Mon – Thurs 10 am – 1 am; Fri – Sat 10 am – 4 am; Sun 9 am – 1 am
Plans were announced last Fall that Home of Chicken and Waffles was opening in downtown Walnut Creek sometime late 2010. This trashy but sublime pairing of breakfast and dinner is a brilliant feast for those who aren’t interested in counting calories. I should but don’t… We had been impatiently waiting, obsessively googling, and then vaguely triumphant when we finally saw jobs posting on Craigslist last spring, knowing that it was only a matter of time. And at last, the Home of Chicken and Waffles finally opened its doors last week.
Like the Jack London Square location, the decor is space-age retro with a big nod to the 50’s diner, although it looks like there are tiny tv screens between seats rather than jukeboxes at the counter. The bright yellow back wall provides a background to the menu, which is a series of portraits of each dish named after family members. The online menu is 18 pages long, with several pages dedicated to alcoholic beverages which are not yet available at this location.
The combinations are endless, the menu features a broad range of food for the soul. Of course there is an entire page of chicken and waffles (12 variations), or you can decide to order the chicken smothered in gravy with grits or a hot fluffy biscuit, southern style chicken livers or giblets with rice and gravy. There’s a section devoted to eggs and such, or you can choose to go rad with a sandwich or salad. There are also tons of sides to consider: candied yams, greens, corn bread, potato salad black-eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, smothered potatoes, fries, sweet potato fries, red beans and rice. Whew! Fortunately our doll of a waitress had worked at the other location and was well versed in the menu, although all of us were set on getting our hands on the specialty of the house.
Chris and I both ordered Keith’s Tackle ($10.25), which consists of 2 chicken wings, a Waffle & Macaroni and cheese. This sounded like a reasonable amount of food and I worried that two wings wouldn’t be enough. Let me assure you that I wasn’t able to finish either the waffle or the mac and cheese, the portions are quite generous and the food is rich and hearty.
Now, let’s talk about the chicken, which arrived piping hot fresh from the fryer. The meat is brined, tossed in seasoned flour and fried to a sultry golden brown patina. The result is a thin, crisp and very savory coating that I took care to nibble every bite of.
The golden waffles are crunchy and served with a huge scoop of soft butter that was at least 1.5″ in diameter! I quickly spread that over the waffle, giving it time to melt in and then poured the contents of my plastic tub of syrup over it all. Then I broke it apart and picked it up and ate it like pizza, alternating bites of chicken and waffles, dazzling fireworks going off in my mouth.
The macaroni and cheese was unexpectedly fabulous. It was especially cheesy and I marveled at the delectably velvety texture. I wonder how they keep the cheese from separating, and am very glad that they have it figured out.
My co-worker Dustin enjoyed Dale’s Choice ($10.75), which is a generous pile of six chicken strips, side of yams and a Waffle, choice of ranch or BBQ sauce for the strips. He substituted the yams for a side of mac and cheese (+.50). He finished every single bite…
There was always someone coming around checking to make sure that we were happy or filling our water glasses but the best thing of all was the moist towelette they dropped off at the end of the meal. Yes, everything was finger licking good, but this is a nice touch and very refreshing.
The neon sign proclaims it to all the land, Soul Food at its Best! Especially true as they may be the only soul food restaurant in the creek…
They are open until 4 am on Friday and Saturday nights, offering a fried chicken haven for a late night snack after the bars close at 2 am.