Punny dish names, fresh ingredients create an authentic ‘Waffle Experience’
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With dish names like Praise the Lard, Farmer in the Dell, Cheeses Gone Wild and Pig Latin, The Waffle Experience is one of the most unusual restaurants I’ve ever visited.
The Waffle Experience is a brunch restaurant that is open from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at two locations: one in Folsom (13405 Folsom Blvd., Suite 950) and one in Sacramento (4391 Gateway Park Blvd., Suite 650).
My family and I chose to visit the location in Folsom for lunch, as it was the closer of the two, and, from what I saw online, had more interesting decor.
The restaurant gives off a natural, farm-to-fork vibe with the staggered wood planks on the walls along with wood-block signs of various inspirational phrases about enjoying life.
Several walls have chalkboard paint on them, on which the current specials are displayed. There is also another board in the back, where guests can write their names on the wall.
As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by the delicious smell of freshly cooked waffles along with rows of filled tables. However, I was also greeted with a rather unpleasant wait time.
The hostess informed us that there was currently a 40-minute wait.
Fortunately, a table opened up in about 30 minutes, and we were quickly seated.
After seating us and serving water, she explained that The Waffle Experience restaurants use fresh, organic farm-to-fork ingredients. Their namesake waffles are made fresh each day with a unique batter that makes them thicker than normal ones.
In addition to their main dishes, the restaurant also introduces two new special dishes every two weeks. One is based on sweet flavors, while the other is based on savory ones.
Currently, the menu has a total of 13 main-course options with seven being designated as “Two Hands Required.” There are four options for children and three dessert options.
But the best part of the menu is the names of the different dishes. Most of them are plays on words, such as Eggcellent and We Found the Beef. I found them all highly amusing, and it was funny having to say such ridiculous orders aloud to the waiter.
I decided to order We Found the Beef ($15), a “Two Hands Required” option that consisted of a beef patty with bacon, cheddar, onion jam, arugula, tomato, shaved onion and basil aioli, sandwiched between a pair of fresh herb waffles.
My mother ordered the current special, Budd-Ahh Belly ($14), a vinaigrette-glazed grilled pork belly, served with eggs, cabbage slaw, Thai peanut sauce, ginger and toasted sesame seeds on top of a ginger herb waffle.
All the food was presented in an appetizing and appealing way and tasted just as good as it looked. It was obvious that the ingredients, especially the waffles, were fresh and had been prepared recently.
The portions seemed average, but they ended up being a lot more filling than they seemed.
The waffles had a distinct flavor, and I could really distinguish the different spices in each.
And all of the dishes’ flavors blended well.
The service was also a highlight. The staff was knowledgeable about how and where they got their ingredients and were able to easily explain the details to my family.
In addition, there were multiple monitors on the walls that showed cooks making the food.
The most unpleasant part of my experience, the wait time, seemed to be caused by the weather. The Folsom location has an outdoor eating area, but it was closed due to rain while we were there.
And the prices were a little too high. Most items on the menu were in the $12 to $16 range – not outrageous but still not cheap.
Overall, The Waffle Experience is a fitting name for an original restaurant with good food and service. My family and I will definitely be going back!
—By David Situ