We just phoned up Chicago’s Rosscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, the new, um, chicken and waffles spot in Bronzeville that pays rough homage to the original, but unaffiliated, Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles. We spoke to the owner about faxing us a menu, telling her we’d been reading all sorts of press about the place (by which we meant The Stew, Hungry Magazine and LTHForum). Suddenly she got nervous, and launched into a narrative about how the restaurant only seats 80, and sometimes there are hundreds of people on the line, and she wants everyone to have a pleasant dining experience without being rushed, and the queuers have shared some nasty comments with her on the subject. She wanted to assure me that they were doing the best they could, but was wondering - with some dread in her voice - what the Internet has been saying about Rosscoe’s.
Well, we told her that everyone seemed to be really excited about the concept. This was partially because we didn’t want to say anything negative this early in the morning, and partially because we’d only skimmed the data and didn’t have much substantive to report. Now that we’ve woken up, the thrust of the commentary thus far as been:
1) The line is so long
2) Much of the early business is being driven by the false impression that Rosscoe’s is related to Roscoe’s, which comes off as…unsavory
3) The chicken and waffles are alright, although they may suffer long waits on the way from the kitchen to the table
Some of this can be chalked up to opening drama and growing pains, but trying to ride the coattails of the established LA institution doesn’t sit all that well with us. We realize the owners are just trying to maximize their business, but given the dearth of decent dining options in the area, simply providing good food and decent service would have taken care of that. Using the name Rosscoe’s (misspelled as it might be) just opens you up for increased scrutiny and ire.
We’ll have more to report when we receive the menu.
[Photo: the eponymous dish, but from the actual Roscoe’s in LA, pointnshoot]