Liege Waffle: Named after the city of Liege in Eastern Brussels. It is dough based rather than batter based which creates a denser and chewier waffle than the traditional variety. It is also smaller in size and sweeter in nature due to the incorporation of pearl sugar in the dough. Once baked, the sugar creates a hint of caramelization on the outside and crunchy bits of sweetness in the inside.
The Gaufre Gourmet waffle cart introduced me to these magical waffles when they moved from their location in Chinatown to the Green Castle Food Court located in inner NE Portland this past June. (Note: They have since moved to SW 9th and Alder due to Green Castle closing up entirely). I happened to get a sample on their grand opening day and told the owner I would be back the next day to buy one with a co-worker. (I ended up coming back there twice that day which didn’t surprise her because their waffles “have that effect on people”).
My co-worker ordered the Milk & Honey waffle with goat cheese mousse, honey roasted pistachios and balsamic caramel sauce. He was blown away with the first bite and said it reminded him of cheesecake. I got a chance to sample it and it was savory yet sweet but not overly so.
I, on the other hand, went a little overboard and ordered the Chunky Monkey made of nutella, bananas, balsamic caramel and candied pecans. I added chunky peanut butter to make it even more decadent! I definitely got a lot of people staring at my concoction as I walked around to find a place to eat it. I think it weighed a least a pound and I managed to eat all of it even though it took me about an hour to do it. Surprisingly, the waffle part didn’t get all mushy or soggy due to the protective layer of carmelized sugar on the outside.
I went back there 2 days later and ordered a plain one that was served with only a dusting of powdered sugar. It was just as good without all the toppings. My only concern is every waffle I eat from this moment on will be compared to the liege style ones and very few will make the cut to waffle greatness. I know this because I went on vacation to Canada and had to google liege waffles to find a place that makes them because a regular one wasn’t going to satisfy my waffle cravings. Yup, they are that good!
Location: SW 9th and Alder
Cost: Milk and Honey $6/ Chunky Monkey w/ additions $6.50