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Nov 5, 2010 11:09 PM

I don't get the chicken and waffle craze.

I do not understand the chicken and waffle craze, because I have yet to find anyplace that marries the flavors well. I've had it at a hole in the walls and an upscale establishments.
I have a very sophisticated palate so it's not like I don't get the sweet and savory thing. It's just that fried chicken and a buttermilk waffle really don't seem to go together.
I think perhaps a roasted chicken and a potato waffle might be ok with some sort of sweet spicy caramelized onion type marmalade. I plan on working on that this weekend.
Otherwise fried chicken, maple syrup and waffle really don't mix. sorry.

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  1. I've never had an exceptional one either, but I do love the flavors even if the components are substandard.

    But then again, I just love honey-dipped fried chicken, so I probably just love that sweet savory combo too much. Heh.

    1. It's a downhome Southern thing to have syrup, molasses or honey on the table, even at dinnertime, so folks with a Southern background have learned to relish sweet + bread (including biscuits and waffles) + savory. As for the chicken-and-waffles thing, it's said to have originated in all-night diners in NYC that catered to a black clientele, and musicians coming off a gig at 3 or 4 am found they could get fried chicken and they could get waffles, and the combo caught on. Which sorta leads us to Roscoe's and the other places that do this.

      To be perfectly honest, I don't really get this either, but then I'm not much into sweets at all. I tried some that Mrs. O ordered - she loves it - and was underimpressed. De gustibus etcetera...

      1. I don't get crazes, period; I like to eat what I like to eat when I like to eat it. But chicken and waffles served with both gravy and syrup, provided both are well made (which isn't often), is a treat.

        As Will noted, it's a dish with an interesting historical context; without that, I agree it would seem strange, just as if some chef were to start combining, I don't know, salmon and Pop Tarts.

        5 Replies
        1. re: tatamagouche

          When you consider that a good many of those late-night musicians may have been having a little reefer as an appetizer, salmon and pop tarts might have charmed them as well. Let us give thanks that salmon was scarce in Harlem diners, and pop tarts yet unknown ...

            1. re: Will Owen

              "may have been having a little reefer as an appetizer, salmon and pop tarts might have charmed them as well"

              as some point in the mid 80's I may very well have tried that, but the memory fails (there's a surprise!)

            2. re: tatamagouche

              "salmon and Pop Tarts."

              THAT sent a shiver down my spine!



              1. re: ZenSojourner

                Funny thing, salmon and maple syrup is divine! lol. My dad used to make salmon cakes with panfried potatoes. Then serve ketchup and syrup on the plate. Amazing. I do "get" the sweet and savory thing.

            3. Do you live near a Roscoe's, by any chance?

              3 Replies
              1. re: jaykayen

                Unfortunately I live between the Hollywood and Pasadena Roscoe's and a always get Scoe's #2 (fried chicken w/gravy and waffles with syrup). Something abou the syrup that it's like liquid candy, and I only use one of the servings. Yeah, it's totally bad for you, but I find the combination decadent. I do notice many people opt out on the waffle and get the corn bread.

                1. re: monku

                  I live within waddling distance of the one in Pasadena. When we first moved here we went a couple of times. I liked the vibe a lot more than the food, except for the mac'n'cheese, which I could put in my pants. Since then it's become mostly a place we take out-of-towners.

                  The cornbread is a good deal better than the waffles, I think, though much too sweet for my taste. Last time we were in there I got biscuits and gravy, though, and it was a disaster: the gravy was brown and clear, like jus, and the socalled "biscuits" were a kind of yeast roll. Bleagh!

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    Eww re biscuits and gravy. But "I could put it in my pants" is my new fave comment.

              2. chicken at the wholesale level is very cheap now, despite the rise in corn prices,
                so chains that buy in bulk are trying to find new ways to sell chicken at a profit.
                so pushing a crossover dish that may work for the breakfast crowd is important.

                15 Replies
                1. re: Joe Berger

                  The wholesale price of chicken wings has skyrocketed over the last year because of demand. It's cheaper to make "boneless" wings from chicken breast than serve real chicken wings. Which might explain the last time I went to Roscoe's the wing that came with my order wasn't much bigger than my thumb.

                  1. re: monku

                    Anthony Bourdain tried them on his No Reservations program. He didn't like them, either.

                    1. re: marymac

                      Get your information right.

                      ” said Bourdain. “Philippe’s. Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, though I like chicken and I like waffles but I don’t like them together, but I still like Roscoe’s.


                      1. re: monku

                        Excuse me!! I thought we were talking about chicken and waffle combinations. You guys really give this board a bad name.

                        1. re: marymac

                          Sorry, maybe I'm a bit passionate about Roscoe's and Tony.
                          Because Bourdain doesn't like the "combination" that makes it wrong?

                          1. re: monku

                            No it's not wrong. I like Tony, too and if he doesn't like chicken and waffle combination I won't be apt to try it.

                            1. re: marymac

                              That's kind of my point...
                              Because Tony says he doesn't like it, you won't even try it.
                              I would think if you posted here you have a mind of your own rather than put it down based on someone elses opinion.

                              1. re: marymac

                                No it's not wrong. I like Tony, too and if he doesn't like chicken and waffle combination I won't be apt to try it.

                                Please, please, please ... tell me you are joking.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Actually, I was joking. The thought of that combination is a big turn-off for me. And some of the things he likes I have no desire to try. I was just trying to get a reaction from Mr. Rudeness.

                                  1. re: marymac

                                    I was of the same opinion -- that maple syrup and fried chicken would be any good -- until I tried it.

                                    Still not my cup of tea, but I can appreciate it and when the whim strikes (as seldom as it may be) will crave it.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      I guess I'm more savory than sweet, so the combination doesn't appeal to me. Could be different for some folks.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        In Texas and Oklahoma, "Chicken Dinner" houses serve fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits with sides. There is always honey, and sometimes sorghum, on the table, and it really can go well with fried chicken and with biscuits, but it is not for everyone. Dipping fried chicken and biscuits in some kind of syrup is an acquired taste but I get it. It's really not a stretch to have waffle/maple syrup around (I don't assume they are serving real maple syrup with chicken and waffles all the time).

                        2. re: monku

                          it's a recession mentality. people think wings are cheap
                          when in reality, they've become the most expensive part,
                          thus making breasts and thighs so 25¢/LB cheap that
                          chains will concoct any dish they can to include them.
                          even if they have to put in on our breakfast pancakes...

                          1. re: Joe Berger

                            Let's see what happens to the price of wings when the Super Bowl XLV approaches.

                            1. re: monku

                              If you can find them! I made the mistake of wing shopping the day before last year's Super Bowl, and couldn't find fresh wings anywhere. I ended up buying a bag of frozen from Costco.