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Remember how I wrote about chicken fried steak a few weeks ago in my Only in Texas series? Laurel asked me if I liked the chicken fried steak I had back in Balmorhea, TX… I didn’t. But that was mainly because I had no idea what I was eating; except for the fact that it wasn’t chicken. And then I started thinking… Had I actually had chicken fried steak ever since then? I realized that no, I hadn’t. So, when the opportunity to visit a chicken fried steak festivalย in Lamesa, TX came upย one weekend, I just had to go. By the way, the town is pronounced La-mee-sa. Just in case you were wondering… We’re in Texas, not Mexico, y’all ๐Ÿ˜‰ So, why does Lamesa have a chicken fried steak festival? Well, they claim to be the home of the original Texas chicken fried steak. A cook supposedly misunderstood an order of “chicken, fried steak” as “chicken fried steak” and voila, the chicken fried steak was born. That is widely believed to be a tall tale by the way.

Before indulging in all the goodies, we checked out the classic car show.ย And one was a real classic: a Ford Model T with wooden wheels! The owners were a really old couple who we joked probably bought it when it was new ๐Ÿ™‚ When we got hungry and asked around who made the best chicken fried steak in town, one of the organizers told us we had to try Ms. Jackson’s chicken fried steak. We did and we weren’t disappointed. How do you make chicken fried steak? I watched Ms. Jackson, and here’s what seems to be her famous chicken fried steak recipe:

  • You take a pounded & flattenedย cube steak and dredge it in flour (probably seasoned).
  • Then, you dip it in what presume was an egg & milk (or maybe buttermilk) mixture and dredge it in breadcrumbs.
  • The next step ย is to fry it in butter in an big ol’ skillet/pan until it resembles what most of the world knows as fried chicken.

How do you serve it? Typically chicken fried steak is served with mashed potatoes and lots of white gravy. On top of that, Ms. Jackson threw in a glass of iced sweet tea. Doesn’t get much more Southern than that, does it?! Ha, that’s what you think ๐Ÿ™‚ When we were barely done with our chicken fried steak, some ladies who were all dressed in some light pink shirts announced the winner of the pie bake-off. A pie bake-off, people! And all that was witnessed by some local TV weatherman and his camera crewย ๐Ÿ™‚I don’t know why that cracked me up so much, but it seemed so stereotypical. Fun to witness though! Of course we had to have some pie after hearing about all the options. I went with a creamy coconut pie and LOVED it. Don’t know if it was the winner, but if it wasn’t it should have been. Delicious!

Would I go out of my way to visit Lamesa’s chicken fried steak festival? Probably not. But if you are in the area, go check it out. It felt like a very West Texas thing to do. The food was great, the people very nice, there’s a beautiful park with lots of huge trees, there was a roping contest, and they evenย had a cow patty bingo. You heard me! Cow patty bingo! What’s cow patty bingo you ask? A little calf is kept in a small fenced in area, you canย bet money on the little squares they create with spray paint in that fenced in area, and the winner is…. wherever the calf poops. Isn’t that something?!

Here are some pics from our trip to Lamesa’s first annual Chicken Fried Steak Festival. You can find more on my Facebook page.

Only in Texas: Chicken Fried Steak Festival Classic Car Show

Only in Texas: Chicken Fried Steak Festival Classic Car Show

Only in Texas: Chicken Fried Steak Festival - Chicken Fried Steak

Only in Texas: Chicken Fried Steak Festival - Pie Contest

Only in Texas: Chicken Fried Steak Festival - Cow Patty Bingo

Only in Texas: Chicken Fried Steak Festival - Calfs


Only in Texas: Chicken Fried Steak Festival - Horses

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  • Pure awesome. I love it. I’m American and didn’t even know these kinds of things really happened. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’d feel more foreign in Lamesa then I do here in Spain.

    • Sabrina says:

      You probably would ๐Ÿ™‚ You should have seen me when I discovered the weatherman and his camera crew filming the pink pie ladies. It was such a small-town-America-movie moment for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ana says:

    I want pie!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ And a cow patty bingo ticket!
    Ana recently posted..More Argentina fun facts

    • Sabrina says:

      The pie was so good and all were home-made! I’m usually not a pie-kind-of-girl (more cake/cupcake/chocolate :)), but I could get into these coconut pies, I tell you.

