Posts Tagged ‘Waffles’

In today’s busy & bustling society, time equals money. It means a lot to have extra time to get things done. Typically, the less time you consume to get something accomplished, the more productivity you have to dedicate toward the next task. Saving time means a lot to not just individuals, but businesses who aim to maximize profit while under operating hours. If a person can save time by accomplishing multiple tasks at once, most likely they will undertake that. For example, brunch combines breakfast and lunch into one meal. While this may not always come off as the healthiest choice, if a person needs to conserve time, combining meals can work out once in a while. If you want to enjoy breakfast or brunch any time of the day, you can do so at Wähfles Café in La Verne.

Nestled in an easily accessible location, Wähfles Café churns out artisanal coffees and gourmet waffles out of their quaint, quiet shop. One can reach Wähfles Café immediately off a freeway, and people from the Fairplex or University of La Verne can quickly reach Wähfles Café. As their name suggests, Wähfles Café specializes in gourmet waffle dishes, which includes both the savory and sweet varieties. They serve waffles as traditional dishes or pressed for sandwiches, which includes their Ricki Ricardo waffle sandwich. Representing Wähfles Café’s interpretation of a Cuban sandwich, Wähfles Café places premium slow-roasted pork shoulder, thick-sliced ham, Swiss cheese, pickled onions & cucumbers, and signature Cuban aioli between two grill-pressed rosemary waffles. At $10.95, this comes with a side of sweet banana chips as well. While this sounds like any old Cuban sandwich, the waffles give it a unique spin with both its texture and flavor that includes the rosemary along with its trademark rosemary aroma.

Wähfles Café makes a great place to hang out, enjoy some food and drinks, and/or get some studying done thanks to its quiet and calm atmosphere. See what else Wähfles Café has brewing up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Despite the turn of the season, Southern California’s heat wave rages on. Temperatures had hit record highs in the past few weeks, causing many people to desire something cold to cool down. Of course, some people may not have a sweet tooth like I do, but you have to treat yourself occasionally. Sometimes, your body just craves it – when you feel hot, your body tells you to go find something cold to eat or drink. If you plan on powering through this heat wave, I now bring to you five cold treats in the Los Angeles area to get you through this hot fall season.

5. Top Round Roast Beef‘s Frozen Custard Milkshakes

Everyone loves ice cream, whether they will admit it or not. The creamy texture plus the sweet sensation brings comfort and joy to anyone munching through it. But have you heard of ice cream’s cousin that walks in ice cream’s shadow? Some places may have already heard of it, but frozen custard has risen as a popular choice for cold treats, a feat that Top Round Roast Beef has capitalized on. Ice cream contains a lot of air in it, which lends to its preservation of sitting in a freezer for a long time. On the other hand, frozen custard contains a greater ratio of eggs and milk compared to ice cream, giving the frozen custard a denser feel with less air. Since the folks at Top Round churn their frozen custard daily without ever freezing it for storage, it will never have ice crystals in it, lending to its smooth, velvety texture. This small diner in Mid-Wilshire near La Brea may have claimed fame with their signature roast beef, but actually their Frozen Custard Milkshakes keep the locals returning back. Every cold treat has a certain coldness factor to it, and boy can this milkshake really cool you down on a hot day. These milkshakes come in four flavors: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and pistachio. For the adventurous, I highly suggest the pistachio for a one-of-a-kind treat rarely found elsewhere. But honestly, you cannot go wrong with any flavor, even plain vanilla (pictured above). At just $5 a cup, you get more than your money’s worth here.

