So I was working in my mom’s garage all day, getting all hot and sweaty (and yes, of course, hungry) in the mugginess, and after a little drop-off at Salvation Army, I was driving back to her place when lo and behold, there was LoLo’s Chicken & Waffles, Scottsdale. I think I may have indicated that I really, really want to lose some weight, and yet . . . here was LoLo’s (imagine that celestial-sounding AAAAAAHHHHH right about now) offering fried chicken at 3 in the afternoon and me so famished, what with the sweating and the hauling and all. So somehow I convinced myself that I actually deserved fried chicken and pulled in.

The place was doing a brisk business, and while I thought I might get take-out, the room was so pleasant I decided to sit down and eat my chicken while it was still hot. The new LoLo’s is a big open room with lots of windows, the walls hung with cute black and white photos of little kids making a mess in the kitchen. The place has a comfortable, homey aura about it, which is so refreshing, given the zip code. I literally bellied up to the massive wooden bar (perfect for solo diners) and put in my order for a soul food platter. Or at least I think that’s what it was called. I was cobbling together what I wanted — two pieces of fried chicken, but no waffle, but maybe some sides — and a friendly woman sitting next to me said, “Give her the soul food platter.” (or whatever she said), so already, I felt taken care of.

I hadn’t had more than a few gulps of my iced tea (served in a Mason jar) and started a conversation with the guy next to me, who was clearly thrilled to have discovered the whole chicken and waffle thing, when my platter arrived: three pieces of fried chicken (two thighs and a drumstick, still sizzling), cheese grits, fried okra and a great big cornbread muffin with a melting knob of butter on top. Your typical light summer meal.

I missed the fried chicken throw-down at Noca, and I love Chris Curtiss’s cooking with all my heart, but I’m telling you, I just don’t believe anybody can make fried chicken better than LoLo and crew. It’s crunchy and greasy and salty in exactly the right proportion. I’m crazy for it. I sat there in front of God and everyone and licked my fingers.

And the cornbread? I don’t remember thinking so before, but I will say now: this may be the best in town too. I’ve never liked a speck of sugar in my cornbread, and LoLo’s does make sweet cornbread. But it’s not sickeningly sweet and the texture is fabulous. Not too crumbly (I HATE it when cornbread falls apart), with just a nice little crispy edge. The grits came with grated cheese on top and another great big hunk of butter. Yum. I’ll be having the rest for breakfast. Good okra too. I wanted a slab of the Red Velvet Cake, a monster of a thing, slathered with cream cheese icing, dotted with pecans and served on an old-fashioned, clear-lidded cake plate. But I just couldn’t do it. Even my belly and I have limits.