We've already bestowed the favorite dish title on one sugary legacy of the Seattle's World's Fair. But experiencing the grandiose Lunar Orbiter requires reservations, a 43-second trip up the Space Needle in an elevator and at least $35 to spend on dinner, which puts the dessert out of reach for slackers, claustrophobes and working stiffs.
At Arosa Cafe, Hans Riechsteiner sells his Liege-style waffles for $2.60, no reservations required (although he may ask you to wait while he bakes a fresh batch.) The waffles aren't intended to be exact replicas of the snacks that became a World's Fair sensation, but their outstanding quality hints at what propelled more than a half-million fairgoers to buy Walter Cleyman's yeasty, squared-off waffles, crowned with strawberries and cream.
For 50 cents, Arosa will ante up the same toppings, but the excitement never centered on the fixings: When Cleyman ran out of strawberries and switched to pineapples, he told the Seattle Times, "Just as good. Why not?"
Riechsteiner's waffles are tight grids of rustic dough, with an essential heartiness that American eaters might associate with multigrain bread. Yet it's impossible to feel virtuous while eating a proper Brussels waffle because it's shot through with sugar. The glossy waffle is sticky with sugar, and its crisp golden edges have the same caramelized quality as the broiled crust of an eggy crème brulee. Who needs dry ice?