Where to Get a Country Fried Steak

One of my favourite comfort foods is country fried steak and eggs. Like grits this Southern staple can be a little difficult to find north of the border. I have literally walked through the desert to enjoy this dish so it was with great pleasure that I found it on the menu at a local restaurant.

I first tried country fried steak and eggs 20 years ago in a Vegas Casino 24 hour restaurant and fell in love. When I returned home, to my dismay, I could not find it anywhere on the Island. Victoria has an abundance of excellent breakfast restaurants but none serve this savoury dish, perhaps it’s too heavy for the Island palate. One chain restaurant had it but their steak had more in common with a hockey puck than the flavourful meal I craved.

Thus began my search for an authentic country fried steak. Every time I travelled I would scour the internet for diners or truck stops in the area. On a return trip to Vegas I decided to explore off the beaten path. I found a place with promise but I misjudged the distance on google maps and ended up walking several miles in 42 degree heat. That night in the hotel room, suffering from terrible heat stroke, I never doubted my decision once.


Country fried steak and eggs at My Chosen Cafe

Thought to originate in Dawson County, Texas the “chicken” fried steak starts with a cut of chuck or cube steak tenderized with a mallet, breaded and deep fried in the same oil the chicken was cooked in. The folks in the mid-west took to pan frying it, changing the name to country fried steak, and serving it for breakfast with eggs and hash browns. I prefer the breakfast dish as the egg yolk mixes well with the white gravy, like a down-home version of hollandaise. The gravy has an almost buttery taste that compliments the seasoned breading and is great for smothering on hash browns.

Country fried steak uses a cheaper cut of steak but prepares it in a way that makes it tender and delicious. It is not for the faint of heart and is not known for delicate flavour. It’s a hearty meal that sticks to your ribs and makes you think of waitresses who call you “hun” and know how you take your coffee. It is a staple of diners and truck stops for people who have put in a good days work and need to satisfy a big appetite.

A few weeks ago I made my way out to My Chosen Café for lunch and sure enough there it was on the menu. I placed my order and when the plate arrived it certainly looked authentic. The steak was tender and didn’t fall under the suspicious oval shape of a Salisbury steak. The gravy was creamy and tasted great with the golden egg yolk. While I am sure that I will still search out great diners when I visit our neighbours to the South, it is good to know that I can have my favourite breakfast without air travel.
I encourage you to sample this dish at the Chicken Fried Steak Festival held every April down in Texas or closer to home at My Chosen Café  4492 Happy Valley Road, Metchosin.

— Robert Ross


Website: My Chosen Cafe
Address: 4492 Happy Valley Road
Facebook: Mychosencafe

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