Chicken and waffles was invented in Harlem during the beginning of the Great Depression, but for Aaron Sanders,1998 is the year he was introduced to this iconic soul food dish. But the owner of
Heavenly Chicken & Waffles
, which recently moved to Greektown, says his mother trained him early for the role of chef.
"My mother told me, Aaron, you're going to be single for a long time," Sanders says. "I don't know why she said that, unfortunately it did come true, but that's what made me started cooking."
With this mantra: simple recipes made excellent
, Sanders grew his love for cooking from a small catering operation to an East Side restaurant, which they outgrew quickly enough to merit a Southfield relocation. But when the building Sanders leased was foreclosed this year, Sanders decided to take Heavenly Chicken & Waffles back to Detroit, hiring five employees along the way (they are still currently hiring). The new eatery is located inside Marilyn's American Tavern at 419 Monroe St., within an 1845 building with stained glass and plenty of historic woodworking. Sanders calls the location "iconic."
"We started doing mobile catering while we were looking for a permanent location," says Sanders, a CPA who sent out requests for new locations to all 1200 clients on his mailing list. "I've had 50 different locations to choose from, before finding this beautiful building in Greektown."
As for the name? "They call it 'Heavenly Chicken and Waffles' because it's the best soul food you can get," Sanders says. There's plenty of soul food on the menu beyond the moniker meal, and everything is sourced from Eastern Market, Sanders says -- from the vegetables to the flour used to make the waffles. But be prepared to wait a bit, he cautions -- food that tastes this good takes time.
Heavenly Chicken & Waffles is open Mon-Fri from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sat-Sun from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 313-965-3115 or visit heavenlychickenandwaffles.com
for menu and more.