Last weekend, a baby and her adorable parents took us to lunch.
See how cute those parents are?
In Durham, NC, there’s a place that, while the menu had grown over time, specializes in exactly 2 things:
Chicken ‘n Waffles.
Sounds strange, but Durham people know that Dame’s Chicken & Waffles is something special. Which is why we weren’t too surprised to see the gigantic line outside.
Bummed, but not surprised.
How long is the wait?
So we waited.
And we watched people eat.
And we studied the menu.
And we became mildly concerned that we were going to starve to death, right there on the street, watching people devour heaping plates of fried chicken and waffles.
Jesus, my husband has to stop looking cute while holding babies.
We became delusional from the hunger, gnawing on mice and stray appendages.
Have I been reading too much Hunger Games?
They called us just in time.
And all was right with the world.
So I’ll get right down to it.
The place has a great atmosphere — tiny, crowded, and cramped enough to see what everyone else is ordering.
(Pssst – I’ll give you a hint: Chicken. And Waffles.)
Alaina and I got started with champagne and lemonade. You know, to celebrate getting in. We were going to go with mimosas, but our waitress killed us on the up sell. The great thing is that they ended up being less than $7.00 each, and we were able to carry our mini wine cooler-tasting bottles of champagne through the Durham art show, taking nips to dull the pain of my poor choice in footwear.
I’m glad our drinks were light, because the meal was certainly not.
First came the sides.
A bowl of incredible fresh fruit — plump, ripe strawberries and sweet, juicy pineapple. The cheese grits (left) were delicious — not gritty at all, which, in my non-southern humble little opinion, is the only way grits are tolerable.
The spicy greens, while not exactly aesthetically appealing, were divine, if you like that sort of thing.
Judge with your mouth — not with your eyes.
And the mac ‘n cheese. Oh, my. I could’ve had this as my meal.
But we were just getting started.
On the back of Dame’s menu are several suggested chicken ‘n waffle combinations, including the “Orange Speckled Chabo,” served with a fried chicken cutlet, sweet potato waffle, honey-dijon mustard, and orange-honeycomb schmear, or the “Buff Brahmas,” served with your choice of wings or cutlets drizzled with whiskey cream sauce, a classic waffle, and peach apricot schmear.
The Buff Brahmas.
My fried chicken was cooked perfectly — nice and moist inside. Unfortunately, it was a little soggy due to the whisky cream sauce, which, while mighty tasty, definitely took away from the texture of the chicken. But everyone else loved theirs.
Let me tell you about the waffles.
And the schmear.
What’s schmear? Well. According to me, they’re little flavored dollops of mouth exploding gastrogasms.
To Dame’s, they’re flavored dollops of whipped sweet cream butter.
I schmeared my peach apricot schmear all over my beautiful waffle (and I’m not normally a waffle person), topped that with some maple syrup, and died.
Then I came back to life to eat some more.
Then I died again.
It. Was. Incredible.
Justin order the “Orange Speckled Chabo,” and we both felt that the sweet potato waffles were inferior to my classic ones. Though his orange schmear was zesty and delicious.
But mine? That combination of peach apricot schmear, whiskey cream sauce, and maple syrup was phenomenal.
A plate full of artery-clogging, diabetes-triggering deliciousness.
I wouldn’t take it back for a second.
In the end, we all felt like this.
But it was well — well worth the wait.
Have you had any excellent meals lately?