste like fried chicken. Stepping down off my soapbox, chicken fried steak still eats pretty well so I braved the DFW traffic on a Friday rush hour and sauntered on in.

As some of you may know, if its one thing I admire in a restaurant it’s an unwavering dedication to simplicity. You can imagine my delight then, when I wasn’t even presented with a menu at Babe’s. Instead, the bubbly waitress promptly asked me what I wanted: Chicken or Steak? Two choices – beautiful. Resisting the urge to launch into a monologue of praise for Babe’s menu (or lack thereof) and rail against the paralysis of choice of our modern customizable world, I simply retorted “Steak”. The sides are even pre determined for you as well.

You’re a simple man Babe, and I salute you for it.

Despite my fawning for the menu, and a suitable rustic atmosphere, in the end the chicken fried steak was simply okay. It wasn’t particularly great, but certainly wasn’t bad in any way either. It was a bit soggy for my taste, and I would have liked a little more crisp and crunch on the coating. The sides were all standard and unremarkable, albeit plentiful. Babe’s is also a bit over represented by the rug-rat demographic for my taste, but it represents itself as a family restaurant so I can hardly complain.

In all a solid meal, and based on reputation alone, certainly worth a shot if you find yourself in the DFW area with a hankering for some artery hardening goodness.

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