Chicken and waffles has origins as a late-night/early-morning compromise for club-goers and jazz musicians exiting the bar at wee hours. I remember a time when the notion of the two combined sounded strange, when you'd say "chicken and waffles" to a guy and he'd look at you like you just said "umbrellas and weevils." Like, what?
Now, it's practically a brunchtime staple — everybody's got a version, some good, some great.
Bradstreet's is a great one. They've leavened the general gut bomb effect of the dish by making a wholesome buckwheat/green onion preparation out of the waffle, then tempura battering the chicken for a subtly Asian take on the southern classic. Butter tinged with sake, and a little lake of Fresno chile jam add tang and spice. The whole of it is bright, light, and understated for a dish that usually has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the gut.
If all of this is just too delicate for your brunchy crave, consider a side of bacon candy or an order of duck fat biscuits, where things veer back into the territory of excess.
Bradstreet Neighborhood Craftshouse
1930 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis