Every other week, the company where I work does “Waffle Wednesday.” Two employees pull out a set of waffle irons, mix instant batter and cook breakfast for the office. Sometimes they go all out with toppings. Other times, they just supply the basics. Regardless, walking to my desk with the smell of breakfast in the air makes Hump Day that much easier.
Before meeting The Wafel Guys, that was the extent of my waffle experience: either fluffy pancakes with square divots in them, or frozen disasters hastily toasted. A delivery device for syrup and butter.
After tasting the legitimate, authentic Belgian treasures created by these culinary upstarts, ordering breakfast at a local diner simply won’t do anymore. Once you’ve tried the real thing from The Wafel Guys, you never want to go back.
Straight Outta Belgium
Chef and Co-owner Eric Muyldermans didn’t come up with his concept out of the blue. He was inspired by a lifetime of eating waffles in his home country of Belgium. There, they are street food, designed to be eaten on the go and available everywhere.
When Muyldermans moved to the States, he started making traditional waffles for friends around town. After waffles were served at his wedding, guests commented that Muyldermans should start selling them full-time. At first, the idea seemed silly. But after a couple of years, he and his business partner Jeff Howard decided to test the concept at the SFC Farmer’s Market on Guadalupe.
“We thought, what do you get when you cross a Baylor MBA with a Belgian waffle maker?” Howard shared. “The best damn waffles in Austin!”
The idea was a smashing success. After selling out for a few weeks in a row, the pair decided to branch out, bringing their square slices of goodness to a wider audience.
Savory and Sweet
If you’ve never had a legit, true to the style Belgian waffle (spelled “wafel” in the traditional Belgian way), you’ll be blown away by how good they can be. The base liege waffle is a tantalizing blend of soft, crispy and sweet with a great chew. They’re also tasty when served cold. Muyldermans claims many people prefer them day old, as opposed to fresh. Mine didn’t last long enough for me to test that theory.
The Wafel Guys offers two styles of toppings: sweet and savory. Savory options include a ham and cheese waffle, a bacon and fried egg waffle, and traditional Belgian fries. Different from their French cousins, these fries are thicker and twice-cooked, giving them a unique texture. The company also makes a fantastic chicken and waffles: rich gravy and tender chicken blend beautifully with the sweet waffle base.
On the sweet side of life, favorites have been their Nutella, strawberry and powdered sugar waffle, along with a banana split. The latter features a mixture of banana cream, banana slices and Biscoff cookie crumble. You can even get waffle s’mores for the kid at heart.
And they’re constantly innovating. Muyldermans shared that they’re currently experimenting with stuffed waffles. Imagine a waffle grilled cheese sandwich or a Monte Cristo. Both could be a reality in the near future.
The Wafel Guys Spread Waffle Love All Over Town
Don’t think you have to limit yourself to the Saturday farmers’ market to get your waffle fix. In addition to a robust catering business, the team recently purchased a food truck that will be making the rounds to events around Austin in three to six months.
Until then, they have a brick and mortar home at Mort Subite, a yet-to-be-opened Belgian beer bar on the corner of Congress and 3rd Avenue, where Cork & Co. used to be. Located in the rear, you’ll be able to enjoy The Wafel Guys’ authentic bites while sipping on a tap list of over 20 brews, all imported from Belgium. This marriage of beer and waffles is designed to bring a slice of Brussels to downtown Austin.
“We want to keep everything as authentic as possible,” shared Muyldermans. “From the uniforms being Belgian soccer jerseys to the flag on the truck, we want people to experience a little more of the Belgian style and the Belgian culture.”
Everything about The Wafel Guys feels like a wonderful union. Two friends bringing a unique flavor to a town begging for something different. If you’re ever craving sweet, savory or something in between, keep an eye out for these purveyors of authentic Belgian flavor. You’ll never look at your box of freezer Eggos the same way again.
The Wafel Guys have a Saturday booth at SFC Farmer’s Market on Guadalupe and in the back of Mort Subite on Congress at 3rd Avenue. For locations, social media and contact information, go to thewafelguys.com.
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
Where do you go for your sweet/savory foodie fix in Austin?