As I maneuvered my way through the madhouse of the Plaza Art Fair last Sunday morning, attempting to shove my five foot self through a crowd of giants, four bold words struck my eye: The Diet Ends Here. As I entered the restaurant on the corner of Central Street, I knew that my hangry feelings would disappear.
I had stumbled upon the window of the pop-up shop, The Waffle Bar. The scent of the buttery waffle batter being heated was all it took to make my mouth water. In an instant, I desired to try every waffle on the chalkboard menu.
The Waffle Bar opened on Sept. 8 and is planning on staying open anywhere between two weeks and one year, depending on how much business they attract.
The focal point of this restaurant revolves around the bubble waffle. A bubble waffle is your typical waffle, except looks like an enlarged piece of bubble wrap.
Originating in Hong Kong, bubble waffles are popular in big cities, where social media posts showing off the photogenic dessert can be found on New York bloggers’ Instagrams or any California college girl’s Facebook.
After reading the fun notes on chalkboard walls with sayings such as “Keep Calm and Wait for Your Waffle” and “Everyday I’m Wafflin,” I turned my focus to the menu.
The menu consisted of three main items: a bubble waffle, a waffle pop and a waffle donut. The atmosphere made me feel like a California girl walking along the Santa Monica pier, as I instantly pulled out my phone to snap pictures of the aesthetically pleasing restaurant with white walls and accents of yellow.
The bubble waffle comes with your choice of ice cream, three toppings and to top it all off, a drizzle of your favorite sauce. You can customize the dessert to your taste with the endless ice cream flavors options, such as cotton candy and cookie monster and a topping bar complete with gummy bears and chopped up Oreos. I went with butter pecan ice cream, strawberries and caramel sauce, trying to stay as healthy as I could – if that even was possible!
It felt like I was in a dream. The waffle was crispy around the edges, yet had a soft center. The ice cream began to melt, seeping into the waffle, bringing out the flavor even more. I devoured the entire waffle in five minutes. The way I munched it down probably made the workers wonder if I had ever eaten anything with flavor before.
After downing a bottle of water that cost 99 cents – overpriced, I know – I was ready to move onto the next treat: the waffle pop. Instead of being able to customize your own pop, they have six different menu items such as Strawberry Crunch and Sweet n’ Salty.
While all the flavors sounded delightful, my heart – more likely my stomach – told me to go with the S’mores waffle pop. When I got my order, my first thought was “Where is the waffle in this thing?” but I eventually found it under all the layers of chocolate sauce, a dusting of graham cracker crumbs and marshmallows. It blew my mind.
Above the mouth-watering food, the workers made the experience even more memorable than it already was. Their fun and uplifting spirit and knowledge about the pop-up shop made each customer leave with a huge smile and an even bigger stomach.
Even though the menu only consists of three items, each unique waffle makes up for the lack of choices, whether it be a bubble waffle, waffle pop or a waffle donut. Although I do enjoy my mom’s Sunday morning waffles, I would take these waffles over hers any day. Sorry, mom. This pop-up shop was just what Kansas City needed to spice up the area.
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