Chicken and Waffles Tour of America (Suggestions!)

By Ailish

Apparently, July 30th is National Chicken and Waffles Day. I’m not always a fan of these seemingly made up “national holidays” that Instagram and the morning news delights in, but sometimes there’s one that hits me right in my heart so hard that I can’t avoid celebrating it.

 

national chicken and waffleds day
Soul Groove in San Francisco

 

This might not be official, there are other places out there that say other dates are “Chicken and Waffles Day” but do they have a sign in their chicken and waffles establishment proclaiming it so?!

I can’t pin point the exact day I had my first chicken and waffles meal. It was probably in Oakland at Home of Chicken and Waffles, around 2012. I probably had something super normal and uninventive for a menu like their’s with so many options. My love of this meal coincided with my move back to California after living in Washington for two years. Since that first meal, I’ve developed a slight obsession with it.

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Documented rather thoroughly on my Instagram

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love breakfast. I’ll order it whenever I can make any excuse to have breakfast for dinner. Chicken and Waffles is just such a solid meal. It’s not quite breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s really the perfect brunch meal because it’s hardy enough to fill you up for a while. Plus it pairs best with sweet and savory sides. I hesitate to call it my ~favorite~ meal because I love having it every so often as a special treat, but then again because it has so many variations, it’s always special.

 

In the past five years, I’ve had this meal from at least two dozen different places. I have my favorite reliable places, as well as some stand out places.

 

Most Reliable:

Pann’s (Inglewood, CA)

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If you don’t mind waiting 20 mins to get seated, this place has the most affordable bottomless mimosa brunch I’ve ever come across. They don’t fucking play around when they say bottomless. You take one sip of your mimosa and they rush over to fill it with champagne. The food is always great. It’s chicken wings, not entirely fried chicken so it’s still great. The waffle is the perfect Belgien size with deep divots to pour your syrup into. Imagine a diner and you’re likely picturing Pann’s. The service is delightful and the food is delicious. Actually, I can only speak for the Chicken and Waffles meal, which I think is the only thing worth getting.

Runner up: Home of Chicken and Waffles (Oakland, CA)

home of c and w

You never forget your first. They also have a great weekend bottomless mimosa brunch special. Their fried chicken is so great! And they have so many different meal combos. My go-to’s are Paige’s Pallette: 2 fried chicken wings, an egg (fried) and a waffle. OR Keiths Tackle: 2 chicken wings, a waffles and mac and cheese.

 

Best quality

Pancakes and Waffles (Honolulu, Hawaii)

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Maybe it’s because it’s made with Aloha, maybe it’s because I was on vacation mode when I had these, but my god this is exactly what I think of when I picture Fried Chicken and Waffles. Everything about it was perfect and exact, I couldn’t believe it. I got the right portion of everything, there wasn’t anything super fancy about it. It was simple, delicious and hands down the best meal I’ve ever had.

Runner Up: Neptune’s (Alameda, CA)

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I went to this place on a whim and was delightfully surprised. The atmosphere was so darling. They really don’t play with their Neptune theme. We sat outside and enjoyed a really unique take on fried chicken and incredibly sweet waffles (there was a savory option as well). I went during their soft opening while they were still in the midsts of getting a liquor license. The one thing I would have enjoyed with this amazing meal was a mimosa.

Close Third: Brown Sugar Kitchen (Oakland, CA)

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This place is quickly becoming an Oakland staple. It’s got a phenomenal soul food style menu and of course a very delicious Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Cornmeal Waffles meal. To top it off (literally) they serve it with brown sugar butter and apple cider syrup which makes you say “of fucking course, these tastes go together!” The only downside (for me not for them) is how popular they are and how early I have to come to get this amazing unique meal.

Not worth the hype

Roscoes Chicken and Waffles

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I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t love Roscoes. I’ve been there a handful of times and have tried many different items on their menu. But at best everything is very blah. The way I describe their food to people is fast food chicken and waffles. It’s not awful, but it’s also nothing special. The food comes quickly, like it’s hot and ready, which can be nice because their places can get really full. I know I know, Barack Obama loves Roscoes, and maybe I would too if I had a meal named after me. It’s not the worst, but when there are so many better options around, it’s not my first choice.

