Friday, October 28, 2011

Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles

Location: 3947 S King Drive
Cost: About $15 per person

The real driving factor to this dining experience came from my buddy Ryan Katz, and here's his version of how things came to be:

A while back I was having a (possibly alcohol ridden) conversation with Jeff about this very blog, when it turned to a concept I have always found intriguing: chicken and waffles. Ever since that time I've been asking him to find a place downtown that serves this, so when he talked me into going early one Saturday morning it was one of the few things I would have gotten out of bed for.

So it was now on me to find some baller place for chicken and waffles. I had just started a month of work at Children's for ENT when Andy (one of the residents) and I got to talking about food. Interestingly, the first place he brought up was Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles. Sure enough, a few days later in lecture, my friend Marc Lim mentioned that he lived down the road from this great place for chicken and waffles. Sure enough, it was the same spot. With all of these glowing reviews, I had to check it out. So as Ryan was saying, we went there early one Saturday morning joined by Specs and Marc.

Logistics
Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles is near the corner of Pershing and King which is much farther than I usually schlep for my breakfast. The setting is a bit odd. The waiters are dressed in all black, there is some dim lighting, and smooth jazz fills the background. It could easily be a cocktail lounge if it wasn't for the smell of crackling, fried chicken skin. We didn't have to wait, but as we were heading out it seemed like some people had been there for about a half hour before getting seated.

The service was too good. Our waiter brought extra everything, gave us enough independence, and wouldn't even reach over our plates to pour drinks. The cost is totally reasonable. We all had one of the many variations of  chicken and waffles that were in the $10-12 range.

The Food
The name of this place says it all. Every dish is named after some person who loved a certain variation of chicken and waffles enough that I'm sure they have significant coronary artery disease at this point. Marc and Specs got the Betty Lou (1/2 Chicken and 2 Waffles), I think Ryan got the Saint (1/4 dark Chicken and 2 Waffles), and I got the Aunt Joyce (1/4 dark chicken, waffle, grits, and 2 eggs). It was tough for me to pick a dish out of all of these choices, but since I have an Aunt Joyce, I took this to be a sign. Each bit of that chicken was juicy on the inside, but the skin is really what did me in. It was crispy, well seasoned, and dimpled nicely to give a really superb texture. The waffles were way better than they looked. By that I mean that they're not just oversized eggo waffles, and they really have a nice, soft interior. My eggs were overcooked, but the grits were done well.

The Aunt Joyce

Just some more chicken

 The Grits and Eggs

Overall
I think Ryan put it well when he said:

I don't have an extensive background on fried chicken and am normally not a big fan of breakfast food, but this combination was definitely a winner. The chicken was great and the waffle was a nice substitute for a boring old bun. I left feeling completely satisfied, and yet not too full. I can't say that I'd rush back strictly from a health standpoint, but otherwise I would highly recommend it.

I'm giving them 4 out of 5 Pearls.


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