Monday, October 18, 2010

Eating USA: Country Fried Steak

with Prof Horolographer

Continuing on my series of typical street, or highway food in the US...we stopped by this little diner at Mariposa for dinner one evening...on our way back to the hotel from Yosemite National Park.

Fairly typical, small town USA a small building on its own, and with the Americal fascination with the automobile, you drive right up to the door:

Inside, it reminds me of an episode of a TV Becker...bad coffee...the coffee in a typical non-specialist outlet (and by Starbucks don't count as a specialised coffee establishment...perhaps Peet's Coffee or other might fit the bill) is really bad...dreg like dark liquid, which is almost not drinkable...but most Americans are happy to drink gallons of this everyday.

So for me, it has to be another type of liquid stimulant...and being in Yosemite (um...distances in the US are different from what we are acustomed to in Singapore...a 40 mile drive (about 65km) is typical...and indeed was the distance we drove from Yosemite Valley to Mariposa. So a nice cold beer, perhaps?

How about one named after Yosemite's famous landmarks...the Half Dome...this was a fresh tasting, slightly malty, but very refreshing brew. Very nice after the drive. And awaiting dinner.

I had a peculiar American dinner meal known as Country Fried Steak.

For the uninitiated, this is a piece of steak...usually not a flattering cut...they don't tell you most of the time what cut it is...tenderised, usually mechanically by whacking it, piercing it till the muscle fibres are cut into small pieces...tenderising the meat. Then coated in a batter like that used for Fried Chicken...and deep fried (they love deep frying in this country) till golden brown and super crispy. Then a wallop of country gravy. And served with a large serving of french fries.

For some reason, I find the Country Fried Steak quite palatable...I was to have several of these in the course of our sojourn. Love the juxtaposition of the tender steak (yes beef) with the crunchy, crispy batter and the rich, smothering gravy. The fries were also done very nicely. Not as great as they do in Paris (see La Bourse ou la Vie), but nicely indeed.

Country Kitchen
Mariposa, CA
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