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Chicken and Waffles=Amazing

e
EpicureanX Feb 27, 2009 08:13 PM

So, me and my buddies headed out about a week ago to check out the chicken and waffles place on Mass ave called "The Hen House". Overall a great time, we went there after school and each got similar but different plates Right when we walked in there was about 5 people already eating but there was no line. We all got in line and ordered, I got the waffle combo which was a buttermilk waffle with homemade butter, and I got the friend chicken tenders which arent really like tenders from the freezer, these were legit chicken strips. My decision turned out to be the best of everyone because not having bones during consumption made the whole eating process a lot cleaner. The one dissapointing part of the meal was that we had heard that the sauces were very vast and delicious, however vast they may have been ranging from honey mustard to teryaki we were dissapointed to seem that all the sauces were either too salty or too bland. It didnt stop us at all from consuming every last bite though. Another great part about the place was that they had very interesting soda, some choices were watermelon(good) to rootbeer(not good). However the main point of this post was to recieve some better advice on chicken and waffles in the area. Possibly making the trek out to Amy Ruth's in NYC but I'd rather see whats in the area first.

  1. MC Slim JB Jun 5, 2009 09:15 PM

    I've already slagged the Hen House here: great logo, good fried chicken, weak waffles, wretched cleanliness, and deathly slow service.

    I don't think the Poppa B's waffle is quite up to the platonic ideal, which I believe would be denser and crisper, reflecting lots of fat on the iron, but its fried chicken is the best I've had in Boston. Meanwhile, the waffle is definitely more substantial than the typical fluffy breakfast waffle, the service could not be sweeter or friendlier (and it's table service), and the place is spotless.

    May go back to the Hen House for the very cool t-shirt; but for chicken and waffles, I'm going back to Poppa B's.

    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

    1. CreativeFoodie42 Jun 5, 2009 12:41 PM

      For an upscale twist on chicken and waffles, try the veal sweetbreads with whole wheat waffle at L'Espalier. There are three or four little waffles topped with sweetbreads and maple syrup. It is seriously to die for....

      1. k
        Keith15 Jun 5, 2009 12:24 PM

        Chicken and waffles is the real deal. If your pallette craves the savory and sweet or sweet and spicy mix, you must go for this combo. I am shocked, I have to say, that I see it being talked about in Boston, by I'm a newbie here so forgive me. Coming from LA. I don't know anything other than Roscoe's (full chicken pieces, choice of light or dark) or Pann's (Spicy wings).
        When in NYC however, you have to go to Melba's on 114th and 8th, in the Village of Harlem.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Keith15
          BarmyFotheringayPhipps Jun 5, 2009 02:05 PM

          Er...why are you shocked?

        2. m
          mezzodiva54 Jun 5, 2009 11:46 AM

          Having lived in the nabe for a gazillion years, I kept circling this place but never going in. Tipping point came when Liquor Land moved in next door. So one late afternoon I bit. And boy, was I ever sorry I did.

          I did not have waffles. But I had the chicken, with potatoes, gravy, and greens. Everything (but especially the greens) was the saltiest food I've ever put in my mouth. I couldn't finish it. The gravy came out of a can, or something, certainly wasn't real gravy. The place was NOT CLEAN. As I chewed, I became more and more concerned that what I was putting in my MOUTH was not clean. I would avoid this place like the plague.

          Having said all this, the place seems incredibly popular. Go figure.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mezzodiva54
            9
            9lives Jun 5, 2009 12:01 PM

            I've only been once but I liked the fried chicken..never had the waffles. Only 1 trip and I hit them when they were first opening..so the oil was fresh.

            I consider it the 3rd leg of Speed's and M&M BBQ...for a good bike ride in the area.

            3 good options in a very small geographic area.

            To coment on another related thread..not a great 3 for walking but on a bike; they're really close.

          2. Nab Feb 28, 2009 03:23 PM

            Having returned to Boston this week after a 5-yr hiatus in the South and Texas, I've found myself feeding on barbecue and soul food in an attempt to bring some degree of warmth to my bones.

            A friend of mine is a big fan of the Hen House, but was quick to point out he'd only been there at the end of the night, and a daytime sober scarfing might not live up to his "memories". After persistently pecking at him about a chick'n'waff brunch, I ultimately prevailed and we found ourselves at the HH in the sober light of day, a line 10-deep and excruatingly slow, so slow I couldn't imagine having to wait that wait at 2am.

            The logo is brilliant, the hat hip, and the panties with "tastes like chicken" on the backside a requisite purchase.

