Great Maple – Fried Chicken & Doughnuts

Around the time the pandemic and state lock-downs were just getting started, I was in Pasadena for my cousin’s wedding. When planning for the trip, I was excited to see that there was a Roscoe’s in the area. For those who have not heard of Roscoe’s, it is one of the top places for chicken and waffles in the country. From the fried chicken to the waffles to the sides, a meal at Roscoe’s is one to be remembered. Unfortunately, the timing of the trip and wedding commitments, meant that it would be highly unlikely that chicken and waffles would be part of this trip. Luckily, the rehearsal dinner provided me an opportunity to try a similar and equally amazing dish thanks to Great Maple and their fried chicken and doughnuts.

Before getting to the main attraction of the meal, I want to mention a couple of the Great Maple starters. Since we were in a big group, my side of the table opted to share an order of the mac and cheese and an order of the calamari.

The mac and cheese was a ridged cavatappi with white cheddar, and we added bacon in ours. Because it used a ridged pasta, it held the cheese nicely which also helped with the obligatory melty, cheese pulls. The pasta to bacon ratio was spot-on as each bite was a nice balance of cheese and meat.

As for the calamari, it had the perfect crunch. One surprise though was that the calamari had slices of jalapeno mixed in with it. This added a noticeable spice to the dish which provided an unexpected burst of heat.

The starters were a nice build-up to the main dish, but the main is what really left a lasting impression on me. First, the portion-size was gargantuan. For me, it ended up being 2 meals. The donuts were bacon maple and massive. There was also powdered sugar and maple syrup to top each item. While the dish came across as sweet, it was not overly sweet. Rather, the sweetness was in perfect proportion to complement the chicken. Separately, both the donuts and chicken stood up on their own; however, it was the combination of both that elevated this to a must have.

If you ever find yourself in Southern California and near one of Great Maple’s locations, I highly recommend it. The menu takes some standard offerings and adds a flair to make each item their own.


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