On the news segment of the episode of the DIS Unplugged Disneyland Edition podcast, we were thrilled to bring you the announcement that the world-famous Roscoe’s House of Chicken N Waffles is opening a new location in Anaheim at 2110 S. Harbor Boulevard – just few blocks south of the Disneyland Resort (which sits at 1313 Harbor)! Since there is a whole section of the population that has never heard of or experienced the glories of this classic Southern combination, I thought I’d give you a peek at what you’ll be getting for a fairly reasonable amount of money. That, combined with the fact that you can get take-out from them, creates an extremely viable new option for hungry park guests of every shape, size, and budget! A favorite of both the L.A. local and celebrity culture, this is truly one of my favorite places to get a bit of home-style comfort, with amazing hospitality and service. I’m thrilled that Disneyland guests will now be easily able to experience it, too!
Roscoe’s has been a Los Angeles institution since the opening of its Hollywood location in 1975. Started by a transplanted Harlem resident, Roscoe’s became THE hangout for transplanted New Yorkers, Southerners, Motown artists, and television celebrities who were craving the soul food they grew up with. Now, with 5 existing locations in L.A., Inglewood, Pasadena, and Long Beach, Anaheim will be hosting the newest member of the chain. It’s been a long time in the planning, having been originally scheduled to open in 2012. After stopping into the Hollywood location for lunch and chatting with the folks there, I can tell you the new estimated opening will be sometime in the later part of April, 2013! (I’ll amend this date if we get an official announcement.)
Enough with the back-story, let’s talk details! I want to share a few tips that I’ve learned from all of the times I’ve taken folks to Roscoe’s or picked it up and taken it home or to work.
When to Go:
Go during off-peak times or go early if you are seeking breakfast. The standard rules to eating at theme parks applies to Roscoe’s. It really couldn’t be much simpler. Roscoe’s will draw crowds at any meal time, especially on weekend mornings, after folks have slept in. Disneyland starts to pack them in around 10am on the weekends, I’ve noticed that breakfast places in Los Angeles are pretty much the same.
Don’t be afraid to call for takeout. All Roscoe’s will prepare take-out for you – something that is especially handy if you are heading back to a South Harbor Boulevard hotel or one in Garden Grove. It will be right on your way! Roscoe’s even has a “6 piece thigh” take-out special at their Hollywood location – which I highly recommend. The price is pretty good, however I will warn you about one thing. Some of the locations don’t recommend ordering the waffles for take-out, as the containers tend to capture the hot food’s steam and make the waffles slightly soggy by the time you get them back to your hotel. If that doesn’t bother you, make sure you say so. The last time I got them to go, I enjoyed them as much as eat-in. All sides are packaged separately and worth trying. There’s something for everyone! If this is something you might want to do, I would call as you are leaving the park, so that your order will be ready when you get there.
Whether the thought of eating chicken and waffles together is completely foreign to you or one of your comfort foods, it is worth trying at least once in your life. If you just can’t stomach the thought, don’t worry. You can order one or the other. There are over 20 specialty plates on the menu, reflecting every combination of food and quantity you can imagine. You can get chicken. You can get waffles. You can get chicken and waffles. Add some sides. You know you want to… There’s even house-made sweet potato pie for dessert, though I’ve never had room for it. I just finish off my candy yams instead.
The Main Attraction:
Traditional fried chicken with a crispy exterior, and juicy on the inside. Even though I said to go off peak, the true measure of a fried item is how the food is when the place is the busiest. At peak times, Roscoe’s kitchen seems to get into a rhythm, because the food hits the table quickly, while still piping hot.
Now, don’t expect thick and crispy Belgian waffles to come on your plate. These babies are a thinner style. Flexible and softer with a vanilla flavor that is clean and seemingly sweeter than it actually is. Served with a scoop of butter and warm syrup, they complement the savory chicken well. The thinner waffle doesn’t overpower the chicken – it simply compliments it.
You can’t have a traditional fried chicken dinner without sides. They cost extra, but definitely are worth trying. My favorites are the candy yams, collard greens, and mac & cheese, but they offer many more items – potato salad, biscuits and gravy, fries, cornbread, red beans, and rice. If you eat in, the yam portion is a big bowl – enough to share easily. The take-out portion is smaller, but enough to make you happy nonetheless. I love spinach, but I’m not a huge greens fan, so when I first tried the greens I was surprised. I know many vegetable-challenged people hesitate to try greens, due to their wilted texture, but make sure you so it once. They were seasoned really well and not the least bit bitter. The potato salad is your typical mayonnaise variety, but still tasty. If you are more of a Kraft fan, you might not want to order the mac & cheese. It’s homemade, thick, and with a browned cheesy top. One of my coworkers says it’s the best she’s ever had.
Don’t forget, when you go to Roscoe’s, be sure to ask questions about things you aren’t familiar with. They always have first-timers at the restaurant and the staff is more than happy to provide you with assistance. They’ll even assist you with the purchase of a souvenir shirt or hat to remind you of your visit!
While I’m not certain of what the new hours will be, I do know that the other Roscoe’s locations are open from 7am to 8pm on Monday-Thursday, 8pm to 8pm on Friday and Saturday, and 8am to 4pm on Sundays. I’m assuming that the Anaheim location will follow in these footsteps!