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Just Your Standar Bull-March 3, 2023

published: March 3rd 2023
by: Michael Sturgess
source: Southern Livestock Standard

The famous comedian Jeff Foxworthy has amassed a small fortune in his career, based mostly upon the sentence that begins with “You might be a redneck if…” To clarify, he also used the same phrase at the end of his punchline as well. For example, “If your dad walks you to school because you’re in the same grade…you might be a redneck.” Or, “If you have ever been too drunk to fish…you might be a redneck.”

            My wife, Lauren, and I had lunch with some friends after church last Sunday. Deciding where to go is always half the battle. But this week, we decided on Saltgrass Steak House. Now, please bear with me as I share with you a little history here. According to the worldwide web, Tilman Fertita, president, CEO and sole owner founded Saltgrass in 1991 in Houston, Texas. These facts will become relevant to my column a bit later.

            Back to my story. As we were shown to our table, we passed by other patrons sitting down at tables enjoying their meals. But as we went by one table, I spotted a meal that made my mouth water. I hadn’t eaten this particular course for some time. One could honestly say that this selection would show a higher calorie count. But hey—sometimes you just get an itch that must be scratched!

            Being the polite gentleman that I am, I waited until the entire table had ordered. And the young lady who took our order, politely asks “and what can I get for you today?” Now, the young lady’s name escapes me, but she did have a pleasant demeanor and appeared to be quite prone to giggling. So, I will refer to here as Giggles for the purpose of the story. I replied to Giggles that “I’ll have a chicken fried steak.” Now before I could finish telling her that I wanted fries with that, Giggles interrupted, and asked, “the chicken fried chicken?”

            “No!” I said firmly. Then I repeated “I want a chicken fried STEAK—not chicken.” Still looking confused, Giggles peers at me, then says “We have a country fried steak—but we don’t have a chicken fried steak.”

            Thinking back, I can honestly say that I never really looked at the menu. I had spotted exactly what I wanted on our way to our table. But my keen, 63-year-old mind quickly surmised that Saltgrass, was attempting to separate their chicken fried steak from the rest of the pack by referring to theirs as a “Country” fried steak! Honest mistake on my part. But as my quick brain continued to digest the conversation, I realized also that Giggles had no idea what a chicken fried steak was! I didn’t ask but Giggles could not have been more than 25-years-old. So, I asked her, “where are you from?” Thinking Giggles must be from back East like Boston or somewhere. She looked and me oddly, and replied “I’m from Corpus?” She had NO idea what I was driving at with my question.

            So, back to where we began. You may be getting old when the youngest generation of Texans has no idea what a CHICKEN FRIED STEAK is! After she left the table, I discussed this topic further with my 60–63-year-old lunch companions. Who among us, I asked, does not recall the thousands of signs along our Texas Highways reading “The Best Chicken Fried Steak in Texas.” Then we started naming off some of the old San Antonio Landmark eateries like the Tip Top Café. So I googled the best in San Antonio. Other favorites like Josephine Street, Good Time Charlie’s and the 410 Diner popped up. And there was a time when LuLu’s Jail House Café touted ‘Texas’ Largest Chicken Fried Steak”, along with their famous 3-pound cinnamon rolls!

            People—what are we teaching our children, and our children’s children? Our Texas history is being rewritten before our very eyes, as we sit idly by and watch it happen! In Texas. We serve chicken fried steak! Furthermore, there is no such thing as chicken fried chicken! There is fried chicken. Or we may have fried chicken tenders or strips or perhaps a fried chicken breast.

            This is Texas! We don’t serve country fried steaks or even salisbury steaks. We want ours CHICKEN FRIED!


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