Saturday, January 12, 2013


Location: 1235 W Randolph
Cost: About $15 per person

Ever since I hit up Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles a while back, I've had a clear favorite breakfast dish. You might recall that I recently tried out the chicken and waffles at Longman & Eagle too, which were some of the best that I've come across thus far. There's something about a juicy, salty fried chicken over some sweet waffles, all drenched in syrup that really hits the spot. I'd heard from a ton of people that the place to try was Ina's. It's right down the road from Josh and Lonnie's place, so I got them to join me the other weekend to check it out.

Ina's is a bit west on Randolph, so you basically have to drive. Luckily they've got a parking lot and tons of nearby street parking. We walked into a dining room packed with anyone from families with little kids to one night stands going to breakfast the next morning (and hoping they don't have any kids on the way). Two things that stood out were that the actress who plays Meredith on The Office used to work there (and they have a picture of her hanging up [just in case you were hoping to cut down on your appetite]). Another point is that there are unique salt and pepper shakers on every table that people have given as gifts to Ina. It's both sentimental and a good sign of the oncoming cardiovascular disease that comes with the American diet.

I wasn't a fan of our waiter. It was a long time before we were initially approached, and at the end of the meal I felt very rushed. On top of that, with a kick to the chicken, consistent water refills would've been really nice, but this was an issue throughout the meal. The cost of most dishes will set you back a little more than $10 which is standard.

The Food
Lonnie, being the health conscious member of our group, ordered an Omelet with  spinach and mozzarella while Josh and I went with the Chicken and Waffles. Her omelet was really... "eggy." By that I mean that the filling relative to the shell was all out of balance. It was nice and fluffy though. The potatoes on the side needed some crisp and some seasoning (and you all know how I feel about mediocre potatoes).

 The Omelet

Let's break down the chicken and waffles a bit. The waffle served as a good, standard base to the dish. It was light but not soggy. The chicken came next and was way too heavy on the fried coating. It was too crispy, and the meat wasn't juicy enough to make up for the exterior. There were two options for toppings, the syrup and the spicy honey. The honey had a real kick to it and put a nice twist on the dish. The syrup had a hint of coffee that made for a really interesting flavor mix.

The Chicken and Waffles

Although three Jewish kids from the north suburbs of Chicago might fit in better at Ina's than at Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles, I'll take the latter any day. Without a juicy piece of meat, chicken and waffles can get pretty dry overall which was the downfall of our meal. The honey and syrup were a neat twist on a standard dish. Still, it's not like I was digging the service or the feel of the place either. I'm giving Ina's 2 out of 5 Pearls.

Ina's on Urbanspoon