4. Shave It‘s Hawaii 5-Oh

Have you ever heard of the classic song (These Are A Few Of) My Favorite Things? This song lists a handful of things, tangible or not, that fill a person with joy despite bad times. Though the singer lists individual things in the song, why not skip the hassle and combine some of those things? Whenever I can have one of my favorite things, I eagerly look forward to it. Whenever I can have more than one of my favorite things at the same time, my heart fills with glee. Enter Shave It, the brilliant business capturing the hearts of many with their approach to combining two individual items together to form something even better. As their name suggests, Shave It does the shave ice thing, and yes – pronunciation makes a huge difference. Shaved ice with a D typically refers to ground ice, like that of a snow cone. Shave ice without the D refers to how native Hawaiians see it – finely sliced ice so smooth that it feels like ice cream. Upon hearing that comparison, the folks behind Shave It decided to mash the two up by serving up cups of shave ice WITH ice cream – a match made in heaven I tell you! The list of combinations stretches all the way around their store, since any customer can mix and match ice cream and shave ice flavors, such as with the Hawaii 5-Oh. This homage to the television show of the same name contains what the name would suggest – coconut ice cream with Hawaiian Punch shave ice. The fruitiness of the shave ice combined with the creaminess of the ice cream almost gives it a strawberry milk effect, something that any kid can enjoy. For less than $5, you too can experience the childhood joys of combining two of your favorite things into one cup.

3. Fluff Ice‘s Coffee Cake

Recently, a new study discovered that a person’s genes strongly determine how that person’s body reacts to coffee. Common perceptions make us believe that drinking coffee nearly daily helps to build a tolerance to coffee. While this may hold validity in those with the genes to build such a tolerance, those without this set of genes may approach coffee differently. A few individuals may forever fully absorb all coffee for life, while others may never react to coffee at all. The abundance of coffee shops today all gauge the strength of coffee based on what the customer desires. More often than not, customers simply seek the flavor of coffee, not the energy boost that it provides, which Fluff Ice satisfies quite well. One of Los Angeles’ original shaved snow shops, Fluff Ice has generated quite a Southern California empire as of this upcoming weekend. From storefronts to food trucks, Fluff Ice has a mission to deliver authentic shaved snow to the people of Southern California and, sometime in the near future, the rest of the world. The truck’s menu generally carries a condensed version of what the stores offer; after all, they primarily use the truck as means to promote the stores rather than make pure profit from mobile sales. If you visit one of their stores, you may discover their Coffee Cake combination of coffee shaved snow, crushed graham crackers, crushed Oreos (pictured without it above), and choice of condensed milk or chocolate syrup. If you know you cannot consume caffeine, worry not, as a $4 medium serving of this contains less than five grams of caffeine, indicating that Fluff Ice utilizes decaf coffee for the flavor base. After all, the sugar already gives kids their sugar rush, so why add fuel to the fire?

2. Tierra Mia Coffee‘s Mexican Chocolate Frappe

People all over the world love their coffee. Many people consume coffee for its caffeine content. Many others consume coffee for its flavor. Some drink coffee as means of socializing. Some drink coffee just to keep occupied. Regardless of why any sole individual would consume coffee, we can now find a coffee shop in almost any given square mile in any urban area. Many joke that you can cross the street from a Starbucks only to find another Starbucks, but honestly this only happens in Seattle, home of the first Starbucks. Here in Los Angeles, many other brands exist that occupy many street corners, such as Tierra Mia Coffee. Imagine a Southern California version of Starbucks with Southwestern influences, and you have Tierra Mia. Anyone walking into a Tierra Mia shop for the first time with no prior knowledge of the business would assume a Mexican version of Starbucks, which holds absolutely no truth to the matter. Tierra Mia gains their unique advantage by giving back to local communities and providing a space for starving artists to display their work. That aside, their menu contains many foods & beverage flavors unique to them. While you may have familiarity with a Frappuccino, Tierra Mia also serves their own lineup of Frappes, such as their Mexican Chocolate Frappe. If you love chocolate milkshakes, then you will love this blended beverage that tastes like a dark chocolate smoothie with hints of coffee. You gain more of a chocolate taste from this than the coffee in it, and the use of Mexican chocolate gives this beverage a bolder, richer chocolate flavor. The Mexican chocolate also lends to the antioxidant content in this blended beverage, so not only can you satisfy your sweet tooth and cool yourself down for under $5, but you can slightly improve your health by consuming some polyphenols.

