Eat This Now: Chicken & Waffles at Mrs. Bea's
Fingers, prepare to be licked.
There are probably a number of reasons why Mrs. Bea's Louisiana Chicken and Waffles isn't as well-known as Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles in Anaheim. Yes, there's the fact that even before the Roscoe's in Anaheim opened, the brand was already an L.A. cultural icon.
Mrs. Bea's, on the other hand, has only been open less than two years. But another reason is the location. It's in La Habra, my hometown, a city often forgotten by the rest of OC because it's traversed by no freeways and really, no reason to visit unless you have a term paper to write about Richard Nixon.
Mrs. Bea's does ten waffles, including a chocolate cake waffle, a cornbread waffle, and a waffle where bacon and cheese is baked in with the batter. But let's talk about that cornbread waffle, because it's something of a miracle. It possesses a crispness bordering on hush puppy, but when you eat it, the overall experience is like you're eating only the best part of cornbread: the crust.
And then there's the perfectly greaseless chicken. Mrs. Bea's chicken is served scorching hot straight out the fryer, often still crackling with heat. It's in those few precious minutes when you can barely hold on to your drumstick without burning off your fingertips that you want to sink your teeth into it, getting into your mouth equal portions of juicy meat and crunchy skin. Afterward, you want to chase it with more of that waffle that you should've already slathered in melted butter and syrup. Then, after that, bite off more chicken doused with hot sauce.
For now, if you go, you'll likely be one of only a few souls in the restaurant, because not only is the place located in OC's forgotten city, it's in a forgotten corner of a forgotten mini-mall in that city. That, and the place isn't called Roscoe's.
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