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Lunch guys: Fried ‘steak’ from Sonic blends best of worlds

POSTED: March 16, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Sonic has one of the wildest menus in the lunch universe, yet this drive-in chain is still able to top itself with special "limited-time-only" specials.

As soon as we Lunch Guys got wind — literally sniffed in the air — of Sonic’s newest entry, the Country Fried Steak Toaster Sandwich, we drove right in. Should every lunch place serve country fried steak, or is there a reason no one but Sonic has it?

Chris: Tom, is there anything negative we could say about essentially a burger that’s been deep-fried?

There was an old Chiquita ad campaign that said the banana was quite possibly the world’s most perfect food.

While I love bananas, obviously the Chiquita marketing department had never had a bite of Sonic’s Country Fried Steak Toaster Sandwich.

At the heart of this concoction is the best of beef married to the best of chicken. It’s certainly more Cracker Barrel than frozen Hungry Man, with the peppery, crispy coating giving a special crackle to the moist, meaty goodness inside.

Sandwiched between two inch-thick slices of Sonic’s Toaster bread, which always tastes buttery without being finger greasy, and this is the best comfort food available, on roller skates or otherwise.

The only negative is that Sonic is really serious about its "limited time" promotions. A lot of great offers like this one are blink-and-you-miss-them deals. Remember those fried mac-and-cheese bites we ordered at Sonic on a Friday and loved so much, then we went back Monday for more and they were gone? I’m worried the same thing’s going to happen here. That would be tragic.

Tom: You are right Chris, because it’s not often we get to eat deep fried meat, let alone meat that is battered then fried.

I envy our readers in Texas who get to eat country fried steak almost as often as barbecue, chili, Tex-Mex and Dairy Queen.

Thanks to Sonic for at least giving us a small window to chow down on this regional treat. Plus, making it a Toaster Sandwich with Texas Toast is genius. You don’t normally eat country fried steak in a sandwich, but leave it to Texas to make the right bread for the job.

This hefty meal goes down easy thanks to the buttery bread.

While this isn’t a particularly great country friend steak (also known as chicken fried steak), there’s really no such thing as bad country fried steak.

It could have used some peppery gravy instead of mayo, and the breading was too thick. But when I’m 1,000 miles from Houston, this will certainly do.

Chris: I could write a whole thesis on the beauty of country fried steak and the mystery of why it isn’t more popular. Really, I think Sonic should replace every generic burger patty in its kitchen with a slab of country fried steak. Sales would skyrocket.

Tom: And they should serve it with onion rings rather than fries. I picked up his sandwich as a combo with rings that eventually found their way onto my sandwich. Chris, all I can say is a very Texas, "YEEEEEEHAW!"

Tom James and Chris Tauber are freelance writers.



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