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.
1728 West 2nd Avenue
Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks
1740 West 2nd Avenue
Les Amis du Fromage
1752 West 2nd Avenue