Walking into Waffle Chix feels like walking into a high-end club. It’s dimly lit by red lamps decorated with roosters. The booths and the tables along the center are a mixture of earth tones, white and off-white. Three large flat screens hang above the coffee bar at the front.
The restaurant had diehard fans within one week of its grand opening in Westwood on May 10. A man said he’d gone three times within Waffle Chix’s first seven days. One woman said she’d driven all the way from Las Vegas just to try Waffle Chix.
These people have caught on to the fact that Waffle Chix is not Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles. That’s not a criticism, and it’s not necessarily praise, either, but it should be stated up front that comparing Waffle Chix to Roscoe’s is an apples and oranges sort of debate. Where Roscoe’s is old-school and traditional, Waffle Chix aims to be chic and modern.
Their mission statement seems to be to elevate the chicken-and-waffle meal while still staying true to its Southern roots. For the most part, it works.
In the menu, Waffle Chix describes how much of its product is made from organic produce and antibiotic-free, locally grown chicken. The syrups and mascarpone sauces are made in-house, as is most of the food.
Waffle Chix branches outside of the chicken-and-waffle combination with salads, omelettes and side dishes, such as collard greens in chicken stock, cornbread, biscuits and three-cheese macaroni and cheese.
The favorite menu item so far has been the raspberry red velvet waffle ““ a waitress described it as a red velvet cake compressed into a waffle. While the waffle, which came out relatively quickly, doesn’t have quite enough flavor to warrant the waitress’ praise, it does taste like red velvet.
The waffle is topped with butter, whipped cream and actual raspberries ““ nice, appetizing raspberries that did not look frozen or canned. The actual star of the meal, as well as the reason it’s worth trying, is the raspberry mascarpone. The sauce looks and tastes like blended raspberries, but the combination of actual raspberry flavor with the red velvet flavor makes it worth trying.
After the red velvet waffle, however, I found myself less impressed with some of the a la carte items. The biscuits have an odd, frozen aftertaste and are more compact than airy ““ I would take my canned Pillsbury biscuits any day of the week.
To a far lesser extent, the chicken disappointed as well. The skin was crispy and flavorful, but half the flavor disappeared as soon as the skin did. This may have been helped by Waffle Chix’s signature chicken sauce ““ a honey truffle drizzle made with white truffle oil ““ but $1.95 worth of sauce for one piece of chicken doesn’t seem worth it.
Therein lies the real problem with Waffle Chix, a problem that Roscoe’s would have if it set up shop on Broxton as well. Shops come and go in Westwood, and affordability can go a long way in a college town. The food at Waffle Chix is good without being stellar or cheap, and is surrounded by restaurants that possess all of those qualities.
Email John at firstname.lastname@example.org.