Monday, April 26, 2010
Comfort Food- Roscoes Version
Last night (4/23) me and the crew went to one of our favorite eating spots in LA, the infamous Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles. There are various spots around the greater LA area, but we decided to hit the "gangsta stop", Pico & La Brea. We like to refer to this location as the original, as it is both famous, and infamous, and also, it was the first Roscoe's I had ever eaten at. I can still remember hearing about the pairing of fried chicken and waffles, and thinking, "That has to be the MOST odd ball thing ever!" Having the sweet tooth that I have, sweet and salty to me just didn't mix at the time. (My palate has since become more sophisticated) It was a good time with good friends, and I left thinking that was the best experience ever! I can still remember how that butter melted into my two plate sized cinnamon accented waffles as that warm, thick syrup poured so evenly over every square. It was here that I had my first taste of Red Rooster Louisiana style hot sauce, and experienced how it's perfect blend of spice and flavor perfectly mated with that golden, crispy fried chicken. I learned to tap on a coat of Red Rooster, and let it "marinade" for a minute before I indulged in it to give it a little more time to work through and settle on the skin and meat. It creates a flavor explosion with every bite!
I did quite recently, discover a sort of "repressed" comfort food love of mine. The very basic fried chicken, rice, and gravy. This was a dish that I remember from my very young days at Grandma Green's house. After I had reached a certain age, i didn't go to this grandmother's house that often, but I do remember those times after Sunday morning service when my aunt would take me over, and we would sit down to this wonderful meal. I remember the feeling of love as my cousins and I would sit down to eat. The smells of the kitchen, and, if it was the right time of year, the smell of orange blossoms from the trees in the backyard. I would bite into the crispy golden fried chicken, and scoop a fork full of the white rice and light brown gravy into my mouth, making sure to get a little onion in with each scoop, and let the flavors mingle on my tongue while I listened to the family talk about various subjects. We always had Kool-Aid poured in glasses with crescent shaped ice cubes to wash it all down. It's funny, but for the longest time, I thought Black Cherry was the only flavor of Kool-Aid, because that's all we ever drank at Grandma Green's.
When I finally looked past the #2 Dark on the Roscoe's menu, and discovered they had Chicken rice & gravy, I just had to try it. I'll have to say, it's nothing fancy, but as far as simple comfort food goes, it more than qualifies. From the first bite, I was taken back to Grandma Green's kitchen, and all the love that was present during those dinners. The only thing missing was the black cherry Kool-Aid in a glass of crescent shaped ice cubes, but substituting, was Roscoe's Eclipse, a mix of orange juice, lemonade, and fruit punch, so all was still well. I, or maybe more aptly my inner fat man, has more recently added a Roscoe's world famous waffle to the chicken and rice plate. It normally comes with a biscuit, which is good, but the waffle makes it that much better! Now I can eat one of my favorite comfort meals with one of my favorite waffles and double my enjoyment at "Scoe's".