Grabbing a better waffle

I stopped by Patisserie LeBeau this morning and grabbed a Liege waffle for the road.  Brace yourselves, folks – what I’m about to say might be offensive to some people.

I don’t like the Liege waffles at Patisserie LeBeau.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I really like Patisserie LeBeau’s Belgian waffles and sandwiches, and the cafe is quite cute.  It’s a great place for a snack or lunch, with waffles priced from $1.75 – $4.00, and sandwiches for about $7.00. I usually go there with a foodie friend of mine to fuel up on sugar and caffeine, and then we go two doors down to Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks and Les Amis du Fromage.  It might well be the most dangerous city block for me to walk down, given the deadly combination of waffles, cookbooks, and cheese. 

But back to the waffles.  Belgian and Liege waffles are both made from a yeast-based batter (as opposed to American waffles, which are chemically leavened with baking powder), but that’s where the similarities end.  Genuine Belgian waffles are square or rectangular, and really fluffy.  They can be filled with sweet or savoury fillings, but don’t ask me how Patisserie LeBeau does it. It’s kind of like a Caramilk bar, but with waffle instead of chocolate, and filling instead of caramel.  Try the peach & custard Belgian waffle, warmed in the oven.  You won’t be disappointed. 

Liege waffles, on the other hand, are smaller and denser, and have these delicious chunks of nib sugar inside them.  The sugar really does make all the difference, because it lends a really nice texture to the waffle.  If you’re lucky enough to get a sugar chunk on the outside of the waffle, it goes all toasty and caramel-y.  However – and this is where some readers might take offence – I think the Liege waffles at Patisserie LeBeau are a little bit too dry.  The nib sugar provides a pleasant distraction and the waffles are really tasty, but in the end I can’t deny that they’re too dry for my liking. 

This is not to say that I don’t like Liege waffles.  I really like the ones at Cafe Medina, but that’s another post for another time. 

Patisserie LeBeau
1728 West 2nd Avenue
Vancouver, BC
Patisserie Lebeau on Urbanspoon

Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks
1740 West 2nd Avenue
Vancouver, BC

Les Amis du Fromage
1752 West 2nd Avenue
Vancouver, BC
Les Amis Du Fromage on Urbanspoon

Published by: Eagranie

7 years as a chemist + 9 months of culinary school + 2 years as a pastry chef & chocolatier + a lifetime of writing = this blog. This blog won't always be about chocolate, but it will almost certainly be about food. The name of the blog is a triple play on words. 1. It's a nod to my training as a classical pianist. Among other fantastic accomplishments, J.S. Bach combined technical prowess with artistic inspiration and penned the 24 preludes & fugues that make up The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I and II. 2. In order to behave properly, chocolate needs to be tempered. In a nutshell, tempering prompts the chocolate to assume its most stable crystalline form (beta prime, if you're interested) so that it is shiny, snappy, and as stable as it can be. 3. Depending on my mood and how we meet, you might agree that I'm well-tempered. Or not.

Categories 2008Tags, , 8 Comments

8 thoughts on “Grabbing a better waffle”

  1. Whew! I remember a status post on facebook where you raved about the waffles at Patisserie LeBeau, so I was worried I’d incur your wrath for saying that they were something other than delicious. Well, the Belgian waffles are delicious. But Cafe Medina definitely has them beat on the Liege waffles.

  2. Yes, I have to agree. I like LeBeau, but since they’re dryer, it starts to feel like a chew-a-thon eating them. Also, they’re soo dense that they give me heartburn. I still like them, but not as much as Medina.

    Meh, I keep a box of frozen lebeau’s on hand just in case….but totally hear ya.

  3. Cassie – LeBeau waffles aren’t bad when they’re warmed up, and I do admit that I like the giant chunks of sugar in them.

    But it’s just so much nicer to go to Medina and get them fresh…and they have all those delicious toppings, to boot.

  4. Individuals believing they need to share their knowledge regarding food establishments with others by posting their comments online, should take a deep breath and should think twice before posting such incorrect statements. If you as a person do not like Liege waffles, than PLEASE do not create for others to read a negative review, since their is nothing wrong with the product itself. It’s just you (!) who does not like original Liege waffles. Nobody in Vancouver produces better waffles based on original European recipes than Patisserie Lebau. I’ve been a Senior Vice President for more than 15 years at a European Baker / Patisserie Association and have not tasted anything wich comes even close to their products in the GVRD.

  5. Hi Marc,

    Thanks for your comment. I’ll ignore the irony that you say that people shouldn’t post incorrect comments but that you have posted an “incorrect” comment. Clearly, I’m not the only one who doesn’t like them, which you would know if you had read the post and the comments in their entirety.

    Also, I should mention that someone from Patisserie LeBeau followed up with me a while ago to take offence to this post, claiming that the waffles are too dry because they need to be heated to be enjoyed properly. To which I say, heating the waffles isn’t an option at Patisserie LeBeau (at least, it has never been offered to me when I’ve been in there), so that’s a really lame excuse. If you’re going to put your name behind a product but not present it to the customer in the way that it’s best, then that’s not my problem.

    Also, did you miss the part where I say that the Belgian waffles are really good?

    Finally, this is just my opinion. I never said “OMG, teh waffles are teh gross.” I simply said that I don’t like them. And anyone who reads this is welcome to make their own decision as to whether they agree with me.

  6. Eagranie,
    In addition of buying the best ingredients, we have imported the ingredients and equipment necessary to produce authentic waffles, we use butter only, as everyone knows, butter is hard when cold, and softens when it is close to room temperature, this is why the waffles are “hard” when you eat them cold, surprised that none of you “foodies” haven’t realize that yet. further more, just because one of my staff missed to mention offering to warm up when you came, is undeserving of that life time label you put upon us, none of you has personally ask me about anything, the posts are full of very ignorant comments, “, like it has no white chocolate at all” did it occur to you that white chocolate melts ? I can taste it. May i know what it your professional background? Also, why are you so bitter and angry?
    We are established for 16 years now, that is not a coincidence, it is a track record , our clientele is very knowledgeable and educated, this is why you angered Marc in that previous comment. You are welcome to come at the store on any Saturday, when I will be there personally all day.
    Olivier Lebeau

    ivier Lebeau

  7. Hi Olivier,

    Thanks for following up, and thanks for your offer to chat. I’ll take you up on that and look forward to speaking with you.

    (Also, just for the record, I didn’t make that comment about “it has no white chocolate at all” and really don’t appreciate being berated for it. I think I gave a pretty balanced review–please re-read my third paragraph, which is overwhelmingly positive–and to call me out for someone else’s comment really isn’t fair.)

    My professional background:


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