1. The Iron Press‘ Cap’n Crunch Berries & Milk Waffle

How many cereal mascots can you name? As a child, television and supermarkets exposed us to countless cartoon characters that represented cereal brands. From Toucan Sam to Count Chocula to Flintstones to Snap/Crackle/Pop to Tony the Tiger to the Trix Rabbit, big companies used whatever cute characters they could muster in order to entice kids into eating their cereal. On a side note, no female cereal mascots exist – you only have male mascots for cereal. Anyways, no other mascot resonates within the memory more than Cap’n Crunch. Oh yes, this creepy midget sailor appears on everyone’s minds when they think about cereal because of the way he stares into your soul through your eyes. Those hollow eyes can capture any soul with a gesture as simple as eye contact, a fact that the people at The Iron Press can testify to. The Cap’n loves more than just cereal – he loves waffles, he loves beer, and swiggity swooty, he loves pirate booty. Nothing grabs tail better than waffles with the open seas and a pint of Windansea Wheat in hand, and the Cap’n sure loves to dip his hands wherever he can fit them, such as in the Cap’n Crunch Berries & Milk Waffle. The waffle contains actual Crunch Berries cereal in it, which gets further dusted with crushed Crunch Berries, then drizzled with a milk glaze, followed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Have you followed a diet? The Cap’n cares not about said diets. Bring forth your empty gut and devour this mound of sugar and carbs for $7, lest you fear the inevitable belly swell. So grab yourself a nice pint of wheat ale and raise it in the air. Knock them up, slap them down, and never want to care. After that, order another one for me. Down it quick, and allow your inhibitions to roam free!

When the seasons change, many more things change than just the weather. Looking at the weather alone, Southern California has experienced a massive heat wave late in Summer, then suddenly dropped to the type of weather where you wear a jacket or sweater in the morning and a tank top in the afternoon. Just recently, America’s federal government shut down all nonessential functions. Towards the end of summer, Miley Cyrus shocked the world with her attention-grabbing MTV performance. As a society, we cannot accurately predict what radical event will change the world next, but we can brace ourselves for anything, as we always have in the past as an enduring society. We can also fall back on what we typically associate with this time of the year. Fall, as we know it, indicates pumpkins, red wine, NFL, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the fall harvest, especially the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, giving us a reason to gorge on Mooncakes. Looking at all these opportunities to feast on favorable foods, we should not overlook outdoor grilling, nor the foods prepared that way. Though the winds will chill the air more so than in the summer, many folks will still utilize the grill up through Thanksgiving. In homage of the veritable fall feast, take a look at these five burgers in the Greater Los Angeles Area that I highly recommend seeking out this season.

5. Burger Lounge‘s Lounge Burger

Today’s food trends revolve around ingredient details and the source/origins of said ingredients. These days, everyone conscious about their food (and everyone should feel conscious about what they put in their bodies) desires to know where the ingredients used in their food come from. Growing up, whenever I heard the word organic, I immediately thought it cost more but tasted the same. I now realize that organic products mean more to our health than how the general public perceives it. Increasing my intake of organic foods has introduced me to sustainable food and its nutritional value to the human body. When I heard about Burger Lounge and their pledge to serve local, sustainable foods, I had to locate one to sink my teeth into one of their burgers. As humans, we deserve to eat better foods than, as Burger Lounge puts it, the “processed, artificial, chemical patties from cows feeding on who knows what” that fast food joints batch up. Can you honestly say that a mass-produced item will not contain any fillers, preservatives, or other artificial ingredients? You will not find any of that nonsense at Burger Lounge, where you can order their namesake Lounge Burger. Utilizing a 100% fresh, single-sourced American grass-fed beef patty, Burger Lounge serves this trademark burger with your choice of organic cheese (American or White Cheddar; I recommend the latter), fresh or grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and house-made 1000 island sauce. For just $7.95, you can savor and appreciate this sustainable burger at any of Burger Lounge’s locations in Los Angeles or San Diego County.

