At the risk of seeming like I'm no fun at all, I've decided to admit here that I'm completely opposed to eating meal-specific foods at the wrong times. I'm still getting over the shock I experienced at a fourth-grade slumber party when our hostess suggested we eat the previous night's pizza for breakfast. And I will probably never understand the appeal of "breakfast for dinner," which was my least favorite family meal when I waited tables. I always felt like the progress I'd made during a day spent writing, biking and whatever else-ing was erased the moment I sat down to a late-afternoon platter of pancakes and sausage links.
Since it's my idiosyncratic rule, I'm allowed to make exceptions. A fried egg is excellent no matter the hour, of course, especially when it's served atop an enchilada or a burger. And pie, which was once a common breakfast food, is equally good at anytime. Waffles too, depending upon how they're decorated, might qualify for a pass. No reason to wait until tomorrow for a waffle with basil and brie.
Here, our picks for the best waffles in Seattle. As always, Erin Thompson has compiled the contributors' comments that explain our selections, which are in no particular order - except for the winning waffle on the last page. Enjoy at any time you choose.
Meander's no-nonsense diner food is impeccable, particularly the breakfast items. Meander's Belgian waffles are delicious doused in syrup; you can also get a tasty bacon waffle or, for the sake of fun and indulgence, a bacon waffle dipped in chocolate.
9. Arosa Cafe
Everyone who knows anything about waffles, it seems, comes to Arosa. The draw here is the beautiful, small, irregularly shaped Liège waffles lifted straight from the irons, still hot, sticky with caramelized sugar, crunchy with fat crystals suspended in the golden batter, and served across the top of Arosa's short bakery case in crinkly paper envelopes.
8. Beth's Cafe
Beth's is famous for making 12-egg omelets, serving bottomless plates of hash browns and doing nothing whatsoever small. That includes the huge Belgian waffle--you can get a plain one topped with strawberries or blueberries and whipped cream or, if you're feeling greasier, a bacon waffle, featuring chunks of meat embedded in the batter.
Coastal Kitchen's brunch is almost always packed, but the gingerbread waffles are worth the wait. They're like huge, fluffy holiday cookies and come with a smear of honey orange butter. To balance out the sugar overload, the order also comes with a side of bacon and eggs.
6. Cortona Cafe
ralph and jenny
Cortona Cafe's waffles are made with Washington-grown, Shepherd's grain flour, rBGH-free milk, and local, cage-free eggs. The most popular waffle is the banana pecan, crowned with an entire sliced banana, a generous handful of toasted pecans, and whipped cream. There's a Tiramisu waffle, featuring a bitter shot of espresso and Matterhorn-esque topper of whipped cream, and a decadent Nutella strawberry waffle. But the plain waffle is just as lovely in its austerity, offering up nothing but crispy corners and sweet insides.
Monsoon isn't the first place you'd think of for a great gourmet Belgian waffle, but they've got one--it's crisp and comes topped with crème fraiche and a sweet seasonal fruit compote, like fresh apricots and spiced apples.
4. Local 360
Belltown's Local 360 serves brunch on weekends starting at 8 a.m., and the menu is full of hearty comfort dishes. The chicken is conveniently boneless, fried crispy and tender; a couple of good-sized pieces are served atop a plate-sized plain waffle, just waiting to be doused in maple syrup.
Skillet's most famous waffle is notable for what's on top of it: In a perfect balance between savory and sweet, they serve a hunk of pork belly braised in apple juice, maple syrup, and chicken stock. Looking as thick and blockish as an unabridged dictionary, the pork belly comes perched atop a fleecy cornmeal waffle and paired with a precisely cooked fried egg.
2. Silver Fork
The waffles at Silver Fork are thin as a cheap blanket, crushed in a press that might just as well have WAFFLE HOUSE stamped into the iron, because they're indistinguishable from that Apollonian ideal of diner waffles. They're golden-brown, slathered in butter, and drowned in syrup from a jug on the table. It's a model waffle of a certain variety, a textbook diagram or something like it: not fat, soft, or steamy but crunchy, small, and sweet even before being doctored by the butter and the jug.
1. Sweet Iron
Waffle devotees waiting for their chance to push into Sweet Iron's tiny downtown dining room (three tables and almost no room for anything else), step up to the short service counter, and get their fix. Sweet Iron churns out Liège-style waffles--made from brioche dough, not batter, studded with little balls of pearl sugar--and then tops them with extras both sweet (chocolate, brûléed bananas, caramel sauce) and savory (basil, brie, bacon).
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