DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!.
We are two local Chef's who dine all over the San Antonio and Austin area in search for the best foods that locals or travelers can dine at. This time we were in search for the best chicken fried steak and ended up at Tip Top Cafe because of all the hype they get. Unfortunately, it was the worst money spent. We walked into a packed lunch not knowing what we were in for. We can personaly tell you, it was not much at all. We ordered the fried onion rings to start. First off, the onions were over fried. the batter was falling off. Even bland with no flavor at all. We sat waiting hoping the next course would be better, the chicken fried steak. It finally came. We got the gravy on the side with mash potatoes. The plate came with a side salad. What bothered both of us was the small salad was on the same plate as the somewhat semi warm chicken fried steak, so the salad got nasty warm. The meat was very bland and extremely dry. The batter had no flavor as well as the very small portion of instant powdered mash potatoes(nasty). The corn bread was so dry(like eating a hockey puck)not even the butter made it moist. We were very rushed and not treated at all like you would expect. Like people on a bad roller coaster, get them in, get them out. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME DINING THERE, THE ABSOLUTE WORST DINING EXPERIENCE, AND WE CAN GUARANTEE IT WILL BE THE LAST TIME WE EVER SET FOOT IN TIP TOP'S CAFE!
Chef Eric Valdez. & Chef Ruben Montemayor.
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Featured on Food Network. Featured on the Food Network(Dinner's and Drive Inn's) Guy Fieri praised the Roast Pork and said " I now know what I am going to cook for my family at Thanksgiving". As a longtime customer I can assure you that the food is the best in SA. The food is made from scratch(they even cut their own beef)and prepared with love and recipes that have been in place since the place opened some 70 yrs ago in the same place. There is no place in San Antonio or for many other cities in Texas that have the best chicken fried steak( which is almost hangs over the large plate) and the onion rings are tasty and piled as high as a ten gallon hat. The staff is very friendly and act as one big happy family. The prices have not really changed as much as the years have gone by and are downright reasonable. All in all one the best places for good ole fashioned homemade Texas comfort food.
You can do better..
The waitresses are rude - at best indifferent. They look like something from Deliverance. The food is SO greasy, your arteries will clog within a few hours.
I was told it had the best chicken-fried steak in town, but I?ve had just as good at Luby?s Earl Abel?s, or Grady's.
Why do so many people do business with this filth bin?
Expected much better food. My husband and I stopped in here on 10/5/08. We had to stand in line outside to wait for a table. I saw this restaurant featured on the Food Network's show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Therefore, I was expecting the food to be great, but it wasn't. I make better food at home. We ordered sodas and we were served a 12-oz can Diet Coke and an 8-oz bottled Dr. Pepper. So there are no fountain drinks here. We had an order of onion rings as an appetizer. We were pleasantly surprised with the quantity of the order and the size of the rings themselves. They used a mild onion and the rings were crispy, but they lacked flavor (no seasoning that we could taste). I had the chicken fried steak dinner, which comes with French fries, garden salad and a roll. The chicken fried steak was large in size, but the taste could have been much better. If they used salt and pepper while cooking it, I would be completely surprised. The gravy tasted as though it was made from scratch and I thought it was good. The fries were obviously frozen and I don't think the roll was made from scratch either. The salad was on the same plate as everything else and contained no tomatoes. I had the house dressing on it and thought it was better than our waitress described. My hubby ordered a cheeseburger, which we expected would be big in size, but it was just an average size. While the patty was tender, it had no seasoning he could taste. He told me he's had comparable burgers out of vending machines before. On a positive note, the prices are reasonable and all of the staff was friendly. This is a family restaurant, which started in 1938 and has been passed down to future generations. With the decor, stepping inside here was like going back in time. The history and nostalgia was the best part of our dining experience. I seriously doubt we'll ever go back. Sorry Guy Fieri, but we were very disappointed in the food here.
Very Busy & Average Food. This is the kind of place a more 'mature' crowd are the regulars. My boyfriend stated, "you don't want to go back there very often or you will start to look like everyone there." (There were some people there who looked as though they were handicapped from their obesity.)--I thought that was a little harsh, but everything was pretty loaded--even the side salad (which was warm nor was it crisp) and drenched in ranch dressing and was partially mixed with the gravy from the chicken fried steak. The portions are huge and I wished I had only gotten a 1/2 of the regular portion. Oh yes, they only take cash or checks. I guess that is what makes this place so charming?!? Anyway, I probably won't go back because we had to wait for our table and the food was average, not great.
Gross to the max...... Okay...so the diners and dives food channel recommened this as a great place for home cooking. I have already sent them my disappointment in their recommend. No flavor in the chicken fried steak. My husband actually was sick to his stomach after. I ordered the soup which tasted like it had been warmed over several times. The service was slow and the cashier seemed annoyed that it was so busy. Please save your time and money........Not worth the gas to drive there!!!!!!
chicken fried steak & banana cream pie. This place has got one of the best chicken fried steaks in the city. I am not much of a dessert person but i absolutely love the banana cream pie. I would highly recommend this place. Be prepared for a small crowded restaurant though.
B+ at Best. I took my family and we're wondering what the hype is all about? We waited in line 30 minutes, then waited another 20 minutes to get served, then waited another 30 minutes to finally get our food. The onion rings came late, they have no refills on the soda or lemonade (a sign of stinginess and poor customer service), they were out of all their desserts except for pineapple upside down cake (poor prep work and planning), and we felt ignored as customers. The much-raved-about chicken fried steak was decent, but not awesome by any means. They also gave me a tiny scoop of mashed potatoes on my plate and barely any gravy under the CFS. Suggestion, guys: less CFS and more potatoes and gravy. Oh, and they don't take credit/debit cards. This place wouldn't survive w/o its locals and its vaunted, unwarranted rep. This new resident was unimpressed. GRADE: B+
Just know its a diner.. This place hasn't changed much in the last fifty years. The bathrooms are outside behind the restaurant. Good food but don't expect much more than that.
Serving platter-sized chicken fried steak since the 1930s..
Since the late '30s, this roadside landmark has served exemplary home-style favorites in a dining hall done up in Roy Rogers Bunkhaus decor--replete with wood walls, stuffed deer heads and glass-covered pies temptingly displayed on the counter top.
Start any meal with a heaping serving of crunchy, flour-battered onion rings. Chicken fried steak is tender to the fork and light on the tongue. Its dollop of cream gravy is rich and delectable, with just enough pepper to wake up the palate. The chili-drenched enchiladas, filled with lava-like cheese and covered with chili con carne and onions, serve to make an eater's choices difficult. Save room for DeWese's house-made yeast rolls, served towards the end of the lunch rush. Fruit, meringue or custard pie is the perfect way to top off a meal. Prepared every morning, the desserts quickly disappear.
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