515. Kuzzo’s Chicken and Waffles – July 24, 2021 – Detroit, MI

A summer Saturday in Detroit, visiting Kuzzo’s Chicken and Waffles? Yes, please! As this season of sunshine and heat waves winds down, I’m more than happy to reminisce about my visit to the famed Avenue of Fashion-based restaurant.

I’d aspired to dine at Kuzzo’s for years. So it was exciting to make that dream a reality when a friend agreed to lunch with me there in late July. We weren’t the only ones with Kuzzo’s on the brain that day – the place was bustling with patrons! We waited about 40 minutes for a table before scoring seats at the bar.

While Kuzzo’s interior is fairly small, it brimmed with energy on the day of our visit. Something about the acoustics of the place (the high ceilings?) seemed to amplify sound – but hey, that added to the convivial vibe! I dug the restaurant’s bright red walls and stylish, contemporary look, its signature decorative detail: the definition of “kuzzo” painted above the bar. (That definition reads, “A term of endearment for one who is a friend or family member / A person of a kindred culture, race or nation.”)

Speaking of the bar: Kuzzo’s offers fun cocktails, including Spiked Kool-Aid (your childhood classic – adulting with Tito’s vodka!), a Pear Punch that its menu refers to as a “patio pounder,” and Mimosa Flights (which include four different flavor varieties of the classic champagne-and-juice riff).

As tempting as those cocktails were, I had my eye on the prize at Kuzzo’s that day: the chicken!

While I love both chicken and waffles, I admittedly prefer to enjoy them separate from each other. This feels totally sacrilegious to admit in a post about a restaurant whose oeuvre revolves around the combo! But it’s why I bypassed the 12 chicken-and-waffles combos on Kuzzo’s menu and went with Hazel’s Southern Platter. It features three pieces of fried chicken, two sides (I opted for the Mac & Cheese and Candied Yams), and a cornbread muffin.

If you also aren’t a chicken-and-waffles devotee, you’ll find plenty of other appealing choices on Kuzzo’s menu. It showcases several omelets and a variety of breakfast combo plates, including ones featuring biscuits and gravy, salmon croquettes, and chicken and grits. There are also a couple of sandwich offerings, including the Chicken BLT and the Nashville Hot Chicken (whose menu descriptions are literally making my mouth water!).

When my order arrived, I saw there’d been a mix-up. My Hazel’s Southern Platter was supposed to feature a breast, a leg, and a thigh. But it came with two pieces of chicken – both breasts. I communicated the mix-up, and the third chicken piece arrived – and was another breast. I didn’t have the heart to tell our bartender server about the bungle; she was busy enough! So I embraced the three-breast meal. I was happy to find the white-meat chicken to be quite juicy. The breading was nice and crispy, too.

But you know what the biggest surprise was for me on that Hazel’s Southern Platter? The Candied Yams. WOW, were they DELICIOUS! Those little root veggie nuggets were loaded with flavor. They were in this cinnamon-laced syrup that was SO good. I could eat a bucket of those candied yams!

My friend had one of Kuzzo’s omelets and loved it. Both of us made an unconventional choice that day at the chicken-and-waffles restaurant. But I must say, as I peruse Kuzzo’s menu now, I feel I wouldn’t mind returning to try one of its namesake choices: maybe the Mrs. Irene (waffles and fried chicken smothered in gravy and onions) or the Big Red (red velvet waffles with a cream cheese glaze paired with three wings or chicken tenders). Enticing choices abound on that menu!

19345 Livernois Ave.

Detroit, MI 48221

www.kuzzoschickenandwaffles.com

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