Food truck adjacent to Old North Arcade offers kooky, indulgent comfort food
Forty's Chicken & Waffles is an endearingly loopy food truck that used to be called Forty's Bird & Brew. That's significant because the truck still bears its old name and, despite this moniker, it does not sell 40-ouncers of brew.
Do not distress over this, because 40-ouncers — plus plenty of craft beers on tap, liquor and cocktails — are just steps away from the food truck's fixed parking space, which is just inches from the entrance of its brother-in-business, the Old North Arcade.
Bonus: Along with booze, the hosting arcade bar also offers free video games galore, tables at which to eat, plus a patio with picnic tables and cornhole boards.
And fans of those indulgent, savory-and-sweet brunch-time partners of fried chicken and waffles will be glad to know that this flies-its-own-way food truck delivers the goods and then some. Staying true to this louche spirit, the amusingly kooky menu at Forty's stars six pseudo-sandwich “Meals” ($8 each) that seem designed for — and might've been designed by — people who've already had a few “40s.” I mean that in a good way.
Items such as reimagined tacos, sliders and “dogs” filled with fried chicken (and often lots of other stuff) are offered, but rather than tortillas or buns, they're contained within freshly made waffles or waffle cones. Key to these recipes: The food truck's winning chicken is boneless breast pieces that are juicy, tender, crunchy-battered and doled out in healthy portions.
Acting on the excellent advice of the nice food truckers, my dining accomplice and I went with the barbecue sauce-drizzled Dog and the maple syrup-drizzled Cone. As accurately described by the server-cooks, these are best-bang-for-your-buck creations that illustrate the appeal of this bird-brained operation.
The Dog is two big pieces of pleasing chicken, plus soft, flavorful mac-and-cheese (garnished with crisp bacon bits and scallions) laid out on a big waffle actually shaped like a hot dog roll. Crisp, good-tasting fries (waffle fries, natch) livened by seasoned salt are on the side. That's a lot of food.
The comically enormous Cone — it kind of resembles a bowling pin — also comes with fries but is even bigger and better. Packed into a crisp, warm waffle cone are lots of chicken, mac-and-cheese plus fresh slaw made with a house vinaigrette. When enjoyed inside Old North Arcade, with its free games and beer (most brews are $6; I splurged on an $8 CBC Bodhi), it all makes for a pretty fun night out.