Abigail (age 16), Harry, Lucy (age 9), and I joined A-List founder Amy Riposo at The Waffle Factory on October 29, a Saturday morning just a few days after it opened. Even from the outside, the tiny building at 30 North Avenue smells amazing; sweet and warm with the smell of maple syrup. The interior of the tiny building has been updated with a comfortable, modern vibe, and this modern decor is a notable contrast to the food being served.
Nick sat with us and took the time to explain that he imports the waffle mix from Belgium; a mix that is a centuries-old recipe. He adds his own proprietary combination of ingredients in a process that takes three hours, and the result is an authentic Liege Waffle. My curiosity got the best of me, and I have since learned that making genuine Liege Waffles is a lost art form dating back to the 18th century. Liege Waffles are sweet, full of butter and vanilla, and genuine pearl sugar is a key ingredient. Liege Waffles should not to be confused with the much more common, fluffy, and soft Belgian waffles (despite the same country of origin). Belgian waffles are breakfast food. Liege Waffles are dessert food. Know this difference when you go to The Waffle Factory, and expect to be treated to a sweet dessert that – for us, at least – passed as a serviceable breakfast.
Harry, for example, went with the “Cannoli-Moli” waffle; a sweet Liege waffle topped with a cannoli and smothered in cannoli flavored goodness. Yes. This is what I serve my 12-year old son for breakfast. Don’t judge. My daughters Abigail and Lucy both indulged in waffles topped with strawberries. And Nutella. And powdered sugar. And whipped cream. And it was amazing. I went with the original, and I was served the simple goodness of a waffle with maple syrup, whipped cream, and powdered sugar. Amy was the most adventurous among our group and ordered the “Elvis Waffley” waffle; a sweet Liege waffle covered with bacon and bananas and peanut butter and honey. A shared bite with me that was perfectly crafted with all of the key ingredients proved to be a wonderful mix of sweetness and saltiness on a delicious waffle. And, Amy certainly seemed to enjoy it. All of it. The entire plateful.
Nick is a Webster native, and his mother is the proprietor of The Browncroft Diner and his grandmother is the proprietor of The Candy Kitchen. Nick started The Waffle Factory as a stand at the Rochester Public Market before moving into 30 North Avenue. The Waffle Factory is a celebration of local roots and international food made from a centuries-old recipe served in a modern setting. That is a great combination. Nick is committed to serving the perfect waffle, which is exactly what we were treated to when we ate at The Waffle Factory.
-Jim Maddison, Rochester A-List Contributor