Sunday, March 25, 2007


So, the place that makes the best waffles in the world is Merritt Bakery. They're crisp, light, tender, flavorful - a great carrier for butter, or syrup, or chicken and hot sauce. Absolutely fantastic.

So it was with some hesitation that I decided to drop $4 on a single square of waffle from the Belgian Waffle Truck that showed up at the local Farmer's Market. But strolling around the market, and being sort of unimpressed with the sea of random greens that all looked sort of the same, I wanted a bite of something new.

One waffle, with powdered sugar.

I could have gotten it with a myriad of toppings, but I wanted to see what the *waffle* was like. Toppings schmoppings. They all sort of taste the same. If the waffle wasn't any good, none of the toppings would matter, anyway.

The guy gave me one of the waffles that had been sitting in the warming area - not too long, but it definitely wasn't fresh off the iron, which sort of disappointed me. But one bite, and I was absolutely sold. This wasn't a Merritt Bakery waffle - it was something entirely different. This wasn't meant to have stuff on it. This *was* the stuff. It was crisp, but it wasn't light. It was doughy - not bready, in the uniform, spongy sense - doughy - like a Babka, or the inside of a cinnamon roll. Just a hint of vanilla, and a subtle, not cloying sweetnes that was amplified (obviously) by the powdered sugar that was dusted over it.

You chewed this waffle - it didn't dissolve in your mouth like air - it had substance. Each bite was satisfyingly elastic - meaty, almost, if you can dissociate the flavor, and just understand I'm talking about how substantial, and satisfying it felt.

It took about five minutes to eat that one square of waffle, and every mouthful was a pleasure. The sweetness never got tiresome, and the texture and flavor of the thing was complex, and interesting enough to keep me engaged for the entire duration of the eating process. This waffle was spectacular, and it had been one that had been held in standby for at least a few minutes before I was lucky enough to purchase it.

If the guy had given me one hot off the iron, I'd probably still be in front of the truck eating waffles.


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