Waffle Window: Sticky, Sweet and Savoury
2426 NE Alberta St., Portland, OR
My friend went to art school in Portland. While he was there, he couldn’t stop talking about this infamous place called the Waffle Window. Back then, the place literally really was just a window. ‘Go there and grab a hot waffle while you’re waiting in line at Pine State Biscuits.’ He told me.
Waffle Window’s new location is located on NE Alberta Street. We went late at night and all the stores were closed but all the bars and eateries (and a few random taco food trucks) were still open. The place was crawling with people, it seemed like most of them were students, and maybe even artists and writers. Front man of Portland’s very own, the Shins, James Mercer has always noted that Portland is the perfect place for musicians: cheap basements, lots of bars for gigs and a tight knit community of like-minded artists.
I have a special little obsession with waffles. I experimented for months to make the perfect liege waffle, finally discovering that the secret was pearl sugar. When we walked into the Waffle Window, we saw glasses of pearl sugar in their display case. These guys know what they’re doing.
I love liege waffles because they’re slightly denser than the lighter and fluffier American waffles. American waffles are made from a batter similar to that of pancakes while liege waffles contain yeast.
We ordered a savoury waffle and a sweet one. For our savoury waffle, we chose “Three Bs’: bacon, brie and basil. The waffle was served with a giant splat of jam. I was too distracted by the three fat strips of bacon to notice anything else though. We were really getting our full servings of bacon, having feasted on the Bacon Maple Bar from Voodoo Doughnut earlier that afternoon.
The bacon strips on the Three Bs were just as delicious as Voodoo Doughnut’s. They were smoky, crispy and salty. A great contrast to the rich, creamy and decadent brie cheese. We both agreed that the basil wasn’t all that necessary in this waffle. Then again, you can’t just call the thing “Two Bs.”
The actual waffle was so soft, chewy in the middle and perfectly sweet, with embedded crunchy bits of pearl sugar. The warm, buttery, rich waffle totally stood up to the strong bacon flavours. What a delectable salty and sweet combo. I could eat ten of these.
For dessert we ordered one of my favourite flavour combos: chocolate and peanut butter, and on a waffle! I was in heaven. Served with a big pouf of whipped cream, this was my ultimate dessert.
I actually ate most of this waffle, my boyfriend quickly wrote the sticky and sweet dessert off as something that made his mouth ‘claustrophobic.’ More for me!
The salty peanut butter really was extremely sticky, and paired with the runny bittersweet chocolate, each bite was definitely goopy and gooey. I loved it though. The peanut butter and chocolate gluing to the waffle like a sweet coating of deliciousness.
Thanks to the denser texture of the liege waffle, the pastry did not get soggy at all and maintained its trademark chewy center.
The Waffle Window is billed as liege waffles with a Portland Twist. The two creatively designed waffles we ate totally embodied all the quirkiness and charm that Portland is. The Waffle Window sells t-shirts too! I didn’t buy one, only because by this point, I now own so many Portland t-shirts, I should be working for the Portland tourism board. What can I say? I love cities where artists and writers gather.
The Waffle Window has now been added to my list of favourite eateries.