Southern Comfort: The Breakfast Joynt Threatens Texaz Grill's Chicken Fried Steak Title

New Year's is a time for resolutions, many having to do with working out, losing weight or eating healthier. With that in mind, we figured now is the time to load up on calorie and fat laden foods before we're forced to start battling broccoli and sugar-free crap.

This week's Battle of the Dishes is a heavyweight fight in more ways than one. Read on to see whether one longtime restaurant staple rumored to have the best chicken fried steak in town held its own against a relatively new contender in the comfort food scene.  

The Heavyweight: Texaz Grill
6003 North 16th Street in Phoenix

Now that's a TEXAZ sized chicken fried steak!

Returning for a second Battle (they claimed victory in Battle Pecan Pie), Texaz Grill is a neighborhood steakhouse & bar that first opened as Lone Star Steaks back in 1985. The windows are papered over and the parking lot always full, which gives you an idea what to expect when you walk through the front door. Two words: RED NECK. (Ok, that's technically one word, but who cares about spelling and grammar in a place like this?)

​The staff at Texaz seems determined to cover every square inch of the place with something, whether it's baseball caps, custom license plates that say "DOPEY2" and "B HAPPI" or the business cards lining the ceiling. The only light has a strange reddish cast and the wooden booths are less than comfortable. Apparently, it's the food that gets people in the door. Their chicken fried steak has won numerous awards including one of our coveted "Best of Phoenix" nods.

As our chicken fried steak dinner arrived I understood why. You know how everything in Texas is B-I-G? Our eyes and stomachs bulged in delight and horror as our server set down a ridiculously large, crispy steak that fell off the edge of the white diner plate and onto the table. It was massive. "There's another piece under there too," she told us with pride. Good God!

I dug into the giant beef slab and was surprised at the tenderness of the steak. For such a large piece, the meat was remarkably good -- lean and succulent, yet cooked through. "This a good piece of meat," said my dining partner. "It's still a little juicy and the breading is crisp, but where the heck are the spices?"

The white sawmill gravy had the only sign of any seasoning, and that was strictly salt and coarse black pepper. It was decent for flour-based gravy, but lacked any distinguishing flavor. The breading was our biggest disappointment. Sure, it was traditional, but the crispy fried coating was also greasy and bland with no added spices to kick up the flavor. The good news is that Texaz grill give you so much food for your $12 that you can custom-spice the leftovers at home.

FOUR meals later, we finally finished all of Texaz's Chicken Fried Steak dinner...

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Gurn Blanston
Gurn Blanston

Paprika? On a chicken fried steak?

You ain't from Texas, are ya?

I don't think you can compare any chicken fried steak in the Valley to Texaz until whoever's hawking it has sold over a half million of them, like Texaz has.

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