I swear I’m not going to be the blogger that tells you that she’s got some secret shenanigans going on in her life and how she can’t tell you about it but she can tell you that it is very stressful and important. If I were that kind of blogger I’d assure you that I’d tell you all about it just as soon as I could (like the time a ventriloquism museum tried to sue me and I had to hire a lawyer¹) and afterwards you’d be all, pfft, was that all she was freaking out about? But, like I said: not that blogger. I’m the kind of blogger that stuffs her face with $15 worth of waffles and yells at her boyfriend “YOU’RE THE SHITTIEST PHOTOGRAPHER!” on a street corner while spraying powdered sugar out of her mouth. I wish I were kidding.
It’s like this: what would make a waffle better? They’re already at the upper end of the awesomeness scale, but there’s room for improvement. Perhaps if they were made from a denser yeasted dough rather than a batter, and were then just rolled in balls of pearl sugar so that when they were in the iron they turned chewy and caramelized. At this point I’d say yes sir, you have achieved over-awesomenating. Huzzah.
A restaurant in my neighborhood recently opened that serves Liege waffles, called Shaky Alibi. I have to get this out of the way now so I can focus on the waffles but: for such a cheeky name, the place was naptime serious. I wasn’t feeling it. But also: who cares? Waffles. In the above photo you can see where the unmelted chunks of sugar remain, and I assure you this is a lovely thing: they are crunchy and sweet, and most of them have caramelized. The texture of the waffle itself is fascinating, somewhere between a good, soft British scone and an American sticky bun. The exterior is crispy and breadlike, but the interior has heft and grain. In fact, the whole thing has heft. It’s like a good-sized puppy.
Mike the Viking did actually take some good photos of me, but this is the one I identify with.
Now, the interesting thing is that they’ll make you a savory sandwich from these waffles. So, the same sugared waffle, but sliced open and filled with turkey or ham (we chose ham) and a variety of cheeses (we chose swiss). The Viking was reluctant to declare like-at-first-bite, but as a card carrying Monte Cristo addict, I was preemptively on board. If I’d had some blackberry jam on the side I’d be dipping that fucker. <– I can say that about a lot of things, now that I think about it.
Eventually he said he’d like it if it were saltier, to balance the sugar, which I can’t argue against. I mean, saltier, sure.
But still we are not to where the problem lies. FIFTEEN DOLLARS FOR THAT. Well, $9 for the sandwich, and $6 for the plain waffle. It’s a shame, too, because they are delicious. But … I don’t know. We kept discussing it like I imagine kind-hearted people discuss whether or not to stop eating meat. Which is to say, with feeling. On one hand, we kept rationalizing that we were eating an artisan product made fresh. It’s no supermarket croissant we’re talking about here, we’re talking about a hot-from-the-iron yeasted pastry. On the other hand, FIFTEEN DOLLARS. No. It’s like, I just paid $6 for what amounts to a really, really awesome donut. Well, okay. Wait, is that okay? I don’t know! If it were $4 I’ d be all over that shit. I’d be back there right this second.
But $6? I don’t know! I still can’t decide. Rather, I can say for certain: the sandwich is out. The waffle itself is the star, and the ham and cheese present themselves as merely a $3 distraction.
Now, if it had a big piece of breakfast sausage and an egg in the middle…
¹ 100% true story. Ask me about it in person; for all I know they’re still standing by with their coterie of lawyers, seething.August 26th, 2010 | Eatin' Fancy