Restaurant With Chicken and Waffles and Late-Night Hours Now Open in Midtown Houston

A new Southern comfort food restaurant, Taste Bar + Kitchen, has taken up residence in the historic Sterling House at 3015 Bagby in midtown Houston. Co-owner and executive chef Don Bowie, former executive chef of Flower Child, and his business partner Kevin Kelley invited Houston Food Finder to a preview of what’s in store.

The waffle-centric menu at the newly renovated space — Southern-industrial chic downstairs and modern sexy upstairs —  features riffs on popular southern classics, especially the tried-and-true chicken and waffle. There are several variations on the chicken that range from Cajun-spiced to roasted, but the pillowy, melt-in-your-mouth texture of the thick, Belgian waffle is an anchoring constant. No knife required; a fork gets the job done.

Delightfully cheesy and fulfilling. Photo by Lauro Rojas.

The above-mentioned Cajun fried chicken arrives piping hot and diners who are bold enough to drizzle a bit of maple syrup on top will discover it adds depth and dimension to the savory, Louisiana-inspired spices. But that will seem downright traditional compared two of the more out-of-this-world concoctions: the Cheeseburger Waffle, a hardy yet fluffy, flavor-stuffed creation of ground beef, Gouda and cheddar cooked inside a waffle; and the Ham, Hash Brown and Cheese Waffle, another stuffed waffle treat.

The menu is rounded out with Jerk Chicken and Waffles, which features incredibly spicy Jamaican-style jerk chicken that dances on the taste buds. General Tso’s Chicken and Waffles, which was smothered in the typical sweet and spicy sauce, an unnecessary addition. There’s even a vegan “chicken” and waffle option.

Though chicken and waffles are the main attractions, don’t skip Taste’s phenomenal mac and cheese made with smoked Gouda. It is incredibly cheesy and comforting with a top layer that’s both melted and crisp, adding delightful texture to every bite. They also offer a version with lobster — and yes, you can add bacon to either.

For those who enjoy dessert, Bowie’s creativity extends to the sweet side of the palate. The delightful Fruity Pebbles Waffles evoke nostalgic childhood memories of Saturday mornings parked in front of the TV watching your favorite cartoons. The Red Velvet Waffle is a delectable treat that lives up to its namesake and is joined on the menu by Spiced Butter Pecan, Tres Leches, and Strawberry Cheesecake waffles. Houston eaters will no doubt find a waffle they like.

Out-of-this-world Fruity Pebble Waffles. Photo by Lauro Rojas.

If you want to indulge in an after-dinner drink, try one of their dessert cocktails such as the Bourbon Pecan Flip: bourbon, orgeat syrup, lemon, whole egg, black walnut bitters and a candied pecan garnish. This sweet libation was a coupe full of wholesome pecan pie balanced with a tinge of bitterness.

The Bourbon Pecan Flip cocktail is a boozy take on pecan pie. Photo by Lauro Rojas.

Taste Bar & Kitchen offers fun comfort food in an attractive setting — and is a welcome new, late-night dinning option for midtown Houston. They are open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight, Friday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to midnight. It just goes to show that it’s never too early for chicken and champagne or too late for waffles.

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