I know this is an old thread but I recently had to make the drive from Dallas to Lubbock (I’m not from TX, so this isn’t a typical event for me). I was looking for somewhere to stop and eat along the way and came across this thread, so wanted to just add my one-time 2-cents.
We stopped at Belle’s Chicken Dinner House in Abilene. It was perfect. First, it is almost exactly 1/2 way along the drive, just off the freeway, and exactly what I thought it would be . . . a Texas road side fried chicken joint in all the tourist sense that that may mean, with really good fried chicken.
The place is just off the freeway, not near anything really, in a big metal warehouse type building hidden behind some trees. It is a giant open room, with a 1/2 exposed commercial type kitchen along one wall, concrete floors . . . . the staff was great, the parking lot full of nothing but pick-up trucks - we were clearly tourists but everyone else seemed to be regulars.
It sounds like the menu changes a little from time to time. We had the fried chicken, which was only served as a breast, wing, thigh, and leg. The sides that day were a creamed corn (much better than what we expected it to be), green beans with bacon (tasty but a little mushy - but that is what we expected them to be), mashed potatoes (perfectly fine), and sausage gravy (as tasty and not thick and paste like). We all agreed that the fried chicken was excellent - super crispy and nothing was overcooked, not even the wings, which is not easy to do.
They also had fried catfish (and one or two other options but we were there for the friend chicken). They also must do chicken and dumplings because a few guys came in to get it but were told they were out - those guys promptly turned around and left.
I don’t have a lot of things to compare it with, and have only been once . . . but if you’re making that drive and are looking for somewhere that isn’t a fast food chain, I’d stop there again.