Waffles. One of the rare culinary items that offer a blank canvas for both sweet and savoury dishes alike. You can have the classic Belgian waffle or a cornmeal waffle, they can be topped with a berry compote and whipped cream or the savoury favorite, fried chicken. Traditional condiments can range from pure Canadian Maple Syrup to Frank’s Red Hot – the possibilities are endless.
I am a self-proclaimed savoury fan, there are very few sweets that I crave on a daily basis, so you may see a bit of my salt bias come through in this review. Buttermilk Fine Waffles has a very strong focus on sweet waffles. However, I was swayed by my co-worker who proclaimed them to be the “best waffles ever”.
The simply designed space matches the simplicity of their waffle offerings. When you walk in you walk straight up to the till to place your order, which stands beside an army of waffle irons. Once you order, you receive a number and are asked to sit in anticipation while your waffle concoction is freshly prepared.
The menu offers 6 sweet waffles which range from $8-10, 2 savoury options both of which are $10 or you have the option to build your own waffle starting at $6 before adding any toppings. There is also the option to mix & match any 2 sweet waffles for $14 or combine savoury and sweet for $17. At these kind of prices I was expecting a generous portion of waffles.
I ordered the Buttermilk Classic, a naked waffled with butter and maple syrup as well as the Arugula, a waffle topped with goat cheese, chili oil, honey and of course, arugula. My co-workers ordered a wide variety of Buttermilk’s other sweet delights like the Lemon (lemon curd & goat cheese), Rachel’s Cinnamon Bun (cinnamon syrup, cream cheese frosting & pecans), the Village (scoop of Village ice cream, whipped cream & pecans) and the H.A.M (asiago cheese, ham & caramelized onions).
We sat at our table and waited patiently for our tasty treats to arrive. The waffles were delivered on a metal serving tray over a piece of parchment paper and upon their arrival to the talbe, I was a bit disappointed by what was in front of me. Each waffled was only slightly bigger than my iPhone 6, which was much smaller than I had expected. I cut into the Buttermilk Classic, the exterior was crisp while the interior was soft and fluffy. This waffle was simple, yet delicious – the contrast of it’s crispy exterior to the soft and fluffy interior was a delightful play on texture. The maple syrup and butter did not overpower the offering or make it cloyingly sweet.
The second waffle had a little bit of topping in each dimple, with a few arugula leaves on top. I was still surprised by the waffle itself but was disappointed with the rest of the dish. The goat cheese and honey were both overpowering even with the arugula’s best effort to cut through the sweet and bitter notes, while the chili oil was only there by name.
My co-workers, on the other hand thoroughly enjoyed their offerings! I did managed to try the Lemon waffle where the curd was delightfully tart and paired well with the goat cheese, but yet again I felt the cheese overpowered the waffle.
Overall, I’m very conflicted about Buttermilk Fine Waffles. The waffle itself is top notch and these guys have a killer waffle batter, however the lack of exciting savoury options left me looking for something more. The savoury possibilities are endless when it comes to waffles and I can’t help but feel let down by the lack of options available at Buttermilk. Additionally, the price for two waffles is astronomical, especially given that I was still a bit peckish after consuming two waffles. For the same price, I could have gone to Village Ice Cream and gotten two waffle cones or I could have visited multiple joints in the neighborhood and gotten a full meal for two.
Due to the scarcity of savoury options and the insanely high price point, I’m not sure I would return to Buttermilk unless absolutely necessary. However, if you are a fan of waffles and have a sweet tooth, you must try Buttermilk. They have recently started Buttermilk Cinema where they showcase classic movies in the shop for free, you just have to bring some cash for waffles. I think it’s a genius idea that will definitely increase foot traffic for them!