  • Andrew says:

    Wow, just wow. That is about as typically Southern Rural as I can imagine. The cow patty bingo seems hilarious. There is something about the local weatherman. They are like the personality of the newsroom. Everyone knows their name even if they can’t name an anchor. I remember a guy in Raleigh standing in a fountain in his underwear in winter because it snowed though he said it wouldn’t (or vice versa). This was a big fun, even in a city the size of Raleigh. In smaller places it must be more extreme.
    Andrew recently posted..Sarzana โ€“ Near But Not In Cinque Terre

    • Sabrina says:

      I know, right?! We didn’t have time to stay for the cow patty bingo, but we kept walking back and it still hadn’t pooped when we left ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe they should feed it more ๐Ÿ™‚

      The weatherman – I think I know why I think it’s so funny now. Because in many movies he’s fed up with having to cover the local events and making funny faces and seem interested in all the local little feuds ๐Ÿ™‚ Even though he was no weatherman in that movie, I kept thinking about Jim Carry in that movie where goes to the bakery and says something about the cookie crumbling. What movie is that?

  • I grew up on Chicken Fried Steak, potatoes, gravy and add in a little fried okra for a vegetable! Yup my momma is from Oklahoma and this stuff is comfort food ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love the Americana at this festival! You don’t get that much around San Francisco or in California for that matter.

    • Sabrina says:

      Haha! I love that fried okra is the “healthy” side on these plates ๐Ÿ™‚

      I can only imagine how different San Francisco and California in general are! Still haven’t made it there yet!!

  • jade says:

    Um, Yum!! This is exactly why I love the South!

  • Laurel says:

    Seriously a country fried steak festival? Only in Texas! Glad that you went though! And love Cow Patty Bingo. I grew up in a farming community in Canada, but have never heard of that. I’ll have to let my cousins know what they’re missing out on :). P.s. Thanks for the mention ๐Ÿ™‚
    Laurel recently posted..Capture the Essence of a City in Germany- In One Photo

    • Sabrina says:

      Great idea! Maybe you can introduce cow patty bingo in Canada ๐Ÿ™‚ It’ll be the new thing to do!

  • R. Sherman says:

    I’ve been through Lamesa several times driving home from New Mexico, but never knew of the chicken fried steak connection. My wife once asked me to describe it, (she’s never had it)and I told her it was a a poor man’s Schnitzel Wiener Art. It’s not too bad, provided there’s lots of black pepper in the gravy.

    R. Sherman recently posted..Scarce

    • Sabrina says:

      Haha! It really kind of is like the poor man’s Wiener Schnitzel ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus, you can fry the taste out of just about anything, right?! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Amy says:

    Hello I am from Lamesa, Texas and as of April 19th 2011 the Texas Senate Adopted and deemed Lamesa Texas as the Birthplace of the Chicken Fried Steak. Also Our town does not have a local Television Weatherman. And as for the ladies in the pink well they are the Auxiliary Ladies that work at our Hospital. I am sure that cow pooped somewhere before the day was up HaHa. This is the first year of The Chicken fried Festival. You can also go down to our local Museum and read all about how the Chicken Fried Steak Come to be. We Also have a Drive in Moive Theater that is one of the original still standing in texas.

    • Sabrina says:

      Thank for all that information, Amy! So it’s true then… the official birthplace of the chicken fried steak is Lamesa. Very cool! Next time we come through, I have to stop at the museum and read up on all the background.

      The weatherman… I think he might have been from Lubbock. Could that be? I included a picture of him in the facebook album of our trip to Lamesa. Here’s the link if you want to check him out: Facebook album. I loved the pink ladies! They were so sweet to everybody and their pies were d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s.

      Too funny with the cow! I’m telling you, we went back there many times to see if it has pooped already ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Edie says:

    I grew up in Lamesa! I also grew up eating Chicken Fried Steak. By the way, the “ladies in pink shirts” are hospital volunteers. We actually refer to them as “Pink Ladies”. Most of the hospitals in Texas (I’m a nurse, btw) have “Pink Ladies” and men that volunteer. I bet the money raised from the pie contest entries was used to help the hospital. I’m glad you had a nice visit in my dusty little hometown. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sabrina says:

      How interesting! I didn’t know that the “Pink Ladies” were volunteers. Very nice. Well, all I can say is that their pies were delicious and that we had a great time ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kristi says:

    Hello, I was born and raised in Lamesa. I have been gone for many years, but still call it home. Thank you so much for sparking some old memories for me. The pink ladies and the chicken fried steak. Thanks again, oh and yes I can make a mean CFS!!! Kristi

    • Sabrina says:

      Thanks for stopping by! And you’re way ahead of me in the CFS department ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe I should try to make one at home one of these days. I did get to watch one of the vendors make a few in Lamesa. That doesn’t make me an expert by any means, but at least I have a place to start ๐Ÿ™‚

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