Landing at Midland Air & Space* Port, I was confronted with lunch choices: chicken fried steak? Or barbecue? I decided on the former and asked the young lady at the car rental counter, “Who has the best chicken-fried steak in Midland or Odessa?” She answered, without hesitation, “Scotty’s Soul Food.” Decision made. I plugged the name into my GPS and off I went. When I pulled up, I realized that I didn’t have to decide – they served both!
I was the first one in the door – it was only 11:00, but I had been up since 4:30 Eastern time and was ready for lunch. The young lady offered table or booth and I took a table near the front window. I love how the sunlight cast the lettering from the window on the wall. They had a double sided menu – one side barbecue and one soul food.
I knew I was there for the CFS, but thought I might as well try the barbecue. She told me about the specials, which included boiled chitterlings. In case you don’t know, chitterlings, are made from the small intestines of pigs. I asked why boiled and she said they had originally served them fried, but folks preferred them boiled. While I was waiting for my lunch, she brought me a small bowl.
This was unexpected. And not necessarily really wanted…. But, I figured, I had to taste them. Man, they were pungent. The texture was like most organ meat – softer than I prefer in a protein that isn’t an egg. That was two strikes, but the taste wasn’t as assertive as the smell – earthy, very pork like and salty. I ate three pieces and pushed the bowl to the other side of the table.
In addition to my soul food lunch, I ordered a “side” of the brisket. It was more like a East-Coast Sunday brisket dinner than most Texas barbecue I’ve had. It was firm, thick sliced and covered with a brown sauce more like gravy than barbecue sauce. The soul food side of the menu had 12-15 sides and I decided on the mac-n-cheese and black eyed peas to go with my lunch.
The mac-n-cheese was runny and seemed to be one cheese. Likely home made, but not exceptional. The black eyed peas were cooked with bacon, onions and sliced peppers. They were seasoned well and were steaming hot, as was everything on the plate. On to the country fried steak.
The waitress told me that their CFS was recently ranked number ten, but I never could get a clear answer as to where. I had a similar problem trying to get some history about the place and found that they’d been in this location for four or five months and were about to move about two blocks away. When I pressed about more history, she told me they she had been there about four years. I just don’t know where there was…
I didn’t even get to ask who Scotty was.
The good – the batter wasn’t one piece – it cut with the steak. Some times, the batter comes off in one piece like a shell. There were plenty of ridges for the crust to grab onto and it was freshly cooked. And thick cut.
The not so good – the gravy didn’t have much taste. Liberal doses of pepper and Louisiana hot sauce didn’t make much impact. And the steak wasn’t particularly tender.
Oh well – you win some, you lose some. They did serve a square of yellow Jiffy cornbread with it, so that’s a plus. (I actually prefer sweet yellow cornbread [ducking and running].
* Space? What’s up with that? It’s dang near impossible to get to Atlanta from there, but they can take you to Mars?