Soul Food Spots Serves Good Eats

Students can get all the taste and flavor of down-home cooking without driving home to their parents’ kitchens at Champions Chicken and Waffles.

Owner Patricia Edwards said the name of the restaurant came from her son Darnell Baker, who liked to say “everyone who wakes up to a new day is a champion.” Edwards said she wanted to present a clean and comfortable establishment for community members.

“The plan is to provide the best in food and professional service;” Edwards said.

Growing up, Edwards never imagined she would work in the restaurant business. For years, she worked in the television industry writing credits on the popular television show “Good Times.”

Edwards was working for Norman Lear Productions when she met Herb Hudson, Harlem native and founder of Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. Edwards said her family helped him get started, and the connection inspired her to eventually become a restaurant-owner. Edwards’ son worked as a cook at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, her daughter as a waitress and her brother as a general manager for almost a decade.

Finally, the idea of opening her own restaurant became a reality Jan. 1, 2011. Monique Myrick, a Champions regular, said she loves coming to the restaurant.

“The food is absolutely delicious, and the staff is so courteous,” Myrick said.

Edwards credits the flavor of the food to doing all the grocery shopping for the restaurant herself, and preparing fresh food for customers every morning.

In addition to chicken and waffles, the menu has traditional southern dishes like grits, freshly ground chicken sausage, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, yams and homemade peach cobbler. All of the breakfast items except the omelet are served from open to close.

On Friday nights, customers can listen to a live performance byChucky Crawford & Friends.

Champions also offer specials and student discounts.

The restaurant is located at 310 Polk Dr. directly behind the Hancock Bank, and is open seven days a week. For more information, contact Patricia Edwards at (850) 692-3368.