Fruit Monopoly on Waffle Topping Market Usurped in Austin

Well, not really.  In fact, not at all.  BUT, I did learn something rather interesting recently from some friends and in articles and blog posts I’ve stumbled upon.

There are strange culinary combinations a-plenty in the world of cooking, and some are admittedly more outlandish than others.  Let’s take two long-standing some-would-call comfort foods for example: cheese and steak.  Lathering cheese on steak?  That’s sounds overly adventurous.  Oh wait.  Do that and slop it on a bun: Philly cheesesteak.  Going approximately 2300 kilometres Southwest from Philadelphia will take us to Austin, Texas, where they too have combined two tried and true food items into a local buzz-generating delicacy*: waffles and fried chicken.

In Austin*, this isn’t something that’s too striking, it could almost even be called a somewhat pervasive fad.  And this fad is seemingly becoming more and more widespread as more and more people are catching on and enjoying this rather peculiar pairing.  This pseudo-delicacy can be fried chicken with butter (or syrup) dressed waffles, or fried chicken on waffle with some sort of lather (butter, syrup, gravy, whatever) over both.

Chicken WITH waffles.

Chicken WITH waffles.

Chicken ON waffles.

Chicken ON waffles.

The origins of the chicken waffle are indefinite, but its rise to popularity and penetration into the mainstream can be arguably attributed to Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in L.A. during the 70s.  How and why this food fad diffused to other parts of the U.S. and why the Austin rendition is receiving quite a bit of buzz is perhaps a post for another time.

On the same note of buzz in Austin, it seems a little street-side vendor is becoming rather famous for its chicken waffles: Lucky J’s.  Its success is such that it is no longer just a modest vendor car, but it will become a full-fledged dining establishment with indoor seating.

Lucky J's; 5703 Burnet Road Austin, TX.

Lucky J's; 5703 Burnet Road Austin, TX.

Its important to remember that what were initially inconceivable marriages of completely clashing food items have become quite normal (and tasty) today: jam and peanut butter, fruit and cheese, syrup and breakfast sausages, mustard and honey, chocolate and poultry, to name a few.  So, its not too inconceivable at all that chicken and waffles is something that will be assimilated into the realm of “acceptable, normal food”.

Personally, I’m skeptical of this odd creation, but (taking my own advice) that’s not to say I won’t go try it.  I haven’t yet been lucky enough to visit Austin*, and when I do, it’s a promise to myself that I’m going to get my taste buds on some chicken and waffles.

*waffles and chicken are by no means exclusive to Austin as you can find it in quite a few other places in the U.S., actually



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9 responses to “Fruit Monopoly on Waffle Topping Market Usurped in Austin

  1. everydaythomist

    In the pilot episode of 30 Rock, Tracy Morgan goes to a chicken and waffle joint in protest to the network’s attempt to woo him with fancy pumpkin ravioli. I laughed so much at the randomness of pairing the two, but it’s even funnier knowing that this is a real phenomenon. I think I’ll stick to brisket next time I am in Texas.

  2. octopod

    This has been a thing in L.A., at least, for a long time — ever hear of Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles? More than a fad, at least.

  3. Elaine

    Fried chicken and waffles goes back way farther than here in Austin, although Austin does have the best. One of the most famous was Roscoe’s in Los Angeles, where thay have been making the dish since the nineties. The first mention I have found was in a movie from the thirties that I am still trying to find- one of the glamor starlets played a ‘spunky’ waitress at a dinner that served fried chicken with waffles.

    I’m a little surprised that this seems like challenging food, given how many times I have had bacon or sausage with waffles. I mean, in a world that adds bacon to chocolate bars (and I prefer my family’s version of bacon in pralines…) how can waffles w chicken be surprising?

  4. Interesting Blog

    Its good to see you make postings on this topic, I need to bookmark this website. Just keep up the good work.

  5. There is nothing to make that waffle taste better than a song to go with it, as Tunco said in “The Good The Bad and The Ugly ” Yes … Music is good for the digestion…”

  6. Pingback: Belgium Snacking I – Waffles | Wines And Dines, But Mostly Wines

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