Posted by: mikeeatsdetroit | August 6, 2008

Chicken and Waffles: The New Center Eatery

For the past few months I have been driving past this sign every other day, curiousity finally got the better of me. I am not a pregnant woman but I do eat like one so I had to stop in and try the chicken and waffles.

Chicken and Waffles are exactly what they sound like, chicken and….Waffles. When the waitress brought them to me I asked her exactly how one is supposed to eat Chicken and Waffles. Do you put the chicken on top of the waffles and pour syrup on it? Is the chicken a sidedish of the waffle and vice versa? She didn’t really have a direct answer for me stating that everyone has their own way of eating them which lead me to believe that she wanted my first chicken and Waffles experience to be my own or that it was her first day and didn’t know either.

I experimented with a few different methods. First I took a bite of waffle then a bite of chicken, then I took a bite of chicken and a bite of waffle and finally I seperated some chicken from the bone put it on the waffle and covered them both with syrup. Even thought the chicken was crisp and tasty, and even though the waffles buttery with a hint of vanilla were some of the best waffles I’ve ever eaten I just don’t understand the pairing chicken with waffles. Who thought that up anyway? Well of course, like anything with a cult like following there are a few theories out there here are 2 I find to be most believable.

Theory 1

The Waffle Iron is rumored to have been brought to the Americas by Thomas Jefferson back in the 1790’s. In the old South the slaves’ diet was composed of scraps left behind by the wealthy land owners. since chicken was a delicacy in those days and pancakes were king, chicken and waffles became a festive dish predominatly amongst African Americans.

Theory 2

Wells Supper Club was a Jazz Club in Harlem. Back in 1938 they began serving chicken and waffles late at night because it was too late for dinner but too early for breakfast, nowadays we would call this “Fourth Meal.”

(both theories ripped from and rewritten by Mike)

The New Center Eatery is located at 3100 W Grand Blvd. in Detroit’s New Center. They are open 8am-5pm every day. 313-875-0088



  1. I am very happy you have finally tried chicken and waffles and am pleased that you chose to go the extra mile to include old lore… I found both theories interesting.

    I would like to have the dish with you sometime next week. It is a good idea if you get something else to eat because you didn’t ‘get it’ but you are a big eater and would probably just be happy to eat anything so, Chicken and waffles it is.

    Eat on!

  2. After reading this article, I was determined to help you find out the mysterious origin of this famously mispaired duo. My research took me deep into the heart of Detroit, to the one place I knew could shed some light on this culinary conundrum, Happy’s Pizza. Now don’t be fooled by the name; though Happy’s Pizza sounds like your average pizzeria, I assure you it has one of the most diverse menus of any of any pizza shack I’ve ever been to. Their specialties include Bona-fried shrimp, triple decked clubs, and of course, chicken and waffles. After waiting in line, fumbling through my pockets to make sure I had enough money (in case the meal wasn’t gratis for research purposes), I asked the waitress if I could speak with the owner of this fine establishment. To my surprise, he actually happened to be there. From the kitchen comes a rotund, sweaty, ebony gentleman sporting an apron and grinning with delight. He extended his bear sized hand, shaking my shoulder with a hearty hello as if I were an old friend. we took a seat at a nearby booth, and I explained to him my mission. He had a soothing voice, like listening to Al green and Kool-aid, and i found myself listening with hypnotic intent as he explained to me the reasoning behind the chicken and waffles dish. According to Rosco (his real name believe it or not), the pairing of these two dishes stems from the inevitable result of eating Hot wings. As anyone who has stuffed their face with chicken slathered in hot sauce knows, the final result of this gluttony is rewarded with a full belly, and the almost unbearable searing of the lips and tongue. Not too mention, Chicken is inheritable greasy, and often leaves your stomach quite upset as the grease coats coats your innards. Thats where the waffles come in. The waffles, when covered in a generous amount of syrup, counteracts with the stomach, soaking up the access grease, and calming the stomach. Also, it replaces that stinging sensation on the lips and tongue with the sticky, sweet taste of Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup. Now the only way for me to be assured, Rosco ordered me a plate of wings, two waffles, and a fresh bottle of Pete’s hot sauce. First i devoured the wings, saturated in hot sauce. Though satisfying, indeed it left my stomach rumbling and my lips swelling and slick. It didn’t take me long to cram several waffle bits into my gullet, and sure enough, the calming effect was almost instant. The blending of sweet and spice was left me in a state of near euphoria, and I leaned back in my seat, more then satisfied with the results. Rosco nodded in approval, clapped his hands and laughed like fat Albert. waddling to my car, I couldn’t help but grin myself. Who would have thought that two simple foods could bring so much joy to the world, uniting peoples of all walks of life with its fried and buttered succulence. As Rosco hollered “come back soon young fella!” from across the parking lot, I looked back, grateful for the wisdom he hospitality. He was the wiseman atop the food pyramid, gifting those who seek culinary truths with the answers that only his hot meals could supply. I suggest that if your ever in the neighborhood of 6 mile and Shaefer, I recommend you stop in and see Rosco at Happy’s Pizza, you will not be disappointed. Tell them Larry sent ya, and find out about the chicken and waffles for yourself. Hell, the Four Tops seem to love the place, so why shouldn’t you?

  3. I havn’t read this whole thing yet but I did see Happy’s in there, best square slices in town.

  4. My family and I just recently visited Detroit.We stayed across the street at Hotel St.Regis not knowing their was a soul food place just across the street.We just happened to stubble in and there it was Chicken and Waffles. We had never heard of such,but the food in the place was AWESOME!!!!!and so was the people, can’t wait to go back.

  5. My visit was amazing. It was one of the best things i had ever had. The chicken was delicious . i t was everything and more. my only complaint was that you only got one waffle. i thought for the price that you pay you should get two waffles.

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