Close your eyes and imagine a large white plate filled with huge pieces of deep-fried, crispy chicken and golden waffles dripping with syrupy goodness. Are you hungry yet? This Thursday, August 8th, Metro Diner is celebrating National Chicken and Waffles Day. What gift are they presenting to the world? Their signature version of Chicken and Waffles for only $10.99! This sweet and savory dish is a combination that wows your taste buds with each bite, leaving you to crave it over and over again.
Where Did Chicken and Waffles Begin?
Like many dishes throughout history, the origin of Chicken and Waffles as comfort food is a bit complicated. While it is mainly thought of as southern comfort food, there are many food scholars that argue it began in Harlem. A restaurant in the 1930’s known as “Wells Supper Club” to the privileged and Wells Restaurant to everyone else, added the now famous Chicken and Waffles to their menu, inspiring a national trend. The debate of whether this was the true birthplace of the dish is still heavily up for debate.
Random Fun Fact
Did you know you can thank Thomas Jefferson for his part in making this dish popular in America? During his time as foreign minister to France, he purchased four waffle irons in Amsterdam. This, along with recipes included in his granddaughter’s collection, only propelled the dish’s popularity.
National Chicken and Waffles Day
Metro Diner first opened in 1992 in Jacksonville, Florida but it didn’t transform into the chain of restaurants it is today until the late ’90s. With a wide menu that offers all-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner with daily specials, it is everything we love about classic diners with locations all over the country. It’s most notable dish is… you guessed it, chicken and waffles. The unique spin on this dish is the sweet strawberry butter and the spicy syrup served with the dish.
Strawberry and Spicy?
I know what you’re thinking because believe me, I thought the same thing. “WHAT?!” Hear me out. Slather on the strawberry butter into the deep pockets of goodness on that waffle, watch it melt as you pour on their spicy syrup made with Louisiana hot sauce and dive in. Your tongue might just explode from the different flavors of sweet, spicy, salty and savory all in one bite. Then, as if that wasn’t delicious enough, you get this incredibly juicy fried chicken. An entire half of a chicken to be exact. A wing, thigh, breast, and drumstick! The drumstick may just be my favorite, tearing it apart and dipping it into the syrup is a peek into heaven’s kitchen.
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Did you know that Metro Diner was also featured on the Food Network? One of my personal favorite TV chefs, Guy Fieri, visited a Metro Diner in Jacksonville. While he didn’t sample the chicken and waffles, he raved about their meatloaf and other dishes.
Check out the episode here.