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A trifecta of waffles to suit any time, any taste

Regina Fox

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Breakfast is supposed to be a simple meal. And yet, the quest for the pure, golden, perfect-texture waffle still eludes so many of us as we sadly scrape the burnt remains of our lumpy batter off the Cuisinart. This is no way to spend your Saturday morning. And so, we at (614) present to you three worthy candidates to reign over the waffles in Columbus.

Belgian Iron WaffleCompany

19 W Russell St.

Welcome to a world where waffles are wafels and sugar pearls are king. Belgian Iron opened in the Short North this winter on a mission to redefine the way we enjoy the syrupy carb. They started with their name. 

“We get people in here all the time telling us we spelled ‘waffle’ wrong,” said Aimee Harper laughingly. Aimee owns the business with her husband, Brandon. 

But, of course, it’s no mistake—Belgian Iron’s Leige-style wafels have a spelling and recipe all their own. Rather than the liquidy batter and granular sugar you grew up with, Leige-style wafels are made from a proprietary dough recipe and Belgian sugar pearls. The dough allows the wafels to mature into impressively dense, yet fluffy and flaky members of the breakfast community. The sugar pearls, which are the size, shape, and color of nickel-sized hail, give the wafels an unbelievably sweet and crunchy crust. 

After the sugar pearls are carefully folded into the dough along with the other meticulously measured ingredients (amounts and temps determined with help from a real chemist for the gluten-free recipe!) it is pressed between nearly 100 pounds of beautiful Belgian cast iron. Then, it’s Executive Chef Tom Brown’s time to shine. 

The wafels are elevated even higher with uniquely sophisticated, yet approachable toppings. Belgian Mushroom, which Aimee believes will be adored by even non-mushroom lovers, comes with herb ricotta, sautéed crimini mushroom and onion, zesty adobo demi glace, and aged cheese. The Balsamic Chicken Sriracha with smoked chicken, roasted red pepper, melted mozzarella, sliced avocado, and spiraled beets, is Brown’s homage to the classic chicken and waffles combination. On the sweet side, Belgian Iron offers the carrot cake (chef’s choice) which comes with bourbon-infused genieten, maple carrot cream cheese, spiral carrot. There are also three gluten-free and vegan options on the menu, both sweet and savory. 

Check out: belgianiron.com.

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Forty’s Chicken & Waffles

 2593 N High St.

Next time you’re throwing a right hook on Street Fighter, or keeping Ms. Pac-Man away from killer ghosts at Olde North Arcade, the sweet, sweet smell of fresh waffles may interrupt your gamer gaze. Forty’s Chicken & Waffles is now the official feedery of the North High Street barcade. Ben Morgan has seen food from all kinds of neighboring establishments come into his bar—Mikey’s Late Night Slice, Hounddogs, Ray Ray’s Hog Pit—and after four years, he decided he’d had enough of that. 

“We wanted to engineer something that would be the ultimate late-night munchies type of comfort food that would accentuate our existing nightlife venue,” said Morgan. “Something that would be hot, crunchy, salty, fatty, and instantly gratifying.”

Chicken was the obvious choice, particularly because Morgan was already in the business of chicken with his Forty’s Bird & Brew food truck. And so, the truck was parked and the chicken and waffles flew indoors.

Described by Morgan as “comically unhealthy,” Forty’s menu items are what guilty pleasure dreams are made of. The waffles are made from “lots of gluten, butter, sugar, and eggs,” and provide the ideal anchor for the gluttonous goodies held inside, like the buttermilk fried chicken that marinates overnight with hot sauce and spices to create a “ridiculously juicy and flavorful chunk of meat,” says Morgan. The Cone comes with tenders, mac, slaw, and maple syrup all stuffed inside a waffle cone shell. (This was the most popular item out of the food truck.) There’s also the Slider, a piece of fried chicken hugged by two belgian waffles with slaw and BBQ sauce. The waffle stuffed with mac and cheese and topped with bacon and maple syrup has my vote, though. However, I’d be positively giddy to spend a week’s worth of calories on the Donut—Glazed Donut Bun w/ Fried Tenders + Slaw + Maple Syrup. You can get all of these unbelievably delicious items with sides of 40 ounces of freedom (Budweiser – Bud Lite – King Cobra – Colt 45 – Mickey’s – Olde English), root beer floats, ice cream cones, and/or fries—waffle fries, that is.  

Check out: fortyschickenandwaffles.com

Double Happy 

1280 Brown Rd.

You’re familiar with waffles, and you’re familiar with potatoes, but have you ever heard of Poffles? This new-fangled edible invention comes to us from Double Happy, a quaint ice cream shop heading into its third year of business on the southwest side of Columbus. The Poffles, which are among the most unique and popular items on Double Happy’s exceptionally diverse menu, include the Golden Poffle (gold potato waffle), a Bacon and Cheddar Poffle, and a Sweet Potato Poffle that can be likened to the taste of sweet potato pie. 

