Waffle Factory: A taste of Belgium in Strasbourg
For the Thanksgiving holiday, my family made a quick trip with friends for the opening weekend of the renowned Strasbourg, France Christmas market. We hit the city early so we could be there as soon as the impeccably decorated wooden huts opened their shutters. By late afternoon, our fingers and toes had become stiff from the cold, and we had worked up an appetite that could no longer be satisfied by the handfuls of sweets and mugs of vin chaud we’d been happy to partake in all morning.
As we made our way down Rue des Grandes Arcades to get a glimpse of the giant Christmas tree in Place Kleber, the sweet smell of Belgian waffles mixed with the fragrance of grilled meat and spices stopped us in our tracks. We ducked into Waffle Factory, the tiny restaurant the aroma seemed to be wafting from, to investigate the unusual, tantalizing scent. The menu was enough to have my mouth watering. In addition to dessert waffles, or Waffine, which come stuffed with Nutella, biscuits or chocolate, Waffle Factory also offers a selection of sandwich-style treat, called LunchWAF.
The LunchWAF is made from a ball of Belgian dough that has been baked around a small pile of savory meats, cheeses and spices in a traditional waffle iron. The finished product is a toasty, gooey gourmet pizza pocket of sorts that will make you feel like a kid again. I chose the Bergère, which came with roasted chicken, creamy goat cheese, tomato and tarragon, while my husband couldn’t pass up the Tex Mex spécial de la journée. Our boys had the Reine; filled with ham, mushrooms, tomatoes and stringy mozzarella, it was right up their alley.
We took our meal to the seating area upstairs, so we could watch the Christmas-market-goers on the streets below from the tall, Baroque-style windows. It didn’t take long for the chill to thaw from our hands and feet; the waffle sandwiches did their job, warming us from the inside out.
If your sweet tooth is left craving a little something more, the quick stop also offers traditional, vanilla-scented Liège waffles, which can be topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream or Nutella, and Brussels waffles, which are best eaten piled high with berries or dusted with sugar. I recommend pairing your order with a scoop of gelato or a strong cappuccino before heading out to the Christmas market for more holiday fun.