It’s 11 a.m., and I want chicken and waffles and a reprieve from the already overbearing Florida heat! Thankfully, we had reservations at Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, one of the few Disney Springs eateries with plenty of open slots for reservations. Well … we weren’t quite lucky, but more on that later.
The prices are not current on Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill’s online menu. The Chicken & Waffles are now $33 instead of $29. Is that a huge deal? No. However, what we got in return for that amount of money is.
I’m a Southern boy. I like fried chicken, and I love waffles. I absolutely adore it when they’re served together. Not too long ago, I tried the Fried Chicken & Doughnuts over at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ during the Flavors of Florida Festival. Excellent stuff.
I was expecting that same level of craft to go into the Chicken & Waffles dish when I saw it on Wolfgang Puck’s menu. The price was almost the same, too.
Well, it’s partially my mistake for not asking some questions before ordering. The fried chicken turned out to be boneless. It had to be a thigh because dark meat was under some of the fried skin.
Why Wolfgang Puck’s chefs took this route instead of the traditional legs and bone-in thigh is beyond me. I get it; not everyone likes dealing with bones when there are also waffles involved, but come on.
OK, so it’s not your regular run-of-the-mill dish. Unfortunately, it also tasted weird, too. When dining out, I am very particular about fried foods because of an allergy to a specific type of meat. If something is fried in the same oil or grilled next to the particular substance I’m allergic to, I’ll know within a few seconds of eating. And that happened at Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill.
What struck me as weird was that the thing I experienced an allergic reaction to wouldn’t have been fried at all. In fact, it’s offered as being cooked in a way that shouldn’t put it anywhere near the chicken. However, the reaction was unmistakable. After a few decades, you get really good at knowing when you’ve been exposed to something that causes this very specific feeling in your stomach.
However this happened, I may never know, but I can forgive that sort of mistake. What I can’t forgive is the taste of the fried chicken. Good grief, that was possibly the least flavorful bit of fried poultry I’ve ever had.
Although I didn’t have the whole thing thanks to the allergic reaction, what I did taste was more akin to a McDonald’s chicken sandwich than a proper souther-style dish. Some powdered sugar flavor was there, but something else I couldn’t pin down was present. It reminded me of those old microwavable pancakes Swanson sold under the Great Start name back in the day.
The same could be said of the waffles. They were not crisp in the least. Although they weren’t drowned in blueberry compote and maple honey butter, they were still soggy. How?! How is the unsullied top of a Belgian waffle already soggy?!
I will say that both the compote and butter were very nice. It’s too bad they weren’t accompanied by an equally great meal.
The allergy issue may have been a total fluke. It happens. However, what we were given for $33 a plate was underwhelming and a complete letdown. I miss the now-defunct Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe.
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