Chicken and waffles! One of those odd culinary combos like pizza and honey or salt on watermelon. But chicken and waffles are all about creating that savory mouth sensation of sweet and salty, crunchy and soft, along with a lot more. And one restaurant that is doing chicken and waffles really well is Dame’s Chicken & Waffles. Originally Dame’s opened up in downtown Durham but since then, has expanded to new locations in Greensboro and now Cary, woohoo! Given the small size of the original spot, I usually passed on Dame’s but with its new and bigger location, I have a much better chicken and waffle oasis. And if you or your stomach are intrigued, read on my friend!
Dame’s Cary is located in a convenient and busy shopping plaza right off of Harrison Avenue and next to Bass Pro Shops. When I show up at 10:30 am on a Saturday, the place is already busy and I love the feel of their space! Large open dining room with marigold walls, bright artwork overhead and an open kitchen area in the back. I get seated at a 2-top and order up an unsweetened tea to start off the meal. And thankfully, Dame’s menu is pretty simple with 8 or so specialty waffle options all offering up a fried chicken, waffle type (regular, sweet potato, blueberry) along with a flavored butter “shmear”! It’s pretty quick for me, I’m going with the Carolina Cockerel which features chicken wings, blueberry waffle and peach-apricot shmear. You can also sub out different waffles and shmears if desired.
As I wait for my meal I scan the crowd. Everyone is chatting and happy waiting for their chicken and waffles and I don’t blame them a bit. And I gotta believe the brightly colored artwork and light decor helps with the mood of the dining room here. Dame’s has the feel of well-appointed cafe, nothing too fancy but pretty good in its own right.
Given how busy Dame’s is, it doesn’t take too too long for my eats, maybe 15 to 20 minute. A beautiful plate is laid on the table, making me salivate immediately! I’ve got three perfectly fried wings (drum, flat and tip) sitting on a speckled, fruity waffle. I ask for some syrup and start to dig into lunch. I always like trying out each individual element of a meal to see where it stands by itself and I can certainly tell you that Dame’s fried chicken is excellent. A light coating that’s lightly spiced, the chicken is tender and juicy, they use a good bird here. The waffle is soft and pliable and when drizzled with syrup, brings you back to mornings as a kid. The shmear has some fruitiness that is a nice spin to everything else on the plate. And yes, more syrup please! Take some chicken, add some waffle and dip it in the syrup, dee-licious! I get about halfway through the meal but have to tap out. While there’s a lot of flavor happening on the plate at Dame’s, a bit of caloric discretion never hurts for this plump foodie.
A take-out box and my check is brought out, I wrap up my meal. The line of people is getting quite long here at Dame’s Chicken and Waffles, even though it’s only about 11:30am. So what can I say, I guess I’m not the only fan of the salty, sweet, crispy and soft mouth combination you get with chicken and waffles. And while you probably shouldn’t be eating here every week, I can say that Dame’s is doing a fine job when you get hit with the craving. So rock on Dame’s, glad to have you on this side of the Triangle, finally!