back away from the bacon, steer clear of that sausage and forget about those flapjacks. We're declaring chicken and waffles our new breakfast-staple-turned-dinner-champion for its oh-so-good savory-and-sweet pairing. Two new local restaurants prove why the classic is a drool-worthy victor.
The Morehouse's Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffles ($13)
Presentation: Executive chef Hunter Toth wants you to play with your food, so he serves his buttermilk fried chicken and Belgian waffles separately and with raspberry chipotle sauce on the side. "I'm always hoping people will take some chicken off the bone and put it into the waffle and have this little wrap and dump some syrup over top and eat it like a mini taco," he says.
Taste: The finger-licking-good fried chicken stays juicy thanks to a two-day brine. It all comes together with Belgian waffles and raspberry chipotle sauce made in-house using Ohio maple syrup. "I know it's a trending thing on the market to be Southern," Toth says, "but we wanted to have these ideas on different fusions from the South." 4054 Erie St., Willoughby, 440-527-8819, themorehousewlby.com
Roxu Asian Fusion's Asian Chicken and Waffles ($11)
Presentation: Executive chef Robert Dippong chose to use a big white plate to artistically display scallion waffles, chicken confit and pork belly for his modern Asian take on the Southern classic. "Typically, you build chicken and waffles up," he says. "I tried to make it more prettier, more elegant."
Taste: Dippong opted to forgo the traditional fried chicken for house-made, all-natural chicken confit that he cooks at a low temperature for five hours in a mixture of oil and togarashi, an Asian spice blend. Take a bite with the crispy pork belly, sweet chili maple glaze and house-made kimchee — fermented Napa cabbage and gochujang, a Korean chili paste. "It's a smorgasbord of different flavors," he says. 15607 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-920-5060, roxufusion.com