100 Favorite Dishes: Belgian Waffles from Waffle Up
Waffle Up gets Belgian street food right.
No. 52: Belgian Waffles at Waffle Up 300 Elati Street 303-744-0174
In the streets of Brussels and many other Belgian cities, waffle vendors perfume the air with the aroma of yeast-risen batter and caramelized sugar. Tom McCarty fell in love with Liege-style waffles and perfected the recipe, bring the treats to Denver streets with the Waffle Up food truck he fired up with co-owner Jasmine Spoonemore. But now you don't need to brave the elements for a bite of Belgian goodness: the two opened their brick-and-mortar Waffle Up cafe in the Baker neighborhood just a couple of months ago. With a menu of sweet and savory selections, it's not hard to find a favorite, but why not go for a little of both? The maple bacon waffle proves to be the perfect morning pick-me-up.
Unlike flat, crispy American waffles or even the fat, crunchy versions that pass as Belgian waffles in many breakfast diners across the country, Waffle Up nails the chewy, bready texture of the Liege originals. The magic is in the yeasty dough, which results in a firmer and denser waffle than baking soda-leavened versions. The other secret is Belgian pearl sugar -- a rare commodity on this side of the Atlantic. The tiny beads of sugar mixed into the dough melt and caramelize against the hot surface of the waffle iron, adding sweet, crunchy bits to the outer surface of each waffle.
Already savory-sweet, the waffles get punched up with a variety of toppings. Our favorite is the maple and bacon combo: the waffle is paved with a layer of fat, smoky bacon and then doused with a creamy maple glaze. Salt, fat and sugar mingle in every bite. With a cup of Corvus coffee in the cozy cafe, it's a deeply satisfying way to start the day.
In advance of the Best of Denver 2015, we're loading our plates with contenders for the best dishes in the city. And over the next few months, we'll be sharing many of them with you, counting down (in no particular order) one hundred of our favorite dishes before the the Best of Denver 2015 hits the streets on March 26. In the meantime, if there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2014 countdown are linked below.
No. 100: Chile Relleno at La Fiesta No. 99: Gurage Kitfo at Megenagna Ethiopian Restaurant No. 98: Cochinita Pibil at Work & Class No. 97: The Greggers Tongue Sandwich at Olive & Finch No 96: Baum Cakes at Glaze by Sasa No. 95: Goat hot pot from Viet's No 94: Head cheese from Beast + Bottle No. 93: Kettle Chips from Amerigo Delicatus No. 92: Pork Belly Confit at Solera Restaurant and Wine Bar No. 91: Tacos Campechanos from La Calle Taqueria No. 90: Biscuits from Denver Biscuit Co. No. 89: Clams and Chorizo at Gozo No. 88: Aburi Sushi at Sushi Den and Izakaya Den No. 87: Kimchi and Sausage Torta at City, O' City No. 86: Mar y Tierra Molcajete at Paxia No. 85: Crispy Pork Spare Ribs at Table Top No. 84: Chips and Dip at Euclid Hall No. 83: Chile Relleno Burrito at El Taco de Mexico No. 82: Scallop Crudo at Stoic & Genuine No. 81: Ceylon Curry Dosa at Khazana No. 80: The Lambada Torta at La Torteria No. 79: Pork Bulgogi at Dae Gee No. 78: the Pulled Pork Pig Pen Sandwich at Boney's No. 77: IPA Mac & Cheese at Hops & Pie No. 76: Chiles en Nogada at Chili Verde No. 75: Udon Noodle Bowl at Bones No. 74: Cinnamon Rolls at the Duffeyroll Cafe No. 73: Smoked Turkey Croque-Madame at Acorn No. 72: Pickled Lake Michigan Perch at Trillium No. 71: Oysters at Jax Fish House Glendale No. 70: Venezuelan Tostadas at Empanada Express Grill No. 69: Tahini Cauliflower from Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs No. 68: The Ham and Cheese Tartita from Maria Empanada No. 67: Ronnie's Favorite from Rosenberg's Bagels and Deli No. 66: Shoo-fly Pie from the Long i Pie Shop No. 65: Czech Potato Pancakes at Sobo 151 No. 64: Fried Chicken at the Post Brewing Co. No. 63: Braised Brisket Sandwich at Masterpiece Delicatessen No. 62: The Scotch Egg from Argyll Whisky Beer No. 61: Butternut Squash Ravioli at DiFranco's No. 60: Sesame Balls at Vinh Xuong Bakery No. 59: Curry Puffs at Suvipa Thai Food No. 58: Diavola Pizza at Pizzeria Locale No. 57: Chorizo Breakfast Stew at DJ's 9th Avenue Cafe No. 56: The Rare Beast Sandwich at Salt & Grinder No. 55: 48-Hour Short Ribs at Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery No. 54: Marrow Bone Brulee at Mercantile Dining & Provision No. 53: Prawns and Pork Belly at Blackbelly Market
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