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Best Chicken and Waffles 

Brown Sugar Kitchen

Chicken and waffles is one of the great culinary combinations, a hearty breakfast-time (or anytime) treat that combines the savory crunch of fried chicken with the crispy sweetness of Belgian waffles. This soul-food standby doesn't always live up to its potential, though, and occasionally lapses into a ponderous platter of starch and grease. At Brown Sugar Kitchen, a chrome and leatherette temple to nouvelle soul cuisine in Oakland's industrial western reaches, such culinary lapses are out of the question. Here the waffles are feather-light, crisp with cornmeal, and drizzled with melted butter laced with brown sugar, and the chicken — pan-fried with an herb-limned buttermilk coating till hot and crunchy on the outside, moist and tender within — makes a wonderfully satisfying complement. It's served with a pitcher of warm apple-cider syrup, a sharp, sweet orchard-blossom of an accent. The lime-maroon deco-moderne diner also offers top-shelf greet-the-morning staples like Blue Bottle Coffee and Blue Chair Fruit apple butter.

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