Archive for the 'Belgian' Category

Waffles de Liege – Los Angeles

Waffles de Liege - Los Angeles

It seems like just yesterday that the gourmet food truck trend exploded here in Los Angeles. Truth is, it’s been nearly four years since Kogi first hit the streets, tweeted its location, and wooed diners all over town. While the movement was rooted in providing late night grub for inebriated club-goers, it has matured over the years into something that appeals to the masses.

While attending the Santa Anita food truck festival a few weekends ago, The Astronomer and I were taken aback by the public’s still ravenous appetite for the trend. With demand exhausting supply, lines snaked on forever and food came out at a snail’s pace. One of the most popular trucks this afternoon was Waffles de Liege, Southern California’s first waffle truck.

Waffles de Liege - Los Angeles

Founded by George Wu and Lawrence Tai, Waffles de Liege specializes in Liege-style waffles that are wonderfully dense, flaky, and studded with pearl sugar. The dough employed on the truck is made from scratch daily using a recipe that the boys created after countless trials.

Waffles can be ordered plain, slathered with Nutella or Speculoos, or the most popular option, a la mode with ice cream from Fosselman’s in Alhambra. I ordered mine without bells or whistles in order to feel the crunch of the sugar in between my teeth.

Waffles de Liege - Los Angeles

After chilling by the truck for a solid 30 minutes, my waffle was finally ready for pick up. An upside to the truck being so darn popular is that each waffle is made to order, assuring that the product is impeccably fresh.

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Bruxie Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches – Orange

Bruxie - Orange

The only thing that kept me from dining at Bruxie the moment I finished reading Ila‘s glowing report back in March was forty-some-odd miles. It seemed excessive to brave an hour of traffic in a quest for a waffle sandwich, even if said sandwich came stuffed with coleslaw and fried chicken. So, even though I had Bruxie on the brain, I decided to hold out until I found myself hungry and in Orange County, whenever that would be.

The stars aligned for me and Bruxie one Friday evening in June. My mom, cousins Megan and Madison, and I were driving from Los Angeles to San Diego and needed a break from the bumper to bumper traffic. It just so happened that Bruxie was a short detour from the highway and we were in dire need of dinner.

Bruxie - Orange

A trip through Belgium years ago inspired three friends—Dean Simon, Philippe Caupain, and Kelly Mullarney—to get into the waffle business. They’ve been selling waffle mixes to hotels and cruise lines for the past five years and opened this brick and mortar in downtown Orange last year.

We were slightly intimidated by the line snaking down the sidewalk when we arrived at the shop, but it moved impressively swiftly. Before we knew it, it was time to place our order and figure out where to sit. Note: there is no indoor seating or bathrooms available on the premise.

Bruxie - Orange

The food was delivered to our table soon after we scored a seat. All of the sandwiches are built upon yeast-leavened Belgium waffles that are light, crisp, and not the least bit sweet.

Cousin Maddie ordered the smoked salmon Bruxie ($7.95), which included dill cream cheese, thin slices of English cucumbers, and fresh chives. Even though Maddie is barely fifty pounds and still requires a child seat when riding in a car, she can tuck away some serious grub. After removing the pesky cucumbers from her Bruxie, she polished it off like a champ. That a girl!

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Wafels & Dinges – New York City

Wafels & Dinges - New York City

As The Astronomer and I strolled from ChikaLicious back to the hotel, we stumbled upon the Wafels & Dinges truck at Astor Place. Even though I had just consumed a hefty Italian dinner followed by a three-course tour de sweets, I couldn’t resist stopping for a taste. I live a gloriously gluttonous existence while on vacation. Plus, I didn’t know if I’d run into the truck again.

Wafels & Dinges - New York City

Belgium native Thomas DeGeest launched Wafels & Dinges in 2007. Since then, it’s grown into a mini waffle empire complete with one roaming truck, two roving carts, and two permanently parked carts in Central Park. The truck even has a hotline for waffle seekers to keep track of all the action.

I’ll admit it, I was so intent on trying this truck that I programmed the number into my phone before leaving town. I am a waffle lover through and through.

Wafels & Dinges - New York City

The truck offers three different kinds of waffles: Brussels, Liège, and mini “wafelini.” There are also a plethora of “dinges” including fresh fruit, butter, maple syrup, and whipped cream.

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Shaky Alibi – Los Angeles

Shaky Alibi - Los Angeles

After attempting and failing to find a mind-blowingly good Liège waffle in Los Angeles at Holly’s Coffee and at Syrup Desserts, I decided to call it quits on the great waffle hunt. I left a few rocks unturned, namely Lucky Devils and Le Pain Quotidien, but another disappointing specimen would’ve surely put me over the edge.

Even though I had grown weary of the local selection of waffles, I still sought them out while on the road. In Seattle, I encountered brilliantly executed sweet and savory creations at Sweet Iron Waffles. And most recently, I returned to Bonte in Philadelphia, where the Liège waffle obsession was born, and fell in love all over again. Two standout renditions was all it took for waffles to woo me back.

I returned home from my trips with a renewed sense of purpose and drive—I was going to find Los Angeles’ best Liège waffle!

Shaky Alibi - Los Angeles

I headed to Shaky Alibi as soon as my enthusiasm for waffles was reignited. Opened by R.J. Milano this past summer, Shaky Alibi is a wafflerie, coffee shop, and tea bar all rolled into one. The waffles, which are made using a family recipe cooked up by the owner’s German-born great grandmother, are made from a yeast dough and are coated in pearl sugar to create a slightly crispy, caramelized shell.

Shaky Alibi - Los Angeles

Shaky Alibi serves both sweet and savory varieties. Nastassia, my dining companion this afternoon, and I shared two savory and one sweet. We started with a Black Forest ham with gruyere ($8.95). The waffle was made fresh to order, sliced in half, and filled with ham and cheese that had been microwaved for maximum meltage. A little powdered sugar on top and the plate came our way.

The sandwich’s flavors reminded me of a Monte Cristo, minus the blunt sweetness and oily aftertaste. While I appreciated the sweet and savory double punch, I felt like I didn’t get a true sense of the waffle’s personality. The flavorful filling, coupled with the fact that the waffle was sliced in half, made it difficult to tell whether this baby was the real deal or not.

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