Chicken and waffles are crispy and savory chicken fried to golden perfection on soft waffles and sweet maple syrup taste and some hot sauce. This food is very filling. Of course this is nothing new. Roscoe ‘n Waffles Chicken House skyrocketed this combo became popular in Los Angles in 1975.
They now have five locations throughout California. This is a must-visit destination for tourists and celebrities, even President Obama is noted as a fan.But chicken and waffles don’t start at Roscoe’s in LA. This goes back to 1938 in Harlem at a place called the Well Supper Club which came to be called the Wells Famous Home of Chicken and Waffles. It closed in 1999 but during its heyday, Wells hosted a great jazz and club-audience, serving them a little slice of the South after the bar closed.
Some people think the idea comes from late-night diners who are late for dinner and too early for breakfast so the restaurant bridges the gap with both on one plate. One of my WFAE colleagues, Tena Simmons, used to visit Wells in the 80s. “It’s a hole-in-the-wall, but it’s a hole-in-the-wall to get good food at 5:00 in the morning,” he said. He remembers his reputation during the Harlem Renaissance, being a host for writers, thinkers, musicians and artists.
So there you have it, the soul food of the South through Harlem and Los Angeles. Now, Gladys Knight owns a chicken and waffle restaurant in Atlanta. After chicken and waffles featured prominently in a recent Charlotte Talks discussion about soul food, we decided that we should know where to find it in Charlotte.