Among the chow targets of last November’s weekend in the outer bounds of Contra Costa County and Delta was to find chicken fried streak. My first stop was Lumpy’s Diner in Pittsburg,
The next morning I checked out Matchmaker Restaurant, next to the fairgrounds venue for the BBQ contest, for breakfast, reputedly the strength here. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu was a far-ranging mishmash of Mexican, red sauce Italian, and Americana. Since I only wanted a taste and not a workingman’s gut buster breakfast, I scanned for the lowest cost options. One section of the breakfast menu offered senior size portions for reduced cost. My waiter did not miss a beat when I ordered the chicken fried steak on the senior breakfast. Admittedly I was of two minds about this, wanting the discount but also rather miffed that I was deemed elder in status.
Can’t recall the exact price, but the smaller size chicken fried steak with one egg over easy, biscuit and hash browns, as shown here, was around $5 or $6.
Pounded thinner and indeed smaller than Lumpy’s CFS, the chicken fried steak at Matchmaker was more tender, and the golden crispier breading stayed intact. The creamier, ecru colored gravy flowed like a silky Sauce velouté. No bits of sausage or bacon discernable to the eye, but their contribution spoke up in the meaty, porky flavor. Not flaky, the biscuit was of the tender, delicate-crumbed type, worked by a gentle hand. Yet, the real star of this breakfast plate turned out to be the excellent hash browns, layers of golden brown crispness sandwiching shreds of firmish potatoes. On the way to wash my hands, I had noticed the cases of frozen hash browns piled high in the walkway. Someone in the kitchen has a way with frying potatoes, frozen or not.
913 West 10th Street
Antioch, CA 94509