February 23rd, 2005

Roscoe's House of Chicken 'n Waffles

It was late. We'd just checked into our hotel near Anaheim. We had a morning flight out of Orange County. We'd just had a long drive in from Arizona which had ended in a slog through LA traffic. So we were tired.

But we hadn't gotten to Roscoe's.

We went for it.

Roscoe's House of Chicken 'n Waffles
1514 N. Gower St. (just north of Sunset)
Hollywood, CA 90028-6422
tel: +1.323.466.7453/9329
(last visit January 2004)
Metro: Hollywood/Vine (Red Line)
Su-Th: 0900-2400
F-Sa: 0900-0400

other locations at:
5006 W. Pico Blvd. (near LaBrea)
Los Angeles, CA 90019-4126
tel: +1.323.934.4405/936.3730

106 W. Manchester Ave. (corner Main)
Los Angeles, CA 90003-3300
tel: +1.323.752.6211/7053

730 E. Broadway (near Alamitos Ave.)
Long Beach, CA 90802-5134
tel: +1.562.437.8355/6285
Metro: 1st Street (Blue Line)

830 N. Lake Ave. (between Orange Grove and Washington)
Pasadena, CA 91104-4560
tel: +1.626.791.4890/5097

(If we'd known about the Long Beach location we'd probably have tried for that one instead, but until we'd gotten a takeout bag the only one we knew about was in Hollywood. Also, the Hollywood location is open latest.)

It all turned out fine, anyway. We got our chicken and waffles. We got sleep. We even made our flight, though that was an adventure in itself. And we got to speed through the night down the freeways of LA.

"Chicken and waffles? Are you kidding?"

Before you ask any questions, you should try them. It may not be a combination you've heard of, but they taste good together nonetheless, particularly when the chicken is expertly fried and the waffles are made from scratch.

Legend has it that the pairing was invented by Wells Restaurant in Harlem, in the late '30s, when the late night crowd couldn't decide whether it wanted breakfast or dinner. But other authorities claim it dates back further back, to the the rural South, when farmers would simply fry up a chicken for breakfast and make some waffles with it. In any case, Roscoe's has been making this delicacy in Hollywood since April of 1976.

I believe bedfull_o_books got the Carol C. special, for $7.10: "1 succulent breast, 1 delicious waffle". The fried chicken breast, crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and the waffle, a crunchy golden brown, covered with syrup. She made it go away pretty fast. She also got a combination of lemonade and iced tea, I think, which had a name and cost a couple of bucks.

I saw giblets and rice with gravy, onions, and a hot biscuit ($8.30). Chicken giblets are a favorite of mine from childhood, so my decision was easy. These were also deep fried, and came piping hot out of the oven with plenty of rice. I managed to demolish about half of a large plateful. I filled a medium-sized styrofoam container with the other half, and took it home. It was obviously better fresh, but still wasn't bad as leftovers. And I had a full meal's worth left.

The most expensive things on the menu are the various half chicken combinations: the Lord Harvey, with gravy & onions, grits & fluffy biscuit, for $10.25, the half chicken with two waffles, also $10.25, while the half chicken with gravy & onions and two waffles is $10.35.

There are various bottled beers available for $3.50 to $4. Eat here, and the bill won't break the bank.

Next time we plan our trip better and bring more people.

Lani Guest House

The Lani Guest House is my favorite place to stay in Vientiane. It was the third place I ended up in on my first visit. It was the only satisfactory place I stayed in, that time. From then on, though, there was no reason to stay anywhere else.

Lani Guest House
281 Setthathirath Road
Haysok Vientiane, Lao P. D. R.
P. O. Box 58
tel: +856.21.214919/216103
fax: +856.21.215639
(last visit October 2003)

They also own the Lani II guesthouse, but I've never stayed there and I think it's less conveniently located.

The front entrance.

The Lani is conveniently located in the middle of town between Vientiane's fountain circle and the crossroads which serves as Vientiane's Chinatown. All rooms are air-conditioned, and have ceiling fans, refrigerators, and attached baths. Desk staff are professional and efficient. Cleaning staff are friendly and unobtrusive. Breakfast is included in the room rate, and is served on the verandah. A great way to start the day.

Some of the breakfast tables.

The twelve rooms are priced by size, from US$25 to US$40. bookly and I stayed in a $35 room as a double. I imagine the $25 rooms are singles like the one I stayed in on my first visit.

View of a room.

Room furnishings.

The location is right, the price is right, and best of all, the air-conditioning works well.

Residencial Estrela do Mondego

Residencial Estrela do Mondego
Calçada do Carmo, 25, 2.º Dto.
1200-090 Lisbon, Portugal
tel: +351.21.324.08.40/49/346.71.09
(last visit November 2001)
Metro: Rossio (linha Verde)

A small (11 room) and homey two star pension right in downtown Lisbon, in the Baixa near Rossio station. Conveniently located and fairly inexpensive (5,000$00 for a single, or US$22.15) at the time I stayed there. A recent web listing quotes a € 35 ($46.39) price for a single. Alas.

Washing facilities are in the room, but the toilet is down the hall. There's a TV room, also down the hall. Staff are friendly.

There's a website that says there were mice the last day someone stayed there. That was in 2000, and the comment still shows up. I didn't see any mice there when I stayed there, so maybe they had the exterminators in.

I liked the place, anyway. It was homey, and they let me put perishables in the fridge in their kitchen.

Harrows Chicken Pies

I have no idea how I heard about Harrows. But when bedfull_o_books came home today, I suggested we go pick up a pie for dinner. It was a good decision.

Harrows Chicken Pies
126 Main Street (Rt. 28, just north of Rt. 128)
Reading, MA
(781) 944-0410

Harrows sells white meat chicken pot pies for take-out only from their function hall in Reading. They come in two "flavors": with potato and carrots, and without; and a variety of sizes, from single-serving (both kinds $4.95) to a jumbo, serving six ($18.50/19.25). We got the apartment-sized (2-3 servings) white meat and vegetables, for $11.50. We also got a pint of squash ($3.95) and a half-pint of cranberry sauce (1.75).

According to the website, you need to order preheated, ready to eat pies an hour ahead of time, but apparently they do keep a few on hand, so we lucked out. Otherwise, they come refrigerated and ready to bake, not ready to eat.

This is serious comfort food. Big shreds of white meat, blocks of potato, and slices of carrots, all in a thick gravy and topped with a crust baked to a flaky golden brown. I wasn't particularly impressed with either the squash or the cranberry sauce. There wasn't anything wrong with them but they were just standard, and I don't care much for either at the best of times. If you like squash, you'd probably like it; it was very straightforward, without any spices like nutmeg or orange zest. Just squash.

They also have chicken soup, chicken salad, mashed potatoes, and both apple and blueberry pies in 8" and 10" sizes. Oh, and you can buy a dozen rolls for 3.25.

Personally, I'd concentrate on the pies.

Harrows also does functions, including brunch.