Fried Chicken for President 2016, oops I mean, Brunch! But if I had to pick a candidate that was comparable to Fried Chicken in (1) amazingness, (2) a versatile ability to work with anything, and (3) upholding classic American values of inclusion and solidarity (because chicken totally does that), it is Hillary all day. #imwithher #imwithfriedchicken
Alright, now back to our scheduled programming all about food. So the last two weekends I had some freaking amazing fried chicken brunch dishes in Houston, Texas. AND I LOVE LOVE LOVE fried chicken, so these have been some good weekends. One dish is a wonderful unique take on a classic: Chicken & Waffles. The other is also a unique take on a classic: Eggs Benedict. Both added spice for a fun twist, and most importantly both dishes NAILED the fried chicken itself, with a crunchy flavorful batter and juicy meat.
If you have not been to Tout Suite in Houston, TX, you need to get there fast. This open-design cafe is full of natural light, delicious desserts, and legit menu options. When you arrive, you can order food off the “daily menu,” which is constantly changing, and pick desserts and fresh juices from the counter. I personally LOVE the Crème brûlée macaron! The pistachio and rose are fantastic too – really they all are great.
When we went for brunch, we shared this Southern Eggs Benedict. It has a potato hash at the bottom (shredded seasoned potatoes) topped with crispy flavorful fried chicken, and of course poached eggs and a spicy hollandaise sauce! My husband and I ate in silence, both of us so focused on enjoying the flavors, and then laughed when we realized we had both become completely hypnotized by the delicious meal. I already loved the vibe, coffee, and macarons at Tout Suite, now I will be back for brunching too.
The Heights neighborhood in Houston, TX has become THE place-to-be in terms of trying new restaurants, bars and coffee shops in Houston. I found this list that is a pretty good listing of all the restaurants in the area. Ritual is a new addition. Ritual pays homage to local ranchers and farmers whose day-to-day care of livestock and produce is nearly ritualistic in its attention to detail and repetition. The decor is trendy and modern, but the dishware is mismatched southern floral prints, taking the theme back to the Southern on the farm vibe.
The menu is pretty small, but this Chicken & Waffles dish was a complete standout!!! I love Chicken & Waffles, and yes I have been to the original classics (Roscoe’s in L.A. and Breakfast Klub in Houston). In college, when all I had was a microwave in my dorm room, I would microwave waffles and frozen nuggets – yes, I have come a long way – but I had to get my chicken and waffles fix somehow. Ritual’s chicken was super flavorful, covered in a spice (they called it a cayenne pepper rub but it was almost like a buffalo bbq sauce but not as strong), which paired really well with the cornbread waffle! The sweet pickles on top created another level of flavor and a touch of acidity to balance things out. I’ve never had a preparation of Chicken & Waffles this unique, complex, and delicious. It paired great with a bloody mary or mimosa (yep, I tried both).
In sum, fried chicken for brunch 2016.