Friday, March 25, 2011

Liège Waffle

Classic Liège Waffle,
Sweet Iron, $2.99

Although I must have bused past the Sweet Iron waffle shop in downtown Seattle several dozen times since it opened, I've never previously given it more than a longing glance. Because of its skyscraper location and slick branding I jumped to the conclusion that Sweet Iron would be a Starbucks satellite, stamping out standardized but soulless waffles the same improbably golden brown as a Seattlite's winter tan.

Turns out that I couldn't have been more wrong.

Today when I passed Sweet Iron and saw a banner in the window proclaiming "International Waffle Day" I made a point of interrupting my return trip to investigate. Despite its high-end graphics and decor, Sweet Iron is the lone outpost of a young, locally-owned small business that promotes social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and artisanal--if delightfully irregular--baked-to-order waffles.

The waffles are Liège-style; unlike batter-based Belgian waffles, these start out as a blob of buttery brioche dough kneaded fresh each morning. Pearl sugar lurking within the dough turns to pockets and patches of gooey-glassy caramel when pressed in the waffle iron. You can can further gild the lily with powdered sugar, chocolate, or whipped cream and strawberries with balsamic vinegar. Sweet Iron also offers savory versions, like Brie and basil, and seasonal specials; I had a mindblowing springtime sample topped with housemade lemon curd and fresh blueberries.

Sweet Iron
1200 3rd Ave
Seattle, WA

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