Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Wild Brunch

Chicken and waffles at CJ's Eatery in west Humboldt Park (Photo: LTHForum)

Fried chicken. When it's crispy and flavorful and piping hot, it's more than just finger-licking good. It's like a little taste of heaven, and several Chicago spots do it better than others. And we all know that places like Harold's Chicken Shack do a fine fried chicken, but when you want to have a nice sitdown, honey, that just won't do.

If you want the soul in a quaint setting, head to west Humboldt Park's CJ's Eatery (3839 W. Grand Ave., 773-292-0990), which specializes in Latin and Southern American cuisine. On Sundays, you'll want to pair their well-seasoned wings with a big, fluffy waffle that comes with a side of homemade pecan syrup. And if that's not sweet enough for you, make sure to order a nice big glass of Southern-style sweet iced tea.

The old-school diner vibe of Stanley's Kitchen & Tap (1970 N. Lincoln Ave., 312-642-0007) somehow works for the trendy Lincoln Park crowd that comes stumbling in every weekend. Dig into all-you-can-eat portions of buttermilk fried chicken with waffles for only $11.95 per person (also 32 oz. make-your-own Effen Bloody Marys for an extra $10).

And if you can wait until 5pm on Sunday, you'll get to delight in Table Fifty-Two's (52 W. Elm St., 312-573-4000) buttermilk fried chicken with mashed roasted garlic-Yukon gold potatoes. Just make sure you leave enough room for Art's Hummingbird Cake, a generous portion of banana cake with pecans that's topped with cream cheese icing.


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