Saturday, March 7, 2009

Eating Chicken And Waffles For The First Time: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

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This weekend, I went with some friends of mine to the world-famous Panns Diner in Los Angeles, one of those great hole-in-the-wall places where the upholstery hasn't changed in 50 years and the main ingredient in everything is lard. Anyways, among the many items on this menu was the unusual combination known as chicken and waffles.

And it's here that I have a confession.

I have never had chicken and waffles.

If you don't know me, know this: I love junk food. I heart everything under the words "value menu". Cut me open and you're just as likely to find a $1 McDonald's double cheeseburger as you are vital organs.

So this "never had chicken and waffles" confession is a big one for me. Even a little embarrassing.

And I'll tell you why I had never had chicken and waffles: Because I never understood it. It just didn't make sense to me as a combo. I wasn't able to wrap my head around it as I could other unusual food duos. Buffalo wings and carrots? A bit odd, but both can be used with dip. Turkey and candied yams? Strange, but yams are a vegetable after all. Twinkies and fried batter? Hey, Twinkies have cream in the middle, and everything with cream in the middle tastes good. That's a scientific fact.

But chicken and waffles was lost on me.

Now I know what many of you are saying: "Nev, it's a cultural thing." You know what? I don't buy it. Kids, I'm a white guy from the San Fernando Valley. I don't have a "food culture", so everything I eat is just piggybacking on someone else's roots. Pizza? Italian. Tacos? Mexican. Hot dogs and hamburgers? German. Beef and broccoli? Chinese.

And I get all those foods. There's no culture gap there.

So my lack of chicken-and-waffles grasping was something internal. It was about me. I didn't get it. I didn't understand. I...struggled.

But today, I took the plunge. Even though I was more in the mood for chicken fried steak or sausage links, I said to myself:

Self, there comes a time in every man's life where he has to meet a challenge. Where he has to walk into the unknown and see where it takes him, knowing he might never be the same. And today, that unknown is chicken and waffles. And it's time to face your fear.

And off we went.

When the plate arrived 15 minutes later, something struck me right off the bat: The chicken was on top of the waffles. Immediately, I felt like I had made a huge mistake. I mean, sorry if I'm offending anybody by the following statement but:


Still, I had made a promise to myself, a man promise, and I intended to keep it.

So I dug in.

And you know what? It was good. It was damn good!! The sweetness of the waffle and the greasiness of the just worked. I can't explain why, but it just clicks. Opposites attract sometimes, and so does chicken and waffles.

And the darkness of the unknown...turned into light.


And now for this week's:


Miley Cyrus is coming out with an autobiography about her life thus far. Now to me, the fact that she's coming out with a "my life" book at age 16 is bad enough, but apparently in the book she talks about how despite all her success, she hasn't "forgotten her roots."

Um, excuse me: Roots? What roots? You're 16!! You haven't lived long enough to have roots!! Do you even know how to plant?!?




Carlos said...

Dude, my cholesterol went up just reading that.
I am glad you can eat a "widow" maker and live to tell about it... :)

Mike said...

Dude, you went to Pann's and didn't tell me? That's like five minutes from my house. Hell, I can practically walk there. I know half the waiters there; I could have gotten you free extra cornbread. Tell me next time, man! :)

Aurora said...

I was skeptical before my first chicken and waffles experience, but MAN IS THAT DELICIOUS! Haven't had it in a few years, but now I think I may need to take a trip to Roscoe's next time I'm in LA.

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