Lo - Lo's Chicken and Waffles

2765 N Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85257

In one corner we have Lo-Lo's Chicken and Waffles and in the other corner we have Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles.... California versus Arizona..... Los Angeles versus Phoenix..... The battle of the chicken and waffles looms...... I wish I could do a side by side comparison. Unfortunately, I haven't eaten Roscoe's for about 5 years now and don't remember too much about it. Sorry to set-up the battle and not have it actually happen.

I feel that ambiance and location influences are things that one's mind takes into account when eating somewhere. For some reason eating at a place with character adds to the meal. Purely due to logistics, we ended up going to Lo-Lo's in Scottsdale instead of the original Phoenix location. Really wanted to go to the Phoenix location because I heard that was the original and had a lot homier feeling than the strip mall Scottsdale location.


Lo-Lo's Famous Soul Food Platter - 13
Included in this platter were 3 pieces of chicken Southern fried or smothered in gravy and onions or two pieces of Catfish or Lo-Lo's red fish (cod) w/ 2 sides orders and cornbread. We went with the Southern Fried Chicken with the waffle and mac & cheese as the sides.

The waffle is freshly made upon order. I thought the waffle was good, but not great. It wasn't as fluffy and light as I would like it to be. The waffle we had at Matt's was in my opinion a lot better.

The chicken was nicely breaded and nicely seasoned, but once again, it wasn't anything that I thought was out of the ordinary. Again, it was good, but not great. When the chicken and the waffles were eaten together, though, it helped bump up the flavor a bit with the sweetness of the waffles and the savoriness of the chicken coming together.

The one dish that I really enjoyed was the Mac & Cheese. Extra cheesy and gooey. And the flavor of the cheese was really evident. One of the better mac & cheeses I have tasted in a while.

Overall, we thought that Lo-Lo's was good, but in my opinion, not something I would make a special trip for. Maybe it was because the Scottsdale location didn't have that soulful, backyard feel. Perhaps my expectations of eating chicken and waffles were too high, when in reality it was really just a plate of chicken and a plate of waffles.


St. Francis - Phoenix, Arizona

111 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85012

I really didn't do too much research prior to selecting St. Francis as one of our meals while in Phoenix. But I got a recommendation from someone on Chowhound, checked out the menu online, and heard it was in a restored bank and the menu looked very reasonably priced.

Aaron Chamberlin is the owner/chef of the St. Francis restaurant. I was surprised to find out that Chef Chamberlin has worked for an impressive number of chefs and restaurants in his career including Jean-Georges Vongerichten of the NY restaurant empire,  Michel Richard of Washington DC restaurants, and Nancy Oakes of Boulevard in SF.

Chef Chamberlin's goal was to create a restaurant that feels like a home away from home and a community gathering spot. The restaurant strives to serve seasonal American food that is simple, honest, and a has good value. We'll see if the restaurant reaches those goals.

A lot of thought and consideration went into the remodeling of the space for St. Francis. The space definitely has a modern yet rustic and homey, hip feel to it. The waiter informed us that this space was once a bank, a doctor's office, and a few other things.

Pictured here is a Market List that lists different seasons of the year and what vegetables and fruits are in season. An excellent reminder and commitment from the restaurant that only seasonal vegetables and fruits at their prime will be used for your meal.

Almond Margarita and Prickly Ricky
Fortunately, we arrived to St. Francis at the right time. Cocktail Hour!! Served from 4-6pm everyday. All mixed drinks were $5 and all beers $3. A nice and condensed list of about 6 cocktails and various bottled and draught beers.

Baked goat cheese, tomato, walnut herb pesto and toasted bread - 8
This appetizer was an excellent beginning to our meal. Here we have a ramekin filled with goat cheese, tomatoes, and walnut herb pesto that is then baked to get it nice and hot. Really enjoyed this starter.  The tang and creaminess of the goat cheese and the sweetness and tang of the tomatoes coupled with the herbaciousness (is that a word?) of the pesto was great.

Pumpkin Soup with apples and creme fraiche - 6
This soup was velvety smooth and the natural sweetness of the pumpkin was really evident. I liked the fact that apples were added to give this soup some flavor contrast with the sweetness and tartness of the apple. I felt this soup was a bit too salty but enjoyed it regardless. 

Roasted Pork Chop, fresh corn polenta, sweet peppers and whole grain mustard sauce - 19
I have never in my life eaten a pork chop that was so succulent, tender, and juicy. Having prior experience with Kurobuta pork at Spago in L.A. and Nob Hill in L.V., there was no comparison. The pork as St. Francis was vastly superior to the versions I have had at other places. The corn polenta absorbed the jus of the pork and the whole grain mustard sauce, elevating the polenta to an even tastier stratosphere. My favorite dish of the night. Checkout the Laguiole cutlery in the picture, excellent choice of cutlery. It's the nice little touches like this that make St. Francis special.

Seafood soup with shrimps, mussels, clams, fish, and aromatic vegetables - 19
What kind of food blogger would I be if I didn't eat seafood? An incomplete one. Luckily, I have a wife that loves seafood, now I am a complete food blogger again. Here is what she recalls from this dish. Beautifully presented dish in the clay pot with with the herbs and seafood strategically strewn throughout. Seafood in the dish were nicely cooked, but the broth was too salty, overwhelming the flavors of the seafood.

Proof that this building was at one point a bank. Located right next to the women's toilet bowl.  Nice toilet paper holder don't you think?
Is St. Francis a home away from home? The restaurant has a modern and yet rustic feel to it, yet it still manages to feel homey. The restaurant stays true to its original goals of simple, honest, and good value. On this particular night we had some dishes that were great and others that were good. (Due to some heavy handed salting.) Regardless, we still had an overall good meal and enjoyed the experience.