Best Chicken-Fried Steak - 2001
Readers' Choice: Tie: Black-eyed Pea/Dirty's
Never underestimate chicken-fried steak. It may seem like a humble dish, but it is a humble dish that is taken very seriously by native Texans. Elouise Cooper, owner of Ouisie's Table, takes chicken-fried steak very seriously. The golden-brown, Southern-fried crust is so perfect that the cream gravy is served on the side with the mashed potatoes, the mustard greens and the custardy corn pudding. Your task is to pour the gravy at just the right instant. If you wait too long, the meat is not hot enough anymore; pour too early and you either burn your mouth or sit in frustration while that awesome crust goes soggy. Or here's a better idea: Cut off a piece of battered steak, put a little mashed potato and greens on it and then dip the whole thing into the gravy boat. Now savor it slowly -- Ouisie's chicken-fried steak in among the best in the state.