            Buttermilk waffles were floppy, no real golden exterior, but they ate alright topped with some whipped butter and maple syrup. Drumstick and thigh were fresh-fried, with a somewhat heavy batter that was mildly spiced and cracker-crispy, giving way to juicy-tender meat. MC Slim gets it right with the Sysco sauces which are mostly forgettable, although I think I did utilize a few more drops of the jerk sauce than any others. Side of soupy red beans were savory and warming, and I get the feeling the other sides and soul of the menu are probably worth checking out. I was laser-focused on the smoked cheddar grits, but they were out and I was told they'd take 8 minutes to make, 8 more minutes that I did not have to spare in my life today (esp for what might have been instant grits). I wonder what their barbecue is like. I didn't get a whiff of smoke in the joint, and couldn't see their rig.

            Heineken on-tap, Colt 45 on can, Nantucket juices, a plethora of pops from the Mercury Brewing Company (the slurp of cola I had was quite good).

            1. MC Slim JB Feb 28, 2009 05:58 AM

              I agree that the concept of chicken and waffles is unique. I can't say I love the Hen House, however.

              Good: nicely-fried chicken, especially the whole-piece option; an awesome logo (I want one of those t-shirts).

              Bad: wimpy waffles, not tough or crunchy enough for fried chicken (though they'd be fine as breakfast waffles in most contexts); fake-maple syrup for the waffles (a bad corner to cut); lack of a savory-gravy option (there ought to be a Southern-style country gravy available); terrible Sysco-grade sauces for the chicken (these are best skipped altogether); the cleanliness of the dining area (they don't wipe the tables down nearly frequently enough, which you have to keep on top of in a counter-service place); the pitifully slow and not especially hospitable service (it's glacial and surly even when the place is empty).

              I haven't tried the chicken and waffles at Poppa B's, but I'll go out on a limb and guess that they're superior. I know they have better fried chicken, the place is spotless, and in general the kitchen seems much more focused on fresh, house-made ingredients and preparations. And it's a table-service place with really delightful servers.

              Too bad, since the Hen House is a lot more convenient to me. I'm a much bigger fan of the owners' other place, the nearby Victoria's Diner.

              8 Replies
              1. re: MC Slim JB
                t
                the modern serf Feb 28, 2009 09:49 AM

                What's the best way to get to Poppa B's via MBTA? Google maps and the MBTA trip planner ... disagree on where 1100 Blue HIll Ave is.

                1. re: the modern serf
                  MC Slim JB Feb 28, 2009 10:15 AM

                  #28 bus from Dudley to Havelock St at Blue Hill Ave, walk back north a couple of blocks.

                2. re: MC Slim JB
                  ScubaSteve Feb 28, 2009 11:56 AM

                  i saw a segment on TVDiver where BC was at Lucky's across from Drink and raved about the C&W. Have you been MC?

                  1. re: ScubaSteve
                    Matt H Feb 28, 2009 12:09 PM

                    I personally cannot stop talking about the the Chicken and Waffles at Lucky's. Much better than the Hen House (which is decent). Both the fried chicken wings and the waffles stand out and the scotch bonnet maple syrup is excellent.

                    1. re: Matt H
                      t
                      tallullah Feb 28, 2009 12:35 PM

                      I second Lucky's. I thought the chicken was very nicely fried with a great crust. The waffles maintained their crspness and the scotch bonnet maple syrup had a good level of heat without overpowering the syrup.

                      1. re: tallullah
                        Matt H Mar 9, 2009 07:04 AM

                        I was at Lucky's yesterday for Lunch and our server told us that the Chicken and Waffles are no longer on the menu. Apparently the prep time was too long and it was not ordered enough to justify keeping it on the menu. It really is a shame because it was by far the best version in Boston.

                    2. re: ScubaSteve
                      MC Slim JB Feb 28, 2009 03:45 PM

                      Whoa, lotta abbreviations there. Took me a while to decode.

                      I like Lucky's a lot, but they are suffering from the Thaitation/Trattoria Toscana syndrome, i.e., if I'm in that neighborhood, I'm sorely tempted by the joint across the street.

                      I definitely hadn't noticed chicken & waffles on their menu in my last couple of visits, but will certainly give that a shot. I highly admire their bar steak, and enjoy the big cocktails and Frank impersonator.

                    3. re: MC Slim JB
                      tatamagouche Jun 10, 2009 11:42 AM

                      Back when Nevins was at Neptune he did a version, a Sunday special, with fig syrup that was a w e s o m e...

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