Monday, August 19, 2013

Mr. Wonderful's Chicken and Waffles



No one ever talks about east Raleigh, as if it were an empty space between downtown and Knightdale, or the town in Under the Dome. For most downtown residents, anywhere beyond the Cook Out on New Bern Ave. for a post-bender shake is pretty much “Durham”. But I’ve always wondered, what exactly is out there? In an age where you can find limitless information about pretty much anything, what do you do when Google can’t help you? Go do it your damn self, I figured.

Chicken and Waffles

I noticed the red glowing letters of Mr. Wonderful’s Chicken and Waffles while driving down US-64. Immediately drawn in by the glow of the sign, I was disappointed to find newspaper covering the windows while the restaurant was still under construction. Google and Twitter did not offer much help, but a barebones and somewhat shady site about their original restaurant in Cleveland shed light on the elusive Mr Wonderful's. To my delight, the restaurant was much nicer than the website led me to believe, with clean lines, bright colors, and a large space.

Once seated I gazed over the menu, as long as War and Peace. With tons of different sections and tons of different dishes to choose from, I figured I’d try out the Soul Rolls. Unfortunately, they weren't available that day.

Mac & Cheese

As a substitute, I asked for mac and cheese. I figured if any place could make a quality mac and cheese it would be a soul food place. Instead of a gooey and cheesy dish of mac and cheese, I got a lukewarm, clumpy, over peppered bowl of mush.


After struggling my way through a disappointing mac and cheese, I finally started to dig into the one thing I came to Mr. Wonderful’s to eat: chicken & waffles. The chicken was lightly coated and came out scorching hot. Nicely seasoned, crispy, and juicy, the bird did not disappoint. Mr. Wonderful's doesn’t have a collection of smears or fancy syrups, but instead provides a big jug of maple syrup to drizzle over the dish. Surprisingly, to me at least, the waffle was very nutmeg and cinnamon forward. The spice wasn’t heavy, just the first thing I noticed. The waffle was dense but soft and tender on the inside. The combination of chicken, waffle, and syrup hit that perfect equilibrium of savory, sweet, and salty.


It might not have an all-star chef behind it, it might not be in a thriving downtown, or even on a side of town that you frequent, but Mr. Wonderful's sure is tasty.


Mr. Wonderful's Chicken and Waffles on Urbanspoon
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12 comments:

ben said...

Cool, thanks for the tip on this place!

Jill said...

Looks like a good place for a 2am snack. :) I still believe the best place down New Bern Ave (beyond 440) is Frank's pizza. Best pizza and calzone in Raleigh.

Amy G. Howard said...

I live in this East Raleigh area that you speak of and we are lacking in the food department, unfortunately. I do enjoy El Tapatio and Remington Grill if I just want to stick to my side of town, but I usually go downtown or to North Raleigh for eats.

RonW said...

Thanks for the review, Elliot! Don't get out to E. Raleigh much but will put Mr. Wonderful's on the list...

Leigh Powell Hines said...

Enjoyed meeting you today, and looking forward to following you, and being in your company again. I've added you to my feeds and blogroll so I won't miss a beat.

Anonymous said...

I had the fried catfish and the st.louis ribs I sampled there carolina gold sauce and the sweet Jesus sauce all I could say was amazingly wonderful and on the day I tried the Mac it was fabulous! Mr.wonderfuls is wonderful ill make them a regular!

Thx for post
Waddell

Anonymous said...

MJ said
I heard about Mr. Wonderful on Saturday and I thoroughly enjoyed the food and atmosphere. This is a place where we need to spread the word. The chicken wings and waffles, the shrimp and grits are great!

Unknown said...

Sweet. I've gotta try this out.

Xiaoding said...

You said "maple syrup" Really? REAL maple syrup? I have a credibility issue with this! Real or corn syrup fake?

bubblegum casting said...

my favourite!!!

kotasnanna@gmail.com said...

I finally had the opportunity to dine at your restaurant in raleigh. I will travel miles for good chicken an waffles.well when we first walked in we were greeted ,very nice.i liked that.my friend and I sat down noticed a smell like sour milk dont know what that was so we changed seats smell still there.anyway for c/w I will deal with the smell.waiter came took our drink order tea it was very good.placed our order chicken waffle came with a side me mac/cheese my friend rice/gravy. I got my mac/cheese to go.while waiting for our food I unwrapped my silverware the fork had food stuck on the back and the knife was greasy. I cleaned it myself not wanting to complain. Here comes the food looked good smelled good.l picked up a wing noticed feathers next wing feathers l asked my friend do yours have feathers?he replied yes.the waiter came back over we complained he said and I quote we believe in down home cooking here at mr.wonderful so yea you might see a few feathers on your chicken.so ok in my mind if you washed the chicken you would also remove the feathers.we said ok .so he goes to the kitchen bring two wings back yes they were feather free.so I ate those two delicious well seasoned crispy.now to the waffle it seemed to be wheat tasted like pecans.it was so soft I could not eat it.i want my waffle crispy on outside soft on inside.when you put the syrup on it it just swell in your mouth .the waiter had another one cooked for me.the same thing could not eat it.first he said the waffle tasted like pecan beccause a pecan waffel was cooked before mine.then he came back and said it may have been walnut. Then he said they dont have any kind of nuts in the restaurant. Im confused. The waited smelled like he was drinking alcohol. My friend said dont say nothing if we can smell it they can to.So to sum this up we were charged for one meal and we left.I will never eat there again.i will stick with pap pan for my chicken and Waffles .

kotasnanna@gmail.com said...
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