The Proctor neighborhood’s newest restaurant, Waffle Stop, opens Wednesday (Jan. 17) at 2710 N. Proctor St.
The restaurant’s concept is all the waffles you can imagine, and then some.
The breakfast-and-lunch-only cafe will serve sweet breakfast waffles but also waffle entrees and waffle sandwiches that lean savory.
The restaurant is a first for Samuel Larsen, who will oversee the daily operations.
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His wife Aubrey and his parents, Mark and Gayle Larsen, helped establish the menu and concept. His father also is responsible for some of the woodwork in the restaurant.
Sweet waffle dishes will be built with a yeasted liege-style waffle, which Larsen calls a “pearl sugar” waffle because those waffles are embedded with the crunchy sugar that caramelizes as the waffle cooks.
That waffle batter, Larsen said, is an overnight creation, which means when the restaurant runs out for the day, it can’t whip up a batch right away.
“It’s been a challenge how to get it right,” said Larsen by phone last week. “You can’t make more on the fly. You have to let it rise overnight. That’s part of what has taken us so long to open.”
The savory waffle dishes at Waffle Stop are built with a buttermilk and cornmeal waffle with a crunchy exterior and light-and-fluffy interior, said Larsen, who worked on the restaurant for much of 2017.
“It has buttermilk, honey, stone-ground cornmeal. That’s why we call it the Southern Waffle. It’s not as rich as cornbread, but it has an airy crunchy taste.”
He described it as a neutral, savory flavor that works as easily with ham and bacon as it does spicy chicken.
His menu includes a Nashville hot chicken, waffle sandwich which is a riff on the famous Tennessee dish but with a hot sauce that’s tempered for a Tacoma palate. It’s built with the savory cornmeal waffle, plus coleslaw, pickles and the signature spicy chicken.
“It’s got a lot of heat, but it’s not super hot. It’s not Nashville-hot,” said Larsen.
Another to look forward to, Larsen said, is the Waffle Stop’s version of a Monte Cristo sandwich, which dips into sweet-and-savory territory. It’s built on the restaurant’s sweet, pearl-sugar waffle layered with smoked ham, roasted turkey, Swiss cheese and raspberry jam.
As for the sweeter side of the menu, Larsen expects diners will be fans of his strawberry-cheesecake waffle with house-made strawberry sauce, fresh-sliced strawberries and a scoop of cheesecake on top.
The menu lists seven a la carte breakfast waffles, nine breakfast-entree combos that pair waffles with eggs and breakfast meats, two versions of chicken and waffles, two salads, six savory waffle sandwiches and an appetizer menu that lists waffle fries with accompaniments.
Waffles go deep into the theme. Salads are made with croutons made from waffles. And, yes, the fries served with entrees are waffle-cut.
Expect a la carte waffles in the $7 to $12 range, heartier entree-sized breakfast and lunch plates at $10 to $18 and waffle sandwiches from $9 to $15.
For beverages, find fresh-squeezed orange juice and lemonade, plus a full espresso menu with beans from Caffe D’arte. There also is a breakfast cocktail list that includes bloody marys, mimosas and a morning mojito.
The 79-seat restaurant expects it will open with limited hours, but its typical hours will be 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
It opens at 8 a.m. Wednesday.