Finding the Authentic Belgian Liege Waffle in Charlotte, North Carolina

By Nikia Knapp

North Carolina

"Food is our common ground, a universal experience" - James Beard

 

"How we ended up in this family-owned cafe called Cast Iron Waffles in North Carolina, which is in the Ballantyne area (about 30 minutes from our home and a little bit out of the way for us, considering we were going for breakfast), went a little something like this…

I was on my lunch break (months ago) and happened to notice a Charlotte Magazine laying with some others and decided I would check it out, skimming through my eyes fixated on an image of a waffle sprinkled with bacon and this frosting stuff that appeared to be oozing out of it. After glancing over another few pages, I ended up back on the picture of this waffle and this is where my imagination started to run wild about what it must taste like. Salty and sweet are never a bad combination. Here is my photo of the waffle I saw in the magazine that had me dreaming of that special moment where this particular waffle would enter my mouth and send messages of ecstasy to my brain:

Cast Iron Waffles in north carolina

I grabbed my iPhone and took a picture of this waffle masterpiece and where to find it to make sure I would not forget. Boy, pictures really do sell! For a few months, I kept referring back to this photo and reminding my husband that I was going to treat him to a new spot I found for a surprise breakfast. My husband, Apache, absolutely loves waffles so I thought it would be a great (excuse) surprise gift to take him to a place that specialized in making the "Authentic Belgian Liege Waffle," especially since I didn't think either of us had ever tried this type of waffle before. It was going to just be a surprise breakfast-date type of gift but we ended up deciding to blog about this place to let you all know about it as well, and he still didn't know where we were going until we arrived. Ha!"

Belgian Liege Waffles in North Carolina
Belgian Liege Waffles in North Carolina

"Okay so, with all of our equipment in hand and freezing-cold weather, we took our entrance photos/video clips around 6:30 am. The cafe opens at 7 am and my fingers were literally numb by the time we actually entered and got seated, so the first thing we ordered were two sweet body-warming lattes, which helped us to get settled. This cafe is small, quaint, simply decorated with small round tables and chairs, a very casual vibe. If I lived nearby I could see myself stopping in this cafe for a quick pick-me-up before or after work or just if I felt like I needed a mood shifting treat."

Flavored Coffees and Lattes in North Carolina
Flavored Coffees and Lattes in North Carolina

"Belgians typically eat their waffles with just a sprinkle of powdered sugar and we Americans typically like to do the most, so Cast Iron Waffles has a menu that caters to our need for extra everything, especially extra sugar. The menu has a variety of different flavored coffees and lattes and they also serve espressos, along with plenty of waffle topping options to choose from -this makes for a happy pairing. Apache ordered the Peanut Butter Cup Waffle, which was topped with a cream cheese peanut butter mixture, chocolate and their homemade whipped cream. I did make a point to sample the whipped cream from Apaches’ plate and found myself nodding in approval thinking to myself "it's light, no aftertaste, reminds me of a homemade whipped cream." I ordered the Lumberjack waffle topped with maple buttercream and bacon! I thought the waffle was tasty and Apache wasn't disappointed either, it was a surprise though because it was not this big fluffy waffle that I was used to having in diners. Instead, these waffles were smaller but with a denser texture to them which made them feel more filling compared to American style waffles. This waffle is also a different experience because it has a richer taste than waffles I have had in the past."

Cast Iron Waffles

"Cast Iron Waffles mix imported Belgian Pearl Sugar into their Brioche style dough (pastry dough) which makes it taste more like a dessert. After eating this yummy desert for breakfast we were full until lunch time so that was a plus for us. In case you are curious about their prices, our entire order of two dressed up waffles and two lattes totaled to about $20 USD. Another reason Apache and I felt good about supporting Cast Iron Waffles is because they are a family-owned business, they make their dough from scratch and because they purchase farm direct or Fair Trade coffees."

Ballantyne area

"The next time we are in the Ballantyne area in North Carolina, I plan to have my Belgian Liege Waffle like the Belgians do, prepared simply with just the powdered sugar and when we actually go to Belgium I will be sure to try theirs and compare!"

 

 

Nikia Knapp

Written by Nikia Knapp.
All photos by Colorful Life Productions.

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