Why Chicken and Waffles?
It's one of our favourites because it's exemplary soul food; unapologetic, full-fat, and delicious. Last summer we decided to try our hand at a chicken and waffles recipe. We have a few favourite brunch spots in Vancouver, so we used this goal as an excuse to revisit many to compare their chicken and waffles.
Note: We tried many more restaurants, but out of brevity, they were not at the same level or have since pulled the dish from their menu. The Rumpus Room, Two Chefs and a Table, and Abigail's Party may be on this list were they still with us, R.I.P..
Without question, Tableau Bistro took the top spot. It's more expensive than most of the others and geographically it's tucked away in the business district, on the ground floor of the Loden Hotel. The room is a bit stuffy on first blush, but Tableau delivers in a warm setting, delicious flavours, and exceptional service. Sorry, everyone else, here's why their chicken & waffles are the best:
- Respect to the origins of the dish with a modern translation - American scratch waffle, chicken gravy (but not smothered in it), flaky batter, and although fried, the chicken is not oily
- Texture - Amazing crunch! The waffle was perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside
- Presentation, colour and plating - Light garnish, crispy, evenly browned chicken, blonde waffle
- Portion size - Not too big, not too small
- Accoutrements - Silky smooth gravy and light maple syrup, excellent espresso bar and drink menu
Our only aside is that they use boneless chicken, but we didn't harbour any distaste because it was juicy, delicious, brined perfection.
Honourable mention: We casually walked into 'The Colony' on Main St. one Sunday afternoon. There wasn't a lineup, there was barely anyone inside, there was American football on the countless bigscreens enveloping us, the service was casual and forgetful, but the Chicken & Waffles is a surprising sleeper hit.
Did we miss anyone?
If you feel we forgot someone, let us know on @MakeWaffles or Facebook.com/WafflesOnWaffles. We've now finished our chicken and waffles recipe and have workshopped it thoroughly in our Fall 2015 test kitchen. If you'd like to try it and see how we stack up, join one of our #DinnerPartyYVR test kitchens in March-April or attend our April 9th meal at Dinner Party YVR.