Chicken-fried steak is a dish that could only be made in America. Beef is hammered thin and battered and fried, then lathered in a sinful gravy. This is what you get when you order chicken-fried steak. Some enjoy it as a guilty pleasure. For others, it’s simply breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Here are five metro Phoenix spots for you to try chicken-fried steak, bite after tasty bite.
The cooks at Texaz don’t bog down this dish with frills. They simply let salt and pepper bring out the flavors of steak, which is tender and easy to cut but still chewy enough to tear into. Mashed potatoes are hearty and smashed rather than light and whipped. They put a bow on this satisfying meal. Texaz doesn't mess around when it comes to portions. You order one chicken-fried steak, you get two. They don't offer any explanation as to why; it's just part of their chicken-fried steak repertoire. Don't question it, just think of it as a gift from the comfort food gods. If you can't wolf it all down in one sitting, you'll be taking a delicious trip to leftover city.
Ranch House Grille
This breakfast and lunch spot offers a couple of ways to order chicken-fried steak, making it hard to choose between meat-on-meat options. The chicken-fried steak platter finds an immoderate slab of crispy fried-and-breaded steak topped in a zesty, peppery white gravy. You can also order your deep-fried beef slathered in green chile pork. The tasty, punchy pork makes this an exciting choice for those not afraid to back away from tradition. With this steak, Ranch House has upped the ante from one animal to two. The chewy steak and soft pork shreds co-mingling make each bit a textural treat. Chile adds welcome heat to the chicken-fried steak experience. Rustic, homey decor makes Ranch House an ideal setting for comfort food.
Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Cafe
The goods come tender, juicy, and loaded with gravy at this downtown soul food fixture. This is another eatery where the portion size will make you start planning how you'll enjoy your leftovers. Unlike the thick white gravy many spots offer, Mrs. White's is a little different. Theirs is a thinner brown gravy, making it even more of a homestyle take on the Southern dish. This gravy adds a nice kick to the generous and thickly-battered steak. Its hearty size doesn't prevent a fork from sliding in with ease. A stick-to-the-ribs meal, for sure. Though mashed potatoes covered in the same gravy as the steak is a natural accompaniment to this sizzled meat dish, the sweet potatoes at Mrs. White's are an equally worthy option.
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5th Avenue Cafe
This if-the-walls-could-talk breakfast and lunch spot has been in business since the 1950s. It has seen a few owner changes over the decades, but the landmark has always been a destination for comfort food. It's no surprise, then, that 5th Avenue Cafe offers a mean chicken-fried steak. And it offers the steak with country gravy as part of, yes, a two-egg breakfast option. Unlike some spots, the cafe keeps the portion size reasonable, so while this order still makes for an intense breakfast, it won't put you in a coma. This steak is easy on the teeth, and its fried jacket offers a nice crunch. The lightly seasoned country gravy that tops it is lush and tasty — you definitely won't shed any tears when it spills over onto your crispy hash browns.
My Mother's Restaurant
At My Mother's, you can nosh chicken-fried steak for lunch or dinner. The spot has been serving up chicken-fried steak with mashed potatoes, gravy, and a side of corn for over three decades. You don't have to order mashed potatoes — you may find another side preferable — but in that case you'd be sorely missing out. The mashed spuds here are thick and buttery, whipped to a hearty perfection, a great accompaniment to your thin battered-and-fried steak. At My Mother's, the chicken-fried meat is tender and surprisingly thin, covered tightly in a crunchy wrap of batter. More crispy than bready, it gives a nice texture to each bite. The white gravy is more sauce-like and contains some bacon bits that give it a nice, salty flair.