Owner Ryan Troup says that since the Poffles were introduced this past fall, the Muenster Mac & Cheese Poffle (lightly breaded to give it a crust similar to baked mac), topped with Memphis BBQ pork, baked beans (“Mom’s recipe,” said Troup), and coleslaw has been the crowd favorite. 

Got a sweet tooth? Troup suggests turning the Sweet Potato Poffle into an ice cream sundae smothered in pure maple syrup. However, the Chocolate Brownie Belgian waffle is designed specifically for sundaes. The plain Belgian Pearl Sugar waffles act as a blank slate for customer creativity, too. Belgian waffle + chicken + peanut butter sauce + honey + peanuts may just be the adventurous culinary combo you need!

To wash down your Poffle or waffle, Double Happy offers a bevy of beverages designed to taste good and make you feel good. 

“Our fair trade, organic coffee beans for both hot and cold drinks are roasted by Stauf’s and come from a cooperative in Peru run entirely by women,” said Troup. 

Coffee is the core of several Double Happy drinks, including the mochaccino milkshake which boasts a chocolate base plus some zips of espresso syrup. The most popular iced drink is the freddo—pure maple syrup over ice with fair trade, organic espresso and cold whisked milk.

On the non-caf side, Troup implores guests to give Double Happy’s hand-blended milkshakes a try, like the Brown and Hopkin made with chocolate, Ghirardelli hot fudge, and their own, all-natural peanut butter sauce. 

“We enjoy making products for people who find something on the menu they haven’t had before,” said Troup. “But rather than an ultimate order, what makes our day is when a customer feels better for having stopped at Double Happy.”

Check out: Double Happy on Facebook.

When I'm not weaving a beautiful tapestry of words, I'm likely digging through jewels and vinyls at an antique shop near you.

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Food & Drink

National Cognac Day: with a Royal Twist

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**SPONSORED**

Happy National Cognac Day! We partnered up with Rémy Cointreau and local bartender, Ben Griest, from Giuseppe’s Ritrovo to present to you... the Royal Sazerac! Ben has shown us a thing or two about making speciality cocktails - today he's making the Royal Sazerac, fit for a King and/or Queen.

The Royal Sazerac is well-known in the cocktail world as America's first cocktail. Also known as New Orleans' official cocktail, Remy Cointreau stands out offering its aromatic richness - making the Royal Sazerac an outstanding premium cocktail.

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Food & Drink

Condado Tacos open in select locations after closing its doors Tuesday

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Condado Tacos is open once again after closing its doors to the public Tuesday following an employee walkout Monday night. Polaris and Clintonville locations remain closed until further notice.

Employees at the Polaris location walked out Monday after refusing to fulfill a catering order by the Ohio Highway Patrol, according to a press release from Condado Tacos Wednesday. The employees who walked out were given the opportunity to not work on the order, without repercussion, if they didn’t feel comfortable, according to a statement provided by Linda Powers, Condado Tacos director of marketing.

The order by the Highway Patrol was placed at the Condado Tacos Polaris location on the fifth-straight day of George Floyd protests in Columbus. Floyd’s death was ruled a homicide following an incident where a Minneapolis police officer placed deadly force on Floyd’s neck with his knee. The incident has sparked protests across the country, including Columbus.

After reaching out to Condado’s PR agency over email, the contact stated that their team has “parted ways” with the business. 

Wednesday’s statement by Condado says they “value different points of view,” but, “choosing not to serve a particular group, in this case law enforcement officers, in itself is discrimination and goes against our core values to welcome and serve everyone.”

Read the full statement here.

Read Tuesday evening’s two-part post on Condado’s Facebook page below:

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Food & Drink

The End of the Road?

Julian Foglietti

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As the economic impacts of COVID-19 continue, we are beginning to see the effects take their toll on Columbus eateries. Here's a list of some of the changes taking place.

The Sycamore+Cosecha Cocina  

Grow Restaurants, the company which owns Harvest Pizza, has listed The Sycamore and Cosecha for sale. While there hasn't been confirmation that the restaurants won’t make a reappearance in some form, Chris Crader stated in Columbus Underground, “It’s a lot of work to re-open after the pandemic and we have a considerable amount of interest in these two properties so it doesn’t make sense to open and then close again so quickly.”

Miller's Ale House

Both Miller’s Ale House locations are closing. The Florida-based company has removed mention of the Ohio locations from their websites.

Flowers and Bread Co.

In a recent article with Columbus CEO, owners Sarah Lagrotteria and Tricia Wheeler announced the closure of the cafe portion of their business. There are plans to expand the flower and bread workshop portion of the business under the new name Flower and Bread Society.

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