Chow Bella

Chicken, Waffles, and Chaos at Off Da Hook

I ran into a dear friend the other day who scolded me for not visiting Off Da Hook yet. She'd discovered the soul food restaurant several weeks ago, not long after it opened, and has since become obsessed with their wings.

Alright. So I made it there yesterday with a friend who was jazzed for some fried chicken. "There is no such thing as bad soul food," he said. I immediately knocked on wood.

We headed to the west side (1804 W. Glendale Ave.) and found a place with a big grand opening banner out front and a brightly colored sign depicting a cartoon pirate cat with a peg leg. (I shit you not.) Things looked promising when there was one free table in the whole place.


It took us half a minute to figure out our order -- I wanted chicken and waffles with a side of greens, he wanted a chicken thigh and leg basket with some red beans and rice. Simple. But it took at least 15 minutes for someone to stop by our table for our order.

It was pure chaos in the kitchen, which we could see and hear through the glass room divider. It seemed comical at first -- someone was bickering with someone else about who would deliver silverware, everyone was running around frantically -- but before long, there were five people waiting for takeout orders at the cash register.

About 40 minutes later, someone realized they'd completely spaced our order. I should've seen that coming. A man came out to apologize, which was very gracious, but at that time he informed us that they were out of chicken thighs and legs. It was wings only. Fine -- my pal just went with chicken and waffles.

The food, when it finally did show up, was actually very tasty. I loved the seasoning in the fried chicken batter, and the waffle was both crispy on the outside and lightly doughy on the inside. My friend magically got the chicken parts that they were supposedly out of, and a gratis basket of hot wings appeared as well. What happened to our side dishes? At that point, we were too hungry to care, and too annoyed to flag anyone else down.

If the folks at Off Da Hook can get their act together, they might actually get return customers. Not sure yet if I'll be one of them.