Universal Studios Cletus’s Chicken Shack

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This is an obvious one. Of course, people don’t come to Universal Studios to get a Chicken and Waffles sandwich from Cletus’ Chicken Shack. They come for the butterbeer. But in case you were in the neighborhood, saw it on the menu and wondered if it was good or not, let me tell you it’s not. It’s literal fast food. The waffle is soggy from the slaw, the chicken is more baked than fried and it’s honestly too hard to eat. I’ve unfortunately had it twice and it didn’t get better the second time.

 

 

Go forth, my friends! Celebrate this glorious day right! Let me know what you’re eating!

Surviving a Live-in Break Up

By Elizabeth Stickley

One month ago my live in girlfriend broke up with me… over the phone… at 8 am… on my way to work…

 

As my world crumbled down around me, a million questions ran through my head. How could she do this to me? How did I not see this coming? What could I have done better?

 

I sat through an entire work day with these questions churning, just a zombie staring through the computer. It wasn’t until I was sitting in LA traffic on my way home that I realized…. We fucking live together.

 

Breakups are hard enough, but when you live together, it’s a whole different story. How are you supposed to recover when you have to see the person who broke your heart every single day? The answer is simple… you don’t.

 

In an ideal world, you’ll be able to afford your own place, or your friends will have endless spare rooms for rent. But for most of us, that is not the case. So, we suck it up and coexist because well… we have to.

 

Get yourself out

The best thing you can do is get out of the shared space. My ex and I worked opposite schedules, which was very helpful, but coming home to an empty apartment isn’t that great of a feeling either. So, I started saying yes to midweek invites from my friends. Maybe I needed a little extra coffee the next day, but hey, it was worth it. Being out with the people who love you can help take your mind of what is going on at home. Plus, reconnecting with friends is one of the positives of a breakup.

 

You’re not strangers, so don’t act like it

The first week of the breakup, I had no idea how to act. I felt like I was living with a stranger. I felt like I was walking on eggshells. I didn’t know how to even talk to her, but one day she stopped me in the hall and said, “You know we aren’t stranger right?” And while I didn’t want to be her buddy, I realized that we could still coexist comfortably and have normal conversations.

 

If you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up.

The longer you’re living together, the more likely you two are going to fall into the old routine. Making dinner, watching your favorite shows, cuddling, and eventually sex… I definitely don’t recommend this, but shit happens, and you can’t go back in time to change it. No one is perfect and a live-in breakup is a new territory for almost everyone who experiences it.

 

For me, it was towards the end of the month, just before she was going to move. We thought we had it all figured out, I mean hell we made it this far! So, we decided to go out to dinner together. BIG MISTAKE. We were laughing and touching as if nothing had changed between us. Needless to say, we go home, one thing leads to another and the next thing I know I’m waking up in the morning, regret like a pit in my stomach. I felt all the feelings come flooding back to me and I was back at square one. But I knew I couldn’t go back in time, so I just kept moving forward.

 

Keep it simple

Eventually, the day will come where it’s just you and your ex stuck at home together. Of course, this wasn’t ideal, but my ex and I made the best of it. In order to avoid making the mistakes I mentioned above, we kept everything light. We chose classic reruns of comedies over our new TV shows, we kept conversation cordial and light, we smoked a joint to calm our nerves. Whether you’re the breakup-er or the breakup-ee, you need to recognize that both of you need that time at home to relax, so don’t ruin it for one another out of spite.

 

Say what you need to say… to a point

With each day you get closer and closer to that final goodbye. It’s important to let the other person know how you are feeling. If you’re having a bad day it’s okay to let them know. If you’re missing them it’s okay to let them know. It’s unhealthy to lean on one another during your individual recoveries, but it’s important to communicate during this time. It’s definitely NOT worth bringing up old problems and picking fights. You’re making your last memories with this person, so why ruin it for yourself.

 

Have an end date

Knowing when one of you or both of you are going to move out really makes the process a lot easier. It’s easier to navigate when there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My ex knew she was going to move in a month, but had nowhere to go in the meantime, so we stayed in our apartment together. I had some tough days during that time, but it was comforting to know that this was a temporary arrangement.  

 

I’m in no way condoning living with an ex, but sometimes we don’t have a choice. However, if the relationship is abusive or unhealthy in any way disregard ALL of my advice and get the fuck out of there.

 

Live-in breakups are their own breed. I scoured the internet for any advice on navigating this new situation I found myself in, but everything I found was either super negative or just bad common sense. I worked through it on my own, and I survived. And you will too.