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The small menu here reflects the predominantly fried All-Stars of Texan and Southern cuisine. There's fried chicken and chicken-fried steak, natch. There's fried catfish and pot roast. There's fried chicken tenders and smoked chicken. That's the entire selection of main dishes at Babe's Chicken Dinner House. No joke. And that's a relief to see in a market chock-full of Southern/soul food shops slinging what seems like infinite permutations on the fried. The selection of side dishes (gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet corn and green beans) and desserts (pineapple upside-down cake) is similarly tiny. But what's not tiny? The portions. They're served in true down-home style, with helpings as large as the elastic-waistband pants needed to eat at Paul Vinyard's 11,000 square-foot homage to poultry.
While kids may clamor for a trip to Chuck E. Cheese and other shrines to sensory overload, it's hard to call such establishments "restaurants." "Arcades that happen to serve pizza" is more like it. But Babe's -- a perennial Best Of candidate for its fried chicken -- definitely qualifies. The unlimited refills of sides, including the sweet creamy corn and green beans with enough salt to get kids to actually ask for seconds, let them enjoy opulence on the cheap, while the catfish,... More »
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