Best Thing I Ate This Week: Chicken-fried steak at The Cellar


Since moving to Orange County several years ago, I’ve been on a quest to find an authentic chicken-fried steak.

Not a breakfast steak served with eggs, but a real dinnertime steak served with vegetables and a glass of wine. Because of where I grew up – on a cattle ranch in Texas – it is my default comfort food. On a cold and gloomy day, or whenever I just need a warm familiar embrace, my heart craves a chicken-fried steak.

I dined at The Cellar in San Clemente the other night, and the chalkboard on the wall immediately captured my attention.

I asked the waiter, “How’s that chicken-fried steak?” He responded with, “I don’t know. I haven’t actually seen it yet. Nobody’s ordering it.”

I took that as a welcome challenge. Although the crust on chef Holton Britt’s version is not my ideal style — it’s fancier than I would prefer — it is…


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