The Grand Dame
I was actually familiar with Dame’s Chicken & Waffles from some research I was doing for a trip to North Carolina last year. My dad and I had talked about possibly eating there before going to a Duke game, but we decided to have BBQ at Allen & Son instead. Big mistake.
The Dame’s Chicken & Waffles location I saw online at the time was in Durham. I had no idea they had a second location in Greensboro until I used Foursquare when were walking around downtown and saw that it was nearby. Major kudos to Foursquare for this find.
While we were walking to Dame’s, we passed some really cool local art galleries, shops and restaurants that give Greensboro a nice downtown scene. There appeared to be lots of great food worth trying on return trips.
When we arrived at Dame’s, there was already a group of people waiting outside. The hostess told us it would be 45 minutes before we could be seated, but we happened to get lucky and saw two spots open up at the bar. We seated ourselves immediately at the bar and took in the unique atmosphere of the restaurant. It is decorated with vintage pictures and has an old-timey feel, but it was full of energy with tables full of people everywhere you looked.
Certain dishes include other ingredients, but the three main elements are the chicken, waffle, and shmear.
All the different possibilities of combinations looked amazing to me, but I decided to order the “What a Classy Hen,” which is probably one of the more traditional items on the menu. It came with a boneless chicken cutlet, a classic waffle that I substituted for a sweet potato waffle, and the vanilla-almond schmear. It was also served with one side dish and I ordered the macaroni & cheese. (“What a Classy Hen” is around $12.)
It tasted as good as it looked.
The sweet potato waffle offered a different texture than a typical waffle and more of a hearty flavor. I think the sweet potato also prevented it from getting soggy with the vanilla-almond shmear and the maple syrup. The vanilla-almond shmear was a great alternative to the regular butter you would put on a waffle. It reminded me of a flavored cream cheese, and the vanilla-almond flavors worked great with the sweet potato and chicken.
But my favorite part about this entire meal was the fried chicken. As a fat kid growing up in the south, I became quite familiar with delicious fried chicken. And the fried chicken at Dame’s Chicken & Waffles fits the bill. The meat was tender and the skin was crispy and delicious. The best part about it was the added bit of spice they put in the batter to give the chicken some heat. That spice blending with the sweetness of the vanilla-almond shmear was excellent.
Each part of the dish was great on its own and tasted even better when they were all brought together.
I can understand why people were waiting outside Dame’s Chicken & Waffles when we arrived. If you’re willing to seek out good food, sometimes you have to be patient to be able to get it. And Dame’s Chicken & Waffles is absolutely serving great food.
As we were finishing the meal and putting our leftovers in a box to bring home, I knew this is the type of experience that motivates me to travel. It’s the adventure of finding people and places that offer unique cuisine that is affordable and delicious. It’s the hope that no matter where I go, I can find a great meal. And when you have one incredible meal, it inspires you to find more that might be even better.
Dame's Chicken & Waffles
301 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Greensboro, NC 27406