Now that Roscoe’s is a legendary SoCal eatery, what’s next for the chain?
“I talk to the patrons and they ask me ‘when you are going to bring Roscoe’s to us?’, Silas recounts, saying he sees a vision of Roscoe’s expanding beyond Southern California.
Hungry to taste the famed chicken and waffles? Tap into Roscoe’s on the UberEATS app and order the iconic Obama special, as well as other delicious sides and soul food favorites.
Since its inception in 1975 by Harlem native, Herb Hudson, the unpretentious food chain has put Los Angeles soul food on the culinary map and has grown to become a must-visit destination. And now Roscoe’s famous chicken and waffles are at your fingertips with UberEATS! No lines, no wait and no table necessary.
We visited the original Roscoe’s in Hollywood, and sat down with General Manager, Silas, to talk all things chicken and waffles!
Roscoe’s reputation has gone beyond its West Coast beginning. How did an unpretentious eatery earn this fame? Silas puts it down to the unique pairing of the sweet and salty chicken and waffles.
“The chicken and waffles theme never took to me. But when I was hired in 2009 and tasted the unique combination of the syrup, the butter, the seasoning of the chicken, I was hooked”, says Silas. “That taste brings out something different when it comes to soul food”.
However, Roscoe’s didn’t invent this delicious pairing. Chicken and Waffles was in fact invented in the 1930s by Joe Wells who ran Wells Supper Club in Harlem. The eatery became a late-night attraction for jazz musicians who arrived too late for dinner, but too early for breakfast. Instead of choosing one or the other, the combination of fried chicken and waffles became a popular choice. Despite being an East Coast concept, Roscoe’s has done the combination so well, it has become synonymous with tender and crispy Southern-fried chicken and tasty waffles, best eaten doused in maple syrup.
Other than Roscoe’s being a destination for traditional Southern cuisine, Roscoe’s early success was helped along by its numerous celebrity fans, like Natalie Cole and Redd Foxx, name-dropping in iconic movies, and even a visit from President Obama. Thelma, a senior consultant for Roscoe’s, explains that nowadays celebrity endorsement happens naturally.
“Since its inception, Roscoe’s has been a major part of the black entertainment community. Herb Hudson’s friends in Motown and television sent the restaurant’s popularity soaring, and as time passed and the culture spread and evolved, Roscoe’s became known to a younger generation of artists and celebs.”
So what are the must-try dishes on the menu?
“Everything!” exclaims Silas. “Most people go with the traditional chicken and waffles, with the signature dishes being the 22 and 23 house combo – you get to enjoy the mac and cheese, the greens, the cornbread, as well as the signature fried chicken”.
The Obama special is also a top seller, named after President Obama who made an unscheduled appearance at Roscoe’s. He ordered the No. 9 Country Boy – three wings with a choice of waffles, potato salad of French fries – and soon after the dish was named after him!