Dame’s Chicken and Waffles

March 28, 2014
I guess you can only live in the South for so long before you eat some chicken and waffles. 
I’d heard about Dame’s since we arrived, but somehow I’d had the impression it was kind of a hole-in-the-wall place.
It was not. Not only is it a sit-down restaurant, they also strongly encourage reservations (as you might have guessed, we did not have reservations. Happily, we did have Belize, who managed to sweet-talk us into a table). 
I arrived a few minutes later than Belize and Jessica (thanks to my attempts to get a better parking spot that ended in utter failure and resulted in me parking at exactly the spot I turned my nose up at 8 minutes earlier). 
Despite being a pretty nice place, they did have some crayons so kids could color on the table, which was a lifesaver. 
And here’s where I admit something about my child. 
Ani is a screamer. 
In fact, Jessica’s husband said, after a particularly scream-y Sunday, “You can’t even be mad because that screaming is so impressive.” 
My youngest brother, Shepard, was a screamer too. After he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, my mom said, “Maybe he was just crabby because he had a constant headache for two and a half years.”
Now that we have Ani, I’m fairly certain it’s just genetic. 
And she was in fine form last Wednesday. 
While we waited for our food, she only wanted me to hold her. And only if I was standing. A few times, I tried to put her back in her high chair, only to be informed in no uncertain terms (aka VERY loud screeches) that this was not acceptable. 
The table next to us kept laughing at how emphatic she was (bless them for not giving me the evil eye). 
Once our food arrived, she was happy to sit down and eat the macaroni and cheese that came as a side dish with our waffles. It was a three-cheese pasta with about five different spices and it was fantastic. Even Ella, who does not care for most macaroni and cheese, happily ate quite a bit of it.   
And then the waffles. I accidentally ordered a gingerbread waffle (Ella wanted one and I meant to order a plain one, but the waiter misunderstood and swapped out the classic waffle in my order for a gingerbread one). 
I never would have picked a gingerbread waffle, but it was incredible. Crispy on the outside, light and fluffy (which basically never happens with gingerbread stuff, I feel like), and bursting with flavor. It was topped with candied pecans, came with strawberry butter, and topped with two fried chicken legs.
I’m dying to go back to try some of the other fantastic combos on their menu. (Also, time to step up the toppings on my homemade waffles, I can tell). 
At one point, I wasn’t providing food quickly enough to Ani and she let out a scream so loud and long that the whole restaurant went silent, and then several people started clapping. One man on the other side of the restaurant called out, “Sing it, sister!” 
And then Ani turned her attention to the chicken legs on top of my waffle. She has a funny quirk where she likes to have food in both hands, and so she quickly determined that she needed BOTH legs. 
She would open her mouth as wide as it could go and stuff in almost the entire top of the drumstick.
When it was time to go, she was not at all interested in letting go of her prize.
So we walked out of the restaurant with her still clutching both of the drumsticks.
Here’s where I should admit something else.
I’d pulled her straight out of bed from a nap to go to lunch, so she was still in her jammies. 
Also, it was raining, which meant my child was standing in the drizzle, in her pajamas, clutching two large pieces of fried chicken. 
I was pretty much the epitome of great mothering right there in downtown Durham.  

At least wasn’t wearing my pajamas.

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  • Reply Kristin @ Going Country March 28, 2014 at 10:25 am

    As is so often the case, the "bad parenting" moment for the parent seems to be the happiest moment for the child. I mean, two fired chicken legs, pajamas, and standing in the rain? You have just described my sons' idea of heaven. Ani sure looks like she's digging it.

  • Reply april March 28, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Soooo … the kids ate your mac and cheese, Ella got the waffle and Ani got the chicken. Did you get more than two bites of anything? 🙂

    And she does look thrilled – I don't think anybody, including her, minded standing in the rain in pjs holding chicken.

  • Reply missris March 28, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    She looks so happy and adorable! I'm new to chicken and waffles myself but they're amazing, right?

  • Reply Nicole Murray March 28, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I'm so sorry for what might have been a "hide your face behind the waffle" experience (at least for me!), but Ani is SO adorable, that I'm sure no one thought you were anything but awesome. I mean…the hair! The smile! What's not to love?

    Once, we met up with my husband for lunch in downtown Chicago where he works. Katie had a great time, and especially loved playing at Millennium Park. When it was time to leave, she started screaming, and kicking, and throwing a ROYAL tantrum. I was 7 months pregnant at the time, and my husband was carrying her, and she was so mad that she bit his collarbone in between shrieks (and she wasn't a biter!). I'm certain that, that day, we served as birth control to the entire young professional population of Chicago, who all happened to be out and about for their lunch break, because there was no amount of cute to salvage that situation. I was all too happy to get underground and on a train that day.

  • Reply Melanie March 28, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    I WISH I could take an afternoon nap and then just get up and go about my business in my pjs! You're just letting her enjoy the good life while she can, that's nothing to be ashamed of.

  • Reply The Apron Gal March 28, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    This might be my most favorite post of yours ever. Hilarious and so real. I do love "Things Ella says" very much though. Miss you and your cute girlies. But so happy y'all love where you are also.

  • Reply Paige Flamm March 28, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    That picture of Ani is completely priceless. Kyle suffers from the same needing to have something in each hand problem, but the chicken is just awesome haha! We love Dames!

  • Reply kimmie March 28, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Oh my goodness, look at those curls! She is too darling. My girl LOVES her jammies too and sometimes refuses to change out of them when we go out, but since she wears her brother's hand-me-downs, it's usually a boyish pattern like footballs or fire trucks, and since she barely has any hair yet, she totally looks like a little boy when we go out 🙁 She will, however, wear her shoes over her jammies (one pair that is looser, or her fireman rainboots). And that's so funny that she is a screamer! but she is so cute that I'm sure people don't mind 🙂

  • Reply Lauren and Joe O'Brien March 28, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    You are such a good mom! And I am impressed you went out to lunch with 2 little ones! My son is a screamer too so I only take him kid friendly places now (park/library/park again) because it is just easier. But I miss eating out with friends so I definitely need to get thicker skin!

  • Reply Christine Chioma March 29, 2014 at 12:17 am

    I went on a date there once. I was really dreading it because it sounded gross to me, but it was delicious! The way it was explained to me is that you have waffles with sausage/bacon so fried chicken isn't that weird… I especially like their schmears. The only downside is the parking situation!

  • Reply Ash March 29, 2014 at 1:14 am

    It looks like she had the best day of her little life 😉

  • Reply AndreaNichole March 29, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    I loved this post. My daughter (18 months) is also a screamer, and does not do well at restaurants. She can't be bothered with being confined to a highchair when there is so much new space to explore, and it's so sad because I used to love going out to eat! Haha. Anyway, I feel your pain, and it's always good to hear that my kid isn't the only one that acts like a turd in public 😉

  • Reply Monica March 29, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I am glad people were nice and not judging you. This is a screamer too, so it makes church interesting. (This is Monica, I am to lazy to sign out of beads account. But for once I at least knew that beforehand.)

  • Reply Monica March 29, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Guess it is me anyway!!

  • Reply Emily Kate March 30, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    This made me laugh! But ani is so cute! How could she be a screamer? I can relate though because grumpy Neil is starting to get attention in public for his noises.

    And we had chicken and waffles a few times in Harlem and Ioved it. Could go for some right now.

  • Reply Lindsey C March 31, 2014 at 3:10 am

    Haha! I loved this post so much. And that last picture of Ani? I laughed out loud. You have the cutest girls. I miss wrangling our children on lunch dates together.

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