Babes’ Chicken Dinner House
1006 West Main Street
Carrollton, TX 75006
How to get there:
Train: DART Green Line to Downtown Carrollton Station
Bus: DART #400 Crosstown
Babe’s Chicken Dinner is one of my favorite places for some good ol’ northern Texas home-style cooking. It is part of a chain of family-style dinner establishments in north Texas, with locations in Carrollton, Frisco, Arlington, and Garland in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area, and Frisco, Cedar Hill, Burleson, Roanoke, Granbury, and Sanger much further north of Dallas. Bubba’s Chicken Dinner is related to Babe’s in Carrollton as they are owned by the same family that runs the Carrollton location. A typical family-style dinner at Babe’s would be your choice of fried chicken (white and dark meat), hickory smoked chicken, chicken tenders, and even catfish, with unlimited drinks and unlimited fixings (house salad, creamed corn, green beans, corn muffins, biscuits, and country-style gravy) for roughly $12-15. Everything is made to order and made from scratch in their massive kitchen to keep a high quality control standard. As with many family-style dinner establishments, everything must be eaten in the restaurant as they do not have a take-out menu or offer bags to take-out after eating. After the meal, you can purchase souvenirs or sit outside alongside Texas memorabilia in a courtyard that mimics a biergarten or a backyard barbecue ambience.
I ordered the fried chicken dinner for my $12 meal, which comes with 4 pieces (breast, leg, wing, thigh), all piping hot and crunchy, prepared and cooked as soon as the order was placed. The minute I bit into the drumstick, which is the piece that dictates my level of enjoyment of the remaining pieces, I nearly fell in love. Everything fried chicken lovers savor in a good piece of fried chicken these pieces had. It had an amazing crunch. It had a touch of spice and seasoning. It was golden brown. It wasn’t too oily or overcooked. A bite into a hot thigh or breast was hot all the way to the bone. The creamy country-style gravy went well with the rather fluffy mashed potatoes and the buttermilk biscuits. The honey mustard sauce on the side that I requested was for the house salad which unfortunately doesn’t come with salad dressing, but a plate of creamed corn was the icing on the cake.
One of the greatest things about Babe’s: walking distance from train service. Babe’s is a block away from the Downtown Carrollton Station on DART’s Green Line, with bus connections from the cities of Irving and Garland. After exiting the light rail station at the rear of the train northbound, cross the track and walk down the walkway above Main Street and use either the stairs or the elevator down to street level; Downtown Carrollton Station is an elevated light rail station. Walk to the next block and cross the railroad track (former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, now part of Union Pacific) and walk halfway down the block. You can smell the food before you even cross the railroad track. Depending on the time of day, you might have to dodge a freight train, but the trains run at very slow speeds, which explains the lack of crossing gates on that particular block. There are two things to absolutely, positively remember when going to Babe’s: 1) always come hungry, and 2) always come hungry when they are open. Babe’s is only open for lunchtime from 11am to 2pm and for dinnertime from 5pm to 9pm during the week. On weekends, they are open all day due to families going in and out all day while enjoying what Downtown Carrollton has to offer.
This is easily one of my favorite spots to eat in Texas, and one of my favorite spots near transit service in a part of the country that doesn’t exactly scream transit but has an extensive light rail system (currently the largest at 90+ miles) to take you all over the Dallas area.
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