What: Breakfast waffles
Where: Saison Wafel, Union Market, 1309 Fifth St. NW
I know I'm not the only one who's fallen prey at one time or another to the notion of "the sweeter the better" when it comes to waffles. Chocolate chips, syrup, ice cream, whipped cream, caramel. Bring on the sugar coma!
And, sure, at Union Market's new Saison Wafel Bar, you can order your waffles topped with (a more restrained amount of) bananas and Nutella or strawberries and whipped cream. But chef and owner Jan Van Haute's breakfast waffles might break me of my sweet-tooth habits.
Well, sort of anyway, because they're the perfect blend of sweet and savory.
Van Haute, a former chef at the Belgian embassy, currently makes two types of waffles -- the lighter, airier Brussels and denser, sweeter Liege. Studded with crunchy pearl sugar, Liege waffles are often eaten as a snack on the go, especially after school, said Belgian native Van Haute.
So it's a bit of an unexpected but welcome surprise when Haute combines the sweet waffle with bacon, eggs and maple syrup or bacon, cream cheese and maple syrup. And it totally works. We particularly loved our bacon-and-egg waffle, which hit all the right sweet, savory, salty, smoky, crispy and runny-yolk notes you'd want in an all-day breakfast.
"People love to come in and have egg and bacon on a waffle at 3 o'clock in the afternoon," said Van Haute, who also operates Haute Saison Catering out of nearby Union Kitchen.
A few weeks into his run at the market, Van Haute is already contemplating his next move, which might involve Belgian beer on draft, not to mention new waffle creations. Grilled cheese waffle? Foie gras waffle?
"We have a lot of ideas in our head," he said.