Eats Beat

A lake restaurant serves catfish and shrimp. But don’t miss the chicken-fried steak

The Oasis at Joe Pool serves a West Texas-style chicken-fried steak with a light flour breading.
The Oasis at Joe Pool serves a West Texas-style chicken-fried steak with a light flour breading.

The biggest, best lakefront restaurant in Tarrant County serves more than fish.

Sure, The Oasis at Joe Pool Lake is known for 25 years of catfish, oysters and jumbo shrimp cocktail.

But it also serves a genuine West Texas version of chicken-fried steak or chicken.

I realize that in all your trips to The Oasis, just off Texas 360 and one of the busiest restaurants in the Mansfield or south Arlington area, you may never have thought of ordering beef.

After all, scenic Joe Pool Lake is shimmering outside the window. The next table is having that shrimp cocktail or some drink with a parasol.

But a reader with extensive knowledge of chicken-fried steak recommended The Oasis’, and for good reason.

The Oasis’ chicken-fried steak is pounded and lightly floured and seaoned, not encased in heavy batter or fried beyond recognition.

The result is a chicken-fried steak (or chicken) that’s more steak than crust, along the same line as Mac’s in Arlington (though not as tender).

The Oasis is brightly decorated at Christmas.

The cream gravy tastes seasoned and housemade.

Order a loaded baked potato and the new sauteed spinach. and you’ve got a giant dinner that two can split for less than $20.

A family feeds ducks at the Oasis at Joe Pool Lake. Bud Kennedy

The Oasis also serves a New York strip ($19.95-$29.95).

The restaurant is popular for its appetizers and lakeront bar food, including everything from seafood stuffed avocados with sriracha ($12.95) to coconut shrimp with chili-lime sauce ($14.95), wings, pickle chips, quesadillas and nachos.

The best time to come is for a quiet weekday lunch.

The grilled chicken Caesar or fish baskets are $11.95 until 3 p.m., or there’’s sandwich combos with gumbo. A fajitas lunch is $12.95, and there’s a burger with blackened shrimp ($12.95).

The Oasis at Joe Pool Lake is open for lunch and dinner daily at 5700 Lake Ridge Parkway, 1½ miles east of Texas 360; 817-640-7676,

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.