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Last week I was in Las Vegas and I had dinner with one of Utah’s most celebrated chefs, a guy who runs the award-winning kitchen in what many consider to be Salt Lake City’s finest restaurant. Well, the chef and I – in the midst of a mind-blowing meal at the fabulous Picasso restaurant in Vegas – got to talking about our favorite foods. And to my surprise, this talented chef’s favorite food isn’t fancy French fare or hoity-toity fusion cooking. Nope, when he has a day off and can eat anything he wants, this chef likes to indulge in his favorite gastronomic guilty pleasure: chicken fried steak.
Well, since the chef had treated me to so many exquisite meals at his superb restaurant, I was happy to be able to begin to return the favor by telling him about where to go to find Utah’s best chicken fried steak. And to do that, in my opinion you need just to travel to Heber City to Chick’s Café on Main Street. The folks at Chick’s are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year and, along with friendly service and classic café ambiance, one of the things that kept Chick’s thriving for half a century is killer chicken fried steak.
I think the key to Chick’s magnificent chicken fried steak is the crispy crust. Even smothered in Chick’s luscious white gravy, the chicken fried steak stays crispy and crunchy on the outside and oh-so tender inside. Add a big mound of homemade mashed potatoes and a gigantic scone on the side, and you’ve got one of Utah’s most sought-after culinary treats: the chicken fried steak platter at Chick’s. Why, it’s even a favorite of some of the pickiest chefs I know.