Monday, July 9, 2012

Back Alley Waffles

The alley restaurant trend is taking DC by storm.  First it was fine dining in an alley, then gourmet sandwiches.  Now, it's waffles. 

To find Back Alley Waffles, walk down 10th Street NW between M and N and look for this driveway.  The little orange waffle stickers on this post are your clue that you're in the right place.

Continue down the driveway until you come to an alley.  On your immediate left you'll see Back Alley Waffles.
 
The space is small yet (thankfully) air conditioned and homey feeling. It started as a space for the owner to showcase his artwork (mosaic) and evolved into a waffle wonderland. As you walk in, you can't help but feel like you've stumbled on to a magical new world:  that is, a magical new world that serves only waffles.  If you don't like waffles, do not go to Back Alley Waffles.  Other than a single smoothie, chai or coffee to drink, there is nothing else on the menu.
 
If you're worried about having to select between dozens of kinds of waffles and toppings, don't fret.  Back Alley Waffles serves one kind of waffle: a belgian-style waffle with house-churned butter and real maple syrup.
 

If you're going to serve only one waffle and charge $8 for it, it better be a damn good waffle.  It was.  We make a lot of waffles at home, and this beat the pants off ours (what, your waffles don't wear pants? Weird). Fluffy, flavorful, and gone in about 2.6 minutes.  Yum.

Second Thoughts from B

J and I love waffles.  So much so that it could be argued that our relationship was partially built on a foundation of waffles (as noted here).  We also recently booked a trip to Europe that will include a stop off in Belgium, partially because of the waffles.  Did I make it clear that we love waffles?

So it stands to reason that we'd also love Back Alley Waffles.  The problem is, I'm cheap and don't like paying money for something I can (and do) make at home.  And $8 for a waffle seems like a lot until you think of how much it would cost at your favorite breakfast place not called IHOP.  Add the real maple syrup and freshly churned butter, and it is a more reasonable price than initially thought.

For me, waffles should be judged by the sweetness and vanillainess of the batter and the ability to soak up toppings.  In both cases, Back Alley's version was off the charts.  In fact, staff at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has informed us that they'll be recalculating the measurement system for waffle awesomeness in light of this new discovery.

To answer the question that I asked myself as I handed over $24 for a pair of waffle/smoothie breakfasts, yes, a simple waffle can be worth $8... and probably much more.

EDITED 7/26/12:  Don't bother trying to get your waffle on.  Back Alley Waffles has closed its doors.  You can read about all the craziness here.
Back Alley Waffles on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Cai said...

Lovely pictures!