Waffles are no longer slaves to the almighty toaster. But even while the urge to pop an Eggo in the toaster and smother it with butter and Aunt Jemima is still a very real thing (at least for us), the modern waffle has become a symbol of culinary sophistication, topped with all manner of farmers market-fresh ingredients and flavor profiles for the taste-adventurous.
In the Euro Zone
Focused exclusively on Liege waffles – those hailing from the Belgian city of the same name and made with pearl sugar and vanilla – Waffle-licious, a moving food truck target for the waffle-obsessed, has perfected the art of authentic Liege flavor. Waffle dough is made in-house using imported Belgian pearl sugar, and then cooked to a perfect crisp using a traditional Liege waffle iron. Add Nutella and strawberries, as Waffle-icious did with their Nutella and fruit waffle, and prepare to reignite your Euro obsession. Check the website for truck locations.
No Waffling Around
On a tiny stretch of Superior Boulevard in Costa Mesa exists a member of OC’s new waffle elite: Waffleholic. Part of a micro-level revival of the generally industrial area, Waffleholic’s friendly patio, trendy architecture and open kitchen wafting out the scent of freshly made waffles are inviting, not least due to the spectacularly unorthodox (and tasty) Hot Link Up, a savory chipotle cornbread waffle filled with a hot link, fried egg, spinach salad, and mustard vinaigrette. Get it while it’s hot; the menu changes regularly. 1661 Superior Ave., Costa Mesa
One of the original players in the great waffle comeback is Bruxie, a waffle house inspired by the simple Belgian street food. Given that Bruxie has been at the forefront of local waffle revitalization, it comes as no surprise that its Liege waffle sundae is the best around. Denser, sweeter and chewier than your standard waffle, the Liege waffle in itself is a caramelized sugar feast for the senses, and when topped with melted Belgian chocolate, caramel, Wisconsin frozen custard, whipped cream, and peanuts, it’s downright life-changing. Locations throughout Orange County
Sweet and savory – it’s a yin and yang for the ages. If you go for one at these local waffle houses, make sure to balance it out with the other. Equilibrium is crucial.
Waffle-licious Fruit and chocolate not your cup of tea for breakfast? Opt instead for Waffle-icious’s bacon and cheese waffle sandwich, a Liege waffle stuffed with bacon, mozzarella and pepper jack with a side of pure maple syrup.
Waffleholic Keep the endorphins going post hot link-waffle euphoria with Waffleholic’s banana nut waffle. Piled on top of a crispy banana waffle are sautéed bananas, candied pecans and caramel sauce. Cue food coma.
Bruxie Before diving face-first into the Liege waffle sundae, consider buffering the sugar infusion with the hot pastrami Bruxie. Boar’s Head pastrami, Gruyere, cider claw, spicy brown mustard, and pickles do the job nicely.