I have a soft spot for fried chicken. That doesn't mean that I have to eat fried chicken whenever I see it. On the contrary, it means that I hold off on eating fried chicken until I know it's going to be some frickin bomb fried chicken. The last time I remember having jaw-dropping conversation-stopping eye-ball popping delicious fried chicken was down in New Orleans at Willie Mae's. Before that, all the fried chicken I ever ate was just the build up.
Last week, an old friend Johnny hit me up out of nowhere with first row tickets to see Sinbad at the Apollo Theater. I'm rarely out in Harlem, so I of course took the opportunity to stop by Amy Ruth's as well. I've heard the name several times whenever soul or southern food is mentioned in New York, so I looked up the hours and discovered that they are opened most days from 8:30am-5am. That's a lot of hours for a fried chicken and waffles joint!
We weren't too hungry, so we just shared an order of the Tommy Tomita, which was an order of fried chicken wings served over a waffle. We also ordered baked macaroni and cheese and collard greens as sides. But best of all, Johnny ordered the Kool-Aid of the day, Fruit Punch. Kool-aid. Of the day. This place is real. Anyways, everything was just as delicious as I imagined it. The Kool-Aid was fresh, the corn bread was crumbly, and the collard greens were packed with flavor. The fried chicken was juicy, tender, and crispy. But my favorite pick was the beautifully browned waffle because it was exactly what a perfect waffle should feel like in your mouth: crisp on the outside, soft to the bite, and slightly moist on the inside.
Apollo Theater? Worth the trip way uptown. House of Hoops right across the street? The stars are perfectly aligned. Amy Ruth's? Be back soon, I promise.
113 W 116th Street
New York, NY