Background: Owners John and Julie Stehling opened King Daddy's in West Asheville during the spring of 2014 after the success of their first restaurant, Early Girl Eatery in downtown Asheville.
Order This: This is mostly a chicken and waffle joint, but the options and customizations available will blow your mind. First, you pick a chicken. You can choose between Fried, sub-genres of fried (Korean, Habanero Sweet Potato, Gluten Free, Fried Chicken Livers), grilled, or, the clear winner: Heirloom, which is lightly breaded and sautéed in a cast iron skillet. This chicken takes a little longer than the other ones, but it is so worth it. You can also choose between white/dark and leg/breast/thigh for most options. Then, stop: waffle time. All are served with maple syrup or sorghum, and the best options here are the Pumpkin and classic Belgian Waffles. The Cracklin Waffle (pork cracklin in the batter) is the only one I have tried that I wouldn't order again, but this could be personal preference. But don't stop there! Top your waffle with dessert-y things, like peanut butter, banana, chocolate chips, strawberries, caramel, ice cream...the world is your oyster.
Their other entrée items look amazing, like the Lamb Burger or the all-day breakfast items (Fried Pie: Aged Country Ham, Poached Egg and Brie Style Cheese in a Flaky Crust, Waffle Benny), but the pull of the chicken and waffles is too strong. The veggie sides and appetizers are decent, but I wouldn't fill up on them--save room for the mains and dessert. The pictured Poutine didn't wow us, despite being made with lamb gravy. The only caveat is that their side salad is the best I've ever had--who puts avocado on a side salad? Legit.
Dessert: The desserts are worthy of a trip on their own. Highest recommendation to the Chocolate Mayo Cake and the Banana Pudding (with cubes of pound cake). I have it on good authority that these go smashingly with tequila shots and three rounds of Clue.
Drink: There's a large beer selection and creative cocktails like the Sorghum Old-Fashioned or the Sherry Cobbler (Amontillado Sherry, Orange, Sugar), but for some reason when I come here all I want is a glass of milk, which I never get elsewhere. It goes with the waffle, I swear. Try it--the combo is worth the strange looks you will get when you order.
Atmosphere: Their seating area is on the small side, but it is so cozy inside. Bonus, their retro branding and cool chicken logo translates into a mean t-shirt.
Southern Hospitality: The (hipster) service here is decent, if a bit on the slow side.
Frankie's Notes: Chicken & Waffles will never jump the shark; Side salads that don't cheap out; Ms. Scarlet, in the mountain house, with a lime wedge; Adults ordering milk: it's fine; There should be affirmative action in the Asheville food scene for the non-tragically hip set.
Parking: There is a lot in the back, but it is shared with a Crossfit, so don't park in those spots. They will tow your car with their bare (bear) hands.
Ranking: 3 out of 5
444 Haywood Road
Asheville, NC 28806