I’ve had a thing with soul food over the years. It’s the one type of food that was always hard to find for me growing up in San Francisco. I had heard tell of this thing called grits, but never had a chance to try it. Sure there was polenta, but while it’s the same, it’s different. Then I found myself one night out in the Bayview and got introduced to Auntie April’s Chicken and Waffles.
Everyone I think has heard of chicken and waffles which started in Harlem when the jazz musicians would get off work somewhere around 4am. It was too late for dinner and too early for breakfast so they sort of did both, hence chicken and waffles. I happened to be with some musicians that night from the band Drivin and Cryin who while from Atlanta didn’t seem to be able to understand the concept of chicken and waffles. They understood them separately, but not together. Well we all had a good experience that night.
I grabbed a two piece wing and thigh with the waffles [you can also get belgian waffles for an interesting twist] that were drowning in butter, which in my opinion is the way waffles should be. Then you pour syrup on the waffles and lots of hot sauce on the chicken. The two kind of mix together a bit and waffles with hot sauce or chicken with syrup isn’t too bad actually. I could see if I was in a drunken haze at 4am and it would taste pretty damn good actually. Well, I wasn’t drunk, but it still tasted good. I had to sample some more so I got sides of grits, collard greens and mac & cheese. I had to try the mac & cheese to find out what made this soul food. I grew up on the stuff as a kid, but every soul food place I’ve read about always served it and there was just something crunchy about the top that gave a good blend to the creaminess underneath.
I was pretty full after that and I noticed that they had some interesting looking breakfasts so I decided I had to go back. When you go for breakfast and see a sandwich called a fat neck jones you just have to try it. It’s eggs, cheese and bacon or sausage on a bun that was the soul food equivalent of a fast food breakfast sandwich, but it was better, bigger and a hell of a lot tastier. I also tried the Rev. James Leach which is 3 eggs with green onions and six strips of bacon. With that much bacon you can’t go wrong plus you also get grits and toast with it [my take on grits? They’s grits, there’s not much more you can say about them].
I’ll have to go back again and try the catfish. While I can eat a lot I just couldn’t add the catfish in either time I went. Auntie April’s is cash only so be sure to have some money on you. It’s an inexpensive place to eat and you will not leave there hungry ever. They’re at 3rd and Newcomb so give them a try.