As someone who has never had chicken and waffles from one of the many establishments noted for their chicken and waffles dish, you may think I’m not the best person to review IHOP’s Chicken & Waffles.
However, I’ve watched enough shows on the Food Network and Travel Channel to know what makes a good plate of chicken and waffles. And, as someone who once combined a Cinnabon cinnamon roll with a flame-broiled Burger King Whopper patty to create a monstrosity called the CinnaWhopper, I feel I’m qualified to judge foods that combine sweet and savory.
Traditionally, chicken and waffles include fried chicken
breasts and waffles topped with butter and syrup. IHOP’s bastardized version takes away the fried chicken breasts, replaces it with four boneless chicken tenders; includes four wedges of Belgian waffles with a container of butter; and adds a little something something called honey mustard dipping sauce.
Now, the honey mustard sauce is a strange addition, and it’s the more bastardizing part of the dish. I don’t think any of the chicken and waffles places featured on television shows hosted by a chubby guy with bleached spiked hair or a chubby guy with a Brooklyn accent include any dipping sauces with the dish. Traditionally, the dish is enjoyed by combining a bite of the fried chicken with a bite of syrup and waffles, hence the sweet and savory. The honey mustard sauce would throw a curve into that.
I can only come up with two reasons why IHOP included the dipping sauce: 1) It gives people an out to those who try the dish and don’t care for the sweet and savory combination. 2) Their chicken tenders suck, and not even the addition of waffles and syrup could make them remotely tastier.
Well, it’s probably a combination of the two. The breaded and lightly seasoned chicken tenders look and taste like something I could get from Banquet in the frozen food aisle. The chicken tender’s exterior was crispy, but interior ended up being a little dry.
Before I could taste the sweet and savory combination of chicken and waffles, I had to choose from IHOP’s array of syrups. I chose to be old fashioned and use their Old Fashioned syrup, which is probably made in a non-old fashioned way. I’m not sure exactly how it’s made, but it probably involves large machines that people who do make syrup the old fashioned way wish they had.
Based on what I’ve seen on television about the chicken and waffles dish, IHOP’s Chicken & Waffles probably doesn’t come close to being as delicious as what one can get at a dining establishment, like Gladys Knight and Ron Winans’ Chicken & Waffles. However, as the bastardization of the amalgamation of chicken tender, waffle, and syrup, I thought IHOP’s Chicken & Waffles could’ve been much better.
The size of the chicken tenders and waffles wedges are equal enough that you can have a bite of chicken with a bite of waffles and not have to worry about either of them running out before the other does. The flavor of the chicken with the waffles and syrup does create an adequate sweet and savory flavor, but I wish the chicken’s seasoning was a little stronger. Or, perhaps, it lacks the greasiness that regular fried chicken has, because you know what they say about grease, “Grease makes us obese, but the right release of grease makes taste increase.” I also had high hopes for the waffles, after all, IHOP knows breakfast. However, they had a not-so-crispy exterior, a fluffy interior, and they were a little bland. Thank goodness for their Old Fashioned syrup.
Since I have a curious soul, and I occasionally enjoy messing with my taste buds, I decided to combine the chicken, waffles, syrup, and honey mustard sauce into a culinary clusterfuck. The result? It definitely doesn’t make it better. It also definitely doesn’t make me gag, but the flavor is a bit odd.
IHOP’s Chicken & Waffles can probably match the caloric value of a real plate of chicken and waffles from somewhere like Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles with its 1,110 calories. However, it could never equal Roscoe’s tastiness. I know. It’s a bastardized version of the dish, but I really wish it wasn’t, because it makes real chicken and waffles look bad.
(Nutrition Facts – Not available on website, but we do know it contains 1,110 calories.)
Item: IHOP Chicken & Waffles
Purchased at: IHOP
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Adequate sweet and savory flavor. Allows people around the country to try chicken and waffles, even though it’s a bastardized version of it. Crispy exterior on the chicken tenders. The right release of grease makes taste increase. Old Fashioned syrup. Includes a lot of butter.
Cons: A bastardized version of chicken and waffles. Makes real chicken and waffles look bad. Chicken tenders too lightly seasoned and a little dry. 1,110 calories. Waffles were a little bland. The addition of honey mustard sauce was a unusual. The CinnaWhopper. Not having eaten a real plate of chicken and waffles.