Monday, January 27, 2014

“Raina, You and Jesse Know the Territory.

We leave ourselves in your capable hands.”

That was my response when, as we were headed to the car show, Raina asked if we had any idea of where to have lunch. While I was seated behind her, I could sense the look of not quite panic to this response. So we agreed to think about this further.

So we leave the show, get on the 101, get off the 101 and onto the 17 South and suddenly Raina exclaims: “I know! How about Lo-Lo’s. The one in Phoenix and not Scottsdale.”
In unison, Chuck and I respond: “Fried chicken. Perfect.”

You might think that Lo-Lo is a woman’s name, but you would be wrong. “Lo-Lo's Chicken and Waffles is owned by Larry ‘Lo-Lo’ White, the grandson of Mrs. White, the owner of Phoenix landmark Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe.

“Larry began his career in the restaurant business as soon as he was able to walk, talk, and bus a table at Mrs. White's. Later, as an adult, Larry started preparing chicken and waffles after-hours at Mrs. White's…to earn extra money. Mrs. White taught him well. It's not uncommon to hear customers say Lo-Lo's fried chicken is the very best they've ever had.
“Lo-Lo opened his own restaurant in the summer of 2002 in downtown Phoenix. Lo-Lo's quickly became an underground sensation. Soon Lo-Lo's was seating customers from around the world in addition to their loyal Phoenix area diners…. In the summer of 2009, Larry opened the second Lolo's…in south Scottsdale” (
Lo-Lo’s first location was in the small—very small—house seen in this photo (below) to the right of the chicken head, and l-o-n-g waits became the norm.

So when Mr. White had the opportunity to move to bigger quarters not too far from the original, he jumped at the chance.

“The tough economy has seen many restaurants close or cut back staff. But one Valley eatery is doing so well that it's expanding. Lo-Lo's Chicken and Waffles owner Larry White says there's a big reason why his business is growing. ‘We serve not only the valley's best, but the world's best southern fried chicken, and it goes very well with our delicious golden brown waffles,’ says White… Lo-Lo's is now expanding…from that small 12-hundred square foot house into a six thousand square foot building that's right next door. ’There's a huge warehouse on the corner facing Central…. If the good Lord (allows) we're going to expand and move our Phoenix location into that warehouse’” (Bob McClay at

We arrived at around 2:00 p.m. on that Sunday afternoon and were greeted with the news that there would be at least a thirty-minute wait. And that gave me the time to read the reviews posted on the front windows. One of these extolled the shrimp and grits, and being a shrimp and grits lover, I was sorely tempted. (Bubba's Shrimp and Grits has seven jumbo shrimp sautéed with mushrooms, scallions, and bacon and topped with cheddar cheese over a bed of grits.) But I knew in my heart that I would regret not ordering the chicken.

We were finally seated in a small but interesting back dining room
with brick walls displaying the autographs of some of the famous who have dined there

and “wallpaper” enlargements of other notable diners like this one of a Tuskegee Airman.
“Charles Barkley and Larry Fitzgerald are among the celebrities that are regular customers. ‘Mr. Muhammad Ali was…in my Phoenix store…just before he went to Philadelphia for Joe Frazier's funeral,’ says White…. Ali ‘wanted to stop in and get a good meal before he took that plane ride’” (Bob McClay at

I decided to mimic my usual order at Sunny’s Fried Chicken in Church Point, LA and chose four a la carte wings plus a side. The list of sides are extensive and include beans over rice, collard greens, mac & cheese, home fries, French fries, red beans, smothered potatoes, string beans and red potatoes, potato salad, rice and gravy, cheese grits, candy sweet potatoes, fried okra, and buttered corn. I chose the cheese grits.
Raina ordered a side of collards and a side of red beans over rice with
one wing and planned to sample from Jesse’s plate, which was the Cool Bre Bre's Chicken Salad with field greens, white meat chicken, candied walnuts, cherry tomatoes, avocado, applewood bacon and a choice of ranch, raspberry, or balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing. He could get the chicken either fried or grilled, but one can only eat so healthy so he chose the fried.
The menu lists sixteen permutations of chicken and/or waffles. These include KK's (three piece of southern-style chicken [i.e., fried] with two waffles, grits, two eggs with cheese, and onions), Baby Ray (three pieces of chicken smothered with gravy and onions with two waffles), Lo-Lo’s (three pieces of chicken southern style with two waffles), Mama White's (one piece of chicken southern style, grits, two eggs, home fries, and toast), and Sheedah's Special (one breast, one wing, one waffle).

