Munchies In Portland: the Waffle Window
When people think Portland they usually think: beer, Ducks, or whatever portrayal of the typical “Portland Hipster” was on this week’s Portlandia. But, what many don’t know, especially tourists, is that Portland has an awesome local food scene that has some original and creative offerings aimed to please every type of pallet. It’s also been known for years that Oregon has some of the best weed, and now that it’s legal for people 21+ and older, Portland will soon be known for it’s weed scene, and that scene will no doubt be booming.
It got me thinking…1. Where do local smokers go when they have the munchies? and 2. How can we help direct tourists to the must-try munchie spots when they’re in town? I put some feelers out and have slowly constructed a list of the spots in Portland that I feel are great for the different types of munchies a smoker might have. I’m what you call a creature of habit, that mixed with the typical Libra trait of being indecisive can make it hard for me to branch out and try new/different things. In a way this new feature’s a blessing, it’ll help me grow and give me the opportunity to assist in foodgasms aplenty.
What would my first choice be? It was a tough decision…SO MUCH FOOD IN PDX! Do I go safe with Voodoo Doughnut, a little newer with Salt & Straw, or do I go full gorda and hit up Lardo for one of their drool inducing sandwiches? All dope choices, but I chose the Waffle Window, they were the first place I thought of when I said the words “Portland” and “munchies” to myself. In fact, the Waffle Window was recommended to me YEARS ago from two friends who are hip to the local food scene.
The idea of the Waffle Window came to fruition back in 2006 while brothers, Brendan and Max were traveling in Amsterdam, not only were they captivated by the beautiful sights, but the local food was amazing as well, one thing in particular…Liege style sugar waffles. So impressed by these waffles, they called their mother, Mary, a pastry chef w/ 35 yrs experience to decipher the recipe.
The seed was planted and Mary, someone who has a passion for trying new and interesting foods set out to get the job done. After researching and sourcing ingredients, Mary eventually found a recipe and shortly after they started serving them at her husbands restaurant the Bread & Ink Cafe. They first opened as the Waffle Window in 2007 after they turned an old service door into a Dutch style Door/Window, with limited hours on Sat & Sun. Since then their tasty waffles have caught on and they’re now open 7 days a week with 2 locations! With business growing, it made sense to bring in Jenny to help with the marketing and business development. Ingredients at the Waffle Window are all handmade and prepared in-house, at their kitchen HQ, located at their Hawthorne location. That’s right! The compotes, puddings, and panna cottas’…ALL REAL, NO PRESERVATIVES. For those of you wanting seasonal offerings, they usually have 4-6 seasonal waffles, and 1-2 specials that include ice cream that’s made at their kitchen HQ. Seasonal offerings depend on what’s in season and what time of year it is. During the Summer expect more peaches and berries, and in the winter think apple pie , pumpkin pie, even Thanksgiving Dinner!
When the munchies kick in, things can get pretty weird and creative, so I asked if they had anything unique items because sometimes that’s what we want…and…doesn’t it go with the whole “Keep Portland Weird” theme? The last 5-6 years Mary, who comes up with all the waffle creations on the menu, does a Chinese New Year recipe in January/Feb. This year it was the year of the horse and it included a shredded carrot log, horseraddish sauce, and a spinach patty. For Father’s Day they collaborated w/ Podnahs Pit, on a Pulled Pork waffle that came w/ blackberry sauce and coleslaw, Jenny said it did pretty well. I asked if they were planning on collaborating with other local Portland businesses, and it’s definitely something they’re planning to do more of in the future, but it’s not the focus at the moment.
My husband asked the most important question, “Are you planning to do chicken and waffles?”. I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of this question, I love chicken and waffles! Jenny said it’s not the first time they’ve been asked about this, chicken and waffles is DEFINITELY something they want to do, they’re just trying to figure out how to set their kitchens up for cooking the chicken. The Waffle Window actually sells their waffles wholesale to Bread & Ink, who have chicken and waffles on their menu. Brendan told us to keep an eye out for their Tuscan Fair Waffle, which includes copa ham, a sweet balsamic sauce, figs and grilled pair, I believe they said it’s usually available in September.
NOW ONTO THE:
Before showing up to the Waffle Window I knew the Blueberry Cheesecake Waffle would be my fate. In anticipation I made sure to smoke something that gave me a nice and happy buzz, so I could enjoy myself, Lemon Skunk was the answer, pregame commence!
The waffle has handmade blueberry compote that tasted like it had a hint of cinnamon, cheesecake pudding that I wanted to swim in, fresh whipped cream, and a baked graham cracker crumble topping. Originally, I thought that with all these sweet ingredients, that it’d be too rich, but I was happy with how well the waffle toned the sweetness down making it possible for me to stuff my face. The waffle itself had a nice crisp to it, with soft and fluffy insides.
My husband was on hand to help me get a little variety, he ordered the Three B’s: Bacon, Brie, and Basil! The waffle is topped with a layer of Brie, that is then topped with thick cut bacon, chopped basil, and served with house-made peach jam that makes this side kick bring out a sweet side to this savory waffle.
In the album above, you’ll see a pic of the Granola & Fruit Waffle, while I was busy snapping pics, a couple with the cutest triplets asked if I’d like to take a picture of theirs before it disappeared. I obliged and even though I had my own, I wanted to taste theirs. Served with house-made granola, vanilla yogurt and fresh seasonal fruit, this waffle is great if you want a healthier choice.
As you can see from the pic with the empty plates, my case of the munchies was cured.
The Queen, Leslie Knope has a fondness for waffles, and I like to think that if she was real person and got high, that this is a place she’d go to satisfy a craving. Great for a solo trip, a break from a sesh w/ your buds, or a chill date, there’s something for everyone at the Waffle Window. They have easy to share items if you want variety, items small enough if you’re just looking for a snack, or TREAT YOSELF and get something decadent. I forgot to mention, if you’re like many of the smokers out there who suffer from the cruel bitch known as “cotton mouth”, the Waffle Window has craft lemonades and mimosas to quench your dry, parched mouth. As I mentioned above, they two locations: Hawthorne (8am – 9pm) and Alberta (8am – 10pm), so check them out.