Thursday, April 4, 2013

Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles (Los Angeles)

A week or so before I moved out west a friend of mine who had lived in LA for a few years saw it necessary that I visit Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles. Being a fan of the famous sweet and savory combination I added this establishment to a long list places to try.

Ten months later I finally got around to trying this famous restaurant. A couple of my best friends were in for the weekend for a concert so I suggested a number of places to try while they were visiting. The day after the event our mutual friend from the area volunteered to take us all on a tour of some of the more historic and hidden parts of Los Angeles which included a stop at Roscoe’s.

(Photo via Yelp)

We all had the privilege of driving through Santa Monica where I live then going through Venice Beach followed by Marina Del Rey and then into South Central LA. We visited the epicenter of famous Rodney King riots and then went to Downtown to visit Koreatown, City Hall and the Financial District. We took a lunch break in Inglewood to try Roscoe’s famous Chicken and Waffles.

Originally opened in Hollywood in 1975 by Herb Hudson Roscoe’s has become an institution in the city of Los Angeles. Hudson, who was originally from Harlem brought this traditional southern cuisine to the west coast and introduced his restaurant to a number of his friends in Motown. Word spread quickly and since its inception Roscoe’s has opened five more stores in the metropolitan region.

While the origin of this odd combination of foods is shrouded in history Roscoe’s is one of the few establishments that has brought it into vogue. Anytime someone mentions chicken and waffles one of the first thing that comes to mind is Roscoe’s. I am well aware of its popularity so I was more than ecstatic when I heard that we would be going.

As we drove into the parking lot I could already feel my tummy rumbling in anticipation. We walked in and were immediately seated and handed our menus. I scanned the menu for about a millisecond before making my choice. I went for the classic Scoe’s # 1 which consists of a 1 /4 of a chicken served with two waffles and a side of syrup. I also paired that with a sunset which is a combination of fruit punch and lemonade to balance the massive sugar and salt intake with an extra lethal dose of sugar or as I like to call it breakfast in the South.

(Scoe's # 2)

The rest of the table followed suit and our food came out before anyone could even think about how hungry they were. Once the food hit the table I had visions of my trips down south. I don’t know if it was the Frisbee sized waffles, the ice cream scoop of butter lathered on top of it or the delicious scent of fried chicken but this definitely wasn’t a prototypical dish served in Southern California. Before taking a bite my arteries began to quench at what would be a meal that would shave a couple years off my life.

Each bite delivered a wave of intense flavor; I could literally feel a sugar high with every bite I took. I calmly cut off each piece of chicken and wrapped it in the butter soaked and syrup lathered waffle to make a miniature sandwich which was to die for. I got three quarters of the way through my meal with tears of gluttonous joy before I had to stop myself. My stomach could not handle any more so I left what remained to be taken away. I left the place feeling ten pounds heavier, sleepy and bloated. But the meal was well worth it, I also managed to sample some mac and cheese which was fantastic but probably not the best idea being in the state I was in.

We continued our tour for a couple more hours and found it almost impossible to eat anything for dinner. It was a fantastic day that was topped off with a grand meal that was well worth the slight pain that ensued. I highly recommend trying this place if you have a change, their chicken and waffles rank among the best I have had and at a reasonable price.

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