Chuck selected the Lo-Lo’s that came with one wing, one drumstick, and one very large and very meaty breast.
Everything I tasted was wonderful. Raina’s collards were cooked the true Southern way with a bit of red pepper and a bit of vinegar. Her red beans over rice (although—and I say this with absolutely no modesty—they were not as good as mine) had a deep smoky taste and the beans hadn’t turned to mush. My grits did need a bit of hot sauce to liven them up, but were well-prepared. And Chuck’s waffles, when eaten together with the savory chicken and warm sweet syrup, were equally good.

But this was really about the chicken. It was ultra crisp and juicy and the coating had been seasoned with a blend of spices of which garlic was the only one that I could specifically identify. This is now my Number Two all time chicken, only losing to Sunny’s by a hair because Sunny’s wings are larger.

Lo-Lo’s also offers a daily selection of Southern-themed desserts, but they are especially known for their red velvet cake with luscious cream cheese icing and studded with pecans.
And now for a little known fact, “red velvet cake did not get its name from the bottle of food coloring you dump into the batter…. Contain yourself. Here’s what really happened.

“During the Great Depression, families were using less food colorings and extracts. They were just one more unnecessary expense that could be cut out. While the savings was good news for penny-pinchers, it was not-so-great news for the Adams Extract company.

“To counter slumping sales, folks at the company came up with the Adams Red Velvet Cake recipe, a concoction that used red food coloring and butter extract instead of the traditional ingredients. Before food coloring had become the popular way to make the cake scarlet, the hue was much more subtle and was caused by the way vinegar, cocoa, and buttermilk reacted together. The ‘velvet’ comes…from the smooth texture of fine cake crumb.

“Adams’ ploy worked. The new brilliantly-colored cake was a hit with households across the country, and the fact that the recipe was offered on free recipe cards at grocery stores everywhere didn’t hurt either. So, there you have it: the popularity of red velvet cake is the result of a clever marketing ploy. And who can resist that tagline of a bygone era: ‘The cake of a wife time’" (
So now, as Paul Harvey used to say, “You know…the rest of the story.”

And finally, kudos to our server Chris for his good humor and his efficiency.
Over the course of a very busy afternoon, he took time to check with us on our meal, to converse a bit about photography, and keep us posted on the course of the 49ers playoff game–all the while going about meeting the needs of his other diners as well.

These were the crowning touches to a 5.0 Addie meal.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.


eyad ammar said...

شركة تنظيف بالطائف شركة الهدي افضل شركة نقل عفش بالطائف كذلك هى افضل شركة رش مبيدات بالطائف
شركه الهدى
شركة رش بالطائف
خدمات الطائف
شركة تنظيف بالطائف
شركة تنظيف فلل بالطائف
نظافه عامه بالطائف
شركة تنظيف منازل بالطائف

eyad ammar said...

شركة تنظيف شقق بالطائف
نقل عفش بالطائف
بالطائف شفط بيارات
تسليك مجارى بالطائف
تنظيف خزنات بالطائف
رش مبيدات بالطائف
نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة عزل اسطح بالطائف

eyad ammar said...

ان اردت نقل عفش منزلك بالدمام ابيات الشرقية من اهم شركات نقل العفش بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والقطيف والاحساء
شركة المتحدة
شركة نقل عفش بنجران
شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بابها

eyad ammar said...

شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش ببريدة
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم
شركة نقل عفش بتبوك