EAT This Week: The Woods’ Fried Chicken and Beignets

The Woods’ Fried Chicken and Beignets
Rob Galloway / Tahoe Daily Tribune

To try and decide each week where and what to eat around the basin can be a challenge – there are so many amazing choices. In this feature we’ll dive into dishes that will surely satisfy those hunger pangs and leave you wondering where to go next.

If you’re a fan of fried chicken – and really, who isn’t – but just can’t quite get on board with the chicken and waffles craze, then this week’s feature might be just what you’re looking for. At the newly opened Woods restaurant, this signature dish is their spin on the classic combo.

Everything starts out pretty normal: a hearty piece of bone-in buttermilk chicken that is lightly battered before taking a dip in the fryer. That’s about it for the normal. From there, instead of the standard waffle, the substitute here is classic ricotta beignets that get a dusting of powdered sugar. If you’re in the dark about beignets, go to a tiny little unheard of spot in New Orleans called Café Du Monde and they can help.

Having been to Café Du Monde I don’t want to be the person to compare these to theirs, but I also don’t want you to sleep on this version. Reminiscent of a mini doughnut, the Woods’ version is super airy, soft, and the perfect amount of chewy – oh, and the sweetness of the powdered sugar sets it ablaze when it combines with their take on the syrup component: a sweet and spicy chili agave sauce.

If this syrup was the stuff in the water bucket from that scene in “Flashdance” I guarantee you there would be no dancing afterwards. She’d probably just sit there are go full feline and start licking her paws – it’s that good. Never once does the syrup sacrifice the integrity of the crispiness of the chicken. It just enhances all its nooks and crannies and gives you a moist, crunchy and tasty bite each and every time.

I guess I should also point out that the dish is also served with a side of slaw. But, if I were you, I might wait until after the chicken and beignets are done because you won’t want to get so full that you leave any of it on the plate. Although, because I wolfed mine down, I never got to see how everything was as a leftover. Maybe I need another trip.

The Woods is located at 3115 Harrison Ave. in South Lake Tahoe. For food and drink information visit them online at or reach them via phone at 530-600-0921.

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