Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 37: Babe's

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Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

The work of incompetent fry jockeys has lead us to believe that anything baptized in bubbling oil is terrible for us. Fried foods should be heavy and greasy and require at least a 90-minute nap, to be offset by a disturbing visit to something called a gym.

This is, of course, wrong. Fried food may never belong in your pre-summer diet, but it also doesn't have to eat like wet cement. Proper cooking temperatures and draining techniques prevent oil from infiltrating that golden crust that makes all deep fried things delicious. It's carelessness that allows ingredients to take on old canola oil like a sinking ship.

This not the case at Babe's in Roanoke, where the menu forces unparalleled specialization. The cooks turn out nothing more than chicken-fried steak and fried chicken, and they've gotten very good at it. This is why your mother always told you that practice makes perfect: because she saw that the CFS at Babe's is indeed perfect.

There are other reasons to trek to the Roanoke location. Years ago, before the strip was developed and filled with restaurants like Twisted Root and Hard Eight Barbecue, customers used to wait for their tables in the empty lot across Oak Street. They'd sit on tailgates and drink beer.

Shops were eventually built across the street, which has dispersed the party a touch, but the hungry still congregate. And they still drink beer.

No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's
No. 49: East Hampton Sandwich Co.
No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint
No. 47: Taj Chaat House
No. 46: Mot Hai Ba
No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot
No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen
No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill
No. 42: Mughlai
No. 41: Russian Banya
No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen
No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria
No. 38: Carbone's

Location Info

Babe's Chicken Dinner House

104 N. Oak St., Roanoke, TX

Category: Restaurant


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14 comments
mavery1
mavery1

Some Babe's aficionado's tell me that the Sanger Babe's is the pick of the litter, that they are trying to emulate the long lost and long lamented Youngblood's fried chicken.  I've always enjoyed their chicken, both fried and smoked.

However, I've long had the feeling the rest of the menu was served straight off the food service truck.  Biscuits like hockey pucks, canned vegetables, and salads served from food service bags.

The Sanger location has entertainment, however.  The waitresses and waiters form lines, encouraging any children to join them, and play the hokey pokey.  And they often have waitresses who can sing very, very well.  On one trip a waitress belted out a fantastic rendition of Tammy Wynette's, "You Ain't Woman Enough To Take My Man".  It almost made up for the side dishes.

All in all, despite the entertainment, I'm not really sure why there are lines waiting to get in. 


P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Back in my UNT days I used to go there all the time. Back then it was BYOB so in addition to drinking in the empty lots you'd drink a ton of beer in the place. Was a little pricey for a college student, but damn good CFS I'd often wash down with a cube of Keystone Light.

Jim Davis
Jim Davis

That majority that follows evidently keeps coming back and bringing more new majority...

Kristin Scott Dorsey
Kristin Scott Dorsey

Sometimes the majority follows the majority even if it is not their own idea. Eat some place good : )

Mike Hathaway
Mike Hathaway

You're not alone by any stretch of the imagination! The main dishes are OK, but those veggie are just horrendous - at least at the Arlington location. That was enough to turn me off from trying any of the others.

Joie Furlong
Joie Furlong

Oh it's entirely possible. Detest that place.

Jim Davis
Jim Davis

Well the majority of the DFW loves this place! Well run, simple great concept makes it VERY successful!!!

Buddy Whittenburg
Buddy Whittenburg

I have never understood why anyone eats at this place. Their food is is terrible. I would rather eat at a gas station.

Kristin Scott Dorsey
Kristin Scott Dorsey

I am the only person that doesn't like babes. Minimal choices and the chicken is not that good. This Kentucky girl can show them some real fried chicken with my mommas recipe : )

shandango
shandango

@Kristin Scott Dorsey I mean, we can agree to disagree about the quality (I've eaten at the Sanger and Garland locations, always delicious to me) but limited menu is not really a worthwhile criticism, the idea is to focus on a few things and do them well. Think of places like Cheesecake Factory with their gigantic menus but everything is super mediocre.

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