For most Americans, a waffle is a waffle is a waffle. End of story. Judy Vandoorne, on the other hand, actually went to Belgium to study the art of making waffles properly. Her new food truck, Waffle Amore, steers clear of the American-diner version and instead offers waffles with the authenticity of a Belgian street vendor. She even purchased an oven imported from Belgium.
The focus of Vandoorne’s concept is to serve the two most popular varieties of waffles consumed in Belgium: Brussels, a light, golden, savory waffle; and Liege, a dense, sweet waffle that has chunks of caramelized sugar on the outside and is chewy on the inside. Both waffles are available at a base price of $5 with a choice of toppings. (The first topping is free; $1 for an additional topping; $2 for unlimited toppings.) Both are served whole or cut up into “waffle bites.”
The toppings are mostly sweet—fruit, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, syrup, peanut butter, Nutella and caramel sauce. The Liege waffles actually taste best without too many toppings. My first order was topped with chocolate sauce, strawberries and whipped cream—sugar overkill. My second order (in this case, waffle bites) was served only with syrup for dipping, which was perfect. The Liege waffles are sweet enough on their own. With that crispy caramelized outer shell and soft doughy center, they are almost like candy. That little bit of syrup adds just the right amount of flavor.
The Brussels waffle is closer to the American version but crispier and made with a yeast batter. The Brussels waffle has a better base for sweet toppings because it has more a neutral flavor to it. The highlight of my experience was an off-menu special: a Brussels waffle cooked with bacon on the inside and cheese, sour cream and chives on top ($8). It was a delicious savory treat that fell somewhere between a breakfast hot pocket and a loaded potato wedge. It has the potential to become Waffle Amore’s signature dish. I’m curious to see what other special concoctions Waffle Amore will think of next.
For a schedule of truck locations, see www.wafflearmore.com.