The best part of growing up with a mom from the South is the food. My mom is an excellent cook and I find I have cravings for her fried chicken and homemade mashed potatoes. I also am thankful that mom introduced me to things like collard greens, sweet potato pie, and grits. Yum.
Having those craving this past weekend, I decided to head over the Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles in South Phoenix, especially since the place is getting rave reviews everywhere. I suggested that Madge join me and she was quick to say yes.
The place is on Yuma street just off of Central, which is about a mile or so south of the Bank One Ballpark or four blocks north of I-17. We arrived to find Yuma Street lined with a few cars and the lights in Lo-Lo's twinkling. We parked across the street and entered. We were welcomed with a hearty hello and told to sit anywhere.
The place is a converted house with some addition. There were roughtly 10 or so tables and a small area for a larger group. Madge and I made our way to the back and looked at the funky art on the wall and listened to the mix of contemporary and classic pop music. The place is very comfortable.
We got our menus and ordered our drinks. Madge went with a Diet Pepsi and I went for the tea. I was offered sweetened tea, but I asked for plain since I have never been fond of how sweet sweet tea is. In a few moments, our drinks were at the table and I was pleased to see my drink in a quart sized Mason jar. Lots of beverage on a warm evening in Phoenix was perfect.
We scoured the menu and really had a tough time with our decision. The focus at Lo-Lo's is just what the name implies: chicken and waffles. I decided to go with the first thing on the menu: KK's, which consisted of a quarter of a chicken prepared southern style, 2 waffles, grits, and two scrambled eggs with cheese and onions ($9.95). Madge opted for Nay-Nay's, which would provide her with a plate of 2 eggs, 2 waffles and a bowl of grits ($6.50). She also wanted some bacon ($2.00 add-on), and some cornbread ($0.95 per muffin). The cornbread sounded great and I got one muffin as well.
To be honest, this was a very difficult decision. There were so many things I wanted to try on this menu. All the usual suspects were there, including Mac & Cheese, collard greeds, red beans, and smothered chicken.
Madge and I waited about 10 minutes and our meals arrived. The platters were huge. They do not skimp on portions at Lo-Lo's. I wasn't sure what to try first, so I dove into the chicken. Wow! It was absolutely perfect. The coating was crisp and crunchy and not at all greasy. The chicken underneath was cooked perfectly and was very moist and tender. It was excellent. The eggs with cheese and onions were very good and, thankfully, not overcooked to the point of being dry. The grits were in a large bowl and swimming in real butter. My arteries were hardening before my first spoonful. Outstanding. They didn't even need seasoning. I then tried one of the cornbread muffins. The outside was crispy and the inside was moist cornbread. With the butter, it was just grand.
After I had cleaned my plate, I dove into the waffles. These were two average sized waffles stacked on top of each other and served with a huge dollop of real butter on top with maple syrup on the side. I covered the waffles in the syrup and took my first bite. Madge took a bite of her waffles at the same time and we both concluded that these were the best waffles we had ever had in our lives. They were amazing. The batter was laced with cinnamon and vanilla and the waffles were cooked to a nice crispy texture on the outside. Just fantastic.
Madge was also pleased with her meal and said that every item was excellent. I think that is the best way to describe our meal. This was just an outstanding meal.
The service was also stellar. Everyone in the restaurant was so wanting to make sure our visit was a success and made sure that we were pleased. Glasses never got less than half full.
We ended up forcing ourselves to eat the last of our meals as we were stuffed. I so wanted to try their Red Velvet Cake, but I never could have managed it.
Our total bill, including tax, was $26.41. It was a steal. We were treated well, fed a meal fit for royalty and it was dirt cheap.
I don't think I can say enough good things about Lo-Lo's. Madge and I were so pleased and wish we had discovered this gem earlier. This was a fantastic meal and there is little doubt in my mind that Lo-Lo's will be high on my list of choices for when I have that craving of southern cooking.
Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles
10 West Yuma Street
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Notes: Closed on Mondays, open until 2 AM on Fridays.