The original Blue Duck New American BYO restaurant, located in Northeast Philly, has expanded to Broad Street. Owners Joe Callahan, Jr. and Kris Serviss pride themselves on offering delicious traditional dishes with a twist.
The Duck offers brunch on weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with highlights ranging from the homemade Chicken & Waffles to Duck Benedict.
I walked in knowing exactly what I wanted: Chicken & Waffles. Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles is one of my must–go–to restaurants when I’m home in Los Angeles; with its thin, light waffles and perfectly crisp chicken, Roscoe’s never fails to surprise me with this magical combination. So did I find Philly’s version of Roscoe’s?
The entrance to Blue Duck is strange: I walked in and the hostess area was so tightly fit under the stairs that I couldn’t get a comprehensive view of the restaurant. Once you walk in, though, you get a glimpse of the television screens surrounding the room, cool upstairs and outdoors seating areas, and a view of the bar. The interior has a lot of natural light coming from the many windows: it’s (well) lit!
I ordered the Chicken & Waffles and coffee (because, hello, 11 a.m. on a Sunday). My friend ordered the Duck Benedict, another classic brunch serving. Our food came out relatively quickly and the presentation was beautiful. Right away though, I could tell the chicken wasn’t crispy—it looked drenched in some sort of sauce, which I later found out to be Siracha. Granted I probably should have read the menu: “Sriracha-buttermilk chicken, belgian waffle, bourbon syrup, powdered sugar.”
The waffle was too thick for my taste. As I put my knife to the chicken, it went right through the middle! Where was the bone? The inside of the chicken had too much fat and was rubbery, and the skin was soggy—the exact opposite of the lightly crisped, tender chicken I appreciate. The combination of a too–heavy waffle and soggy, weirdly sauced chicken was extremely underwhelming.
My taste buds were not satisfied. I tried the Duck Benedict, hoping for redemption. Sadly, the duck was also too chewy and served with too much Hollandaise. At least the eggs were nicely poached. I ended up drinking my watered down iced coffee, wondering if I should have ordered Charred Broccoli Caesar or Fruity Pebbles French Toast. #noragretz though?