Houston Chef’s Waffle-Breaded Chicken Predates Popeyes’ Version, Probably Tastes Better

Maple honey sauce? Please.
Maple honey sauce? Please. Photo: Courtesy of Popeyes

Current Underbelly sous-chef Lyle Bento was cooking an unpredictable menu of things like lobster risotto and tuna tacos onboard Houston food truck the Modular in 2011 when he hit upon the idea of using dehydrated and pulverized Eggo waffles to bread his competition-winning chicken wings. He’s understandably now a bit peeved that Popeyes Chicken is passing off its limited-edition “waffle tenders” as some kind of unprecedented development in the fried-chicken history, but a taste test reveals he thinks the chain’s concept has execution issues. “I like the crunch,” says Bento,”I just don’t get waffle.” Plus, only one of the waffle-breaded fried chickens is served with a cup of Maple Death sauce on the side. [CultureMap Houston]