Just on the edge of the popular Corydon strip in Winnipeg sits Ripe Bistro. You may remember it from previous manifestations like Gluttons and Mise. On the Saturday evening that my husband and I visited Ripe, every dining seat was spoken for, so we happily perched ourselves at the bar top. Head chef/owner Tom Pitt, who once worked at the St. Charles Golf and Country Club under the tutelage of Chef Takashi “Tony” Murakami, made an appearance on our visit.
Chicken and waffles have started showing up on Winnipeg menus lately and you may think that they are an unlikely pairing. But as the saying goes, “don’t knock it until you try it”. As a lover of salty and sweet combinations, the sumptuous marriage didn’t surprise me at all. In fact the meal is not new, having been first recorded in the 1600s in Dutch Pennsylvania.
Typically this recipe utilizes a piece of fried chicken so we were pleased that Ripe’s version had lightly dusted chicken tenders served atop a tender waffle. The chicken was expertly prepared with a crunchy shell and succulent interior. The waffles created the perfect platform for the chicken. Wheels of jalapeno and sriracha maple syrup accompanied the dish, adding just the right amount of sweet and spicy heat.
The latke fries were inventive; latke recipes typically build themselves around shredded potatoes, so the leap to a substitute for French fries was fitting and tasty.