Degustation of Harlem Wing and Waffle

A guest blog from Erato on Main’s Jonathan “Jonny Style” Olson…

On Thursday I went to the Harlem institution, Wing and Waffle. After a lengthy subway ride and a seven block walk through Harlem I arrived at the vintage orange and white restaurant. Although not yet reviewed by the NYTimes, I could tell this was an up and coming restaurant.

I settled for the two course tasting menu with soda pairings. Apparently the counter staff was unfamiliar with the degustation format because both courses were served at once. Forgoing an amuse or appetizer, I started with my entrée: 2 piece wing/waffle and a beverage pairing of their own uptown orange soda. The chicken was cooked perfectly and had a nice, spicy kick. I could tell the cooks knew what they were doing.  The soda, made with corn syrup, paled in comparison to Fitzes. The star of the plate was the waffles. Gooey on the inside, but soft in the middle, they were waffle perfection. I pondered asking the “chef” if I could do a stage, perhaps taking home the secret of waffle nirvana.

Dessert was a strawberry float, a bit boring. I had seen fresh strawberries at the union square market earlier but I don’t think Wing and Waffle utilizes fresh produce.

Overall I give it twelve thumbs up and recommend it to anyone in NYC.

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Can you label one and not the other?

mcdonaldsYes it’s restaurants like McDonald’s and their super-smiley I’m Loving It campaigns that lure in the masses and fatten them up, but is making them slap up calorie counts and nutritional information just because they’re large, easy to hit targets, fair?

Certainly I’m no fan of large scale chain restaurants but these types of menu labeling laws really annoy me. It’s an unfair tipping of the scales and especially so considering that any one of the multi-course meals you or I might eat at our favorite restaurants gives a #2 Extra Value Meal the nutritional win on virtually every level.

After chain restaurants have spent millions on new menus courtesy of an influx of legislation nationwide as these laws filter inland from San Francisco, Seattle, and New York, it will be interesting to see the wide-gaping jaws of starry-eyed dietitians like, Elizabeth Bailey, when they see that obesity more than likely continued to rise anyway.

Sure “behavior change takes awhile,” as she said in the article, but it’s not good enough to put up calorie counts, fat contents, and sodium information on menus under the misguided assumption that it is the panacea to the obesity epidemic.
She can offer up stellar sound-bytes like:

“If you get that information about a hamburger, it might not change your choice then. But the next time you’ll remember, three months later you might not get the hamburger,”

…and she can even choose to believe them, but we’ve all seen the guy that thinks a salad is healthy just because it’s a salad before dousing it with 4 tablespoons of a creamy buttermilk blue.

The truth is that the majority of Americans have absolutely no idea what those numbers mean in the first place or how they fit into a balanced diet. Until proper education and a ballpark figure for what a person should be consuming are given to Americans the menu information is basically useless, and even if someday those obstacles have been cleared, no matter how much people might hate restaurants like McDonald’s and all that they represent, it’s still not fair to single out one menu over another strictly based on the cash flow of a multi-unit operation.

I don’t even see how it’s legal.

  McDonald’s Cheeseburger 3oz Foie Gras
Total Fat (g) 12 37.2
Saturated Fat (g) 6 12.3
Trans Fat (g) 0.5 0
Cholesterol (mg) 40 126
Sodium (g) 750 591
Carbohydrates (g) 33 3.9
Dietary Fiber (g) 2 0
Protein (g) 15 9.6

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