The first time I ever tried Chicken and Waffles was at Ressie Mae’s when they opened a midtown location last year. Never having tried the combo of chicken and waffles, I eagerly rushed over one day after reading Zach’s post on Midtown Lunch. Unfortunately, the experience was a bomb (soggy chicken and waffles), and I never went back. Ressie Mae’s closed a few months later.
Last Sunday, almost one year later, I was on the search for a new brunch spot with something other than eggs benedict, and I came upon Back Forty’s menu featuring Chicken and Waffles. I was jonesing for some fried chicken anyway (although I can’t say there is a time when I’m not), so I grabbed David and we were off.
I began the brunch, as I normally do, with a bloody mary ($9). The menu said the bloody mary came with “pickled vegetables,” but as you can see in the picture above, there was only a vegetable, one slice of pickled fennel. Not a big deal, but in my mind I had envisioned a cornucopia of pickled vegetable. Oh well. The drink overall was very good; it had a good balance of spicy mix and vodka. I finished it to the last drop, although I always do regardless. I love me a cocktail in the morning.
Then the dishes came out. I’ll save the best for last and start with David’s order. He got the Poached Eggs and Buttermilk Biscuits, with sausage gravy. The gravy was creamy and the soft biscuits melted in my mouth. The eggs were cooked a bit too long for my taste, as I like a more undercooked yolk, but David liked it. He prefers a firmer yolk with a only a slight runny center, but I have a suspicion his preference stems from a fear of salmonella. Me, I don’t get scared by eggs. In fact, when I was little I used to eat them raw, just cracked into a cup, Rocky-style. Also, according to their website, the food at Back Forty is “responsibly sourced,” so I wouldn’t be worried anyway.
As for my order, Fried Chicken and Waffles ($14), served with maple syrup and butter, it was close to perfection. The chicken was wonderfully fried in a nutty batter that easily shattered under the force of my knife to reveal fresh juicy meat. The two thigh pieces were insanely moist, while the breast piece had the smallest hint of dryness, as white meat usually does. This was easily correctly though with a generous pour of sweet maple syrup. As for the waffles, they were a bit too soft. I like my waffles really crunchy. However, soaked in syrup and eaten with crunchy chicken bits, I was in heaven. If the waffles had been crunchy, I may never have never left the restaurant.
Expect more posts about Back Forty. I’ll be going back soon, if not this weekend. Although it may be difficult to eat something other than the fried chicken and waffles, I will try readers, I will try.
190 Ave B (12th St)