4. Burger Parlor‘s The Lasorda

Sometimes, you just need a little push to get some momentum building to start rolling down the road. Sometimes, you can get momentum without an external push if you push yourself enough to accomplish your goal. Once you have that momentum, you must continue to roll forward, as gravity and friction will eventually slow you down to a stop. Luckily, Burger Parlor‘s momentum never came to a stop, and after a a year in business, they have snowballed into a massive wrecking ball in Downtown Fullerton. Having just celebrated their first anniversary this past weekend, Burger Parlor thanked their customers with special craft beers on tap, free raffle prizes, and t-shirt giveaways. This weekend-long celebration did not distract their staff from operating like they normally do, and they continue to roll out freshly-prepared meals using ingredients from local farms and beers from local micro breweries. Customers can see their commitment to excellence in the aptly-named The Lasorda, and like Tommy Lasorda himself, one cannot accurately duplicate this unique concoction. This “burger” consists of a pork sausage patty topped with a fried mozzarella block, all sitting on top of oregano and roasted bell peppers. The combination of the pork patty and the fried mozzarella yields a texture unlike no other out there, as the cheese gives a crispy crunchy feel upon biting, while cheese oozes out after the first bite. To complete this meal, add an order of their beer-battered onion rings. They say that if a food business can stay alive for two years, they have a shot at lasting a long time in the industry. Having just reached their second year in business, I foresee Burger Parlor sticking around for a long time.

3. Slater’s 50/50‘s 50/50 Breakfast Sandwich

Every major metropolitan area has at least one local chain of restaurants or food business that the locals rave about. While in Seattle a few weeks ago, I discovered that Elysian Brewing and Bluebird Microcreamery & Brewery had more than one location. In Southern California, multiple Burger Lounge locations exist in Los Angeles and San Diego County, as mentioned above. Eureka Burger and Haven Gastropub exists as multiples as well. If you ask any Southern California local about great places to grab a bite & a drink, hang out with friends, and make new friends, the locals will unanimously agree on Slater’s 50/50. This monumental institution has set the bar extremely high for restaurants of its kind, from the eclectic food to the vast drink selection to the atmosphere that caters to adults yet can easily care for families. Their trademark 50/50 burger consists of a burger patty composed of 50% Sterling Silver beef and 50% ground bacon. This groundbreaking food creation has made food headline news worldwide, and sits at the same level as the Cronut, Ramen Burger, or Frozen S’mores as trending foods of the world. Every month, Slater’s 50/50 pushes the limits with their Burger-of-the-Month creations, from a Kangaroo burger to a Chimichanga burger to a burger composed entirely of bacon to a burger so spicy that it requires gloves and a signed liability waiver. Every year, Slater’s 50/50 releases their breakfast menu during NFL season, which they serve only on weekends during football season. Last year, they dabbled with Doughnut Burgers, which once again made national headlines. This year, they retained the Doughnut Burger, but have added the 50/50 Breakfast Sandwich, a messy build comprised of a patty of 50% chorizo and 50% ground bacon, cheddar cheese, two sunny-side up eggs, bacon, and two deep-fried waffles, all smothered with an overflow of maple syrup. For a true Slater’s experience, pick this up with your bare hands and dive right into it. You may have to improvise on napkins, as you will go through many napkins and glasses of water during the course of devouring this. Feeling bold? Pair this burger with a sour beer, or their famous Bacon Bloody Mary. Come see why locals love Slater’s 50/50, and what makes them a legendary Southern California staple (until they expand further!).

2. Hopscotch Tavern‘s Bradley Burger

As a sign of the changing seasons, the many different ingredients will change during this time as well. Due to the change in available ingredients, some restaurants employ seasonal menus based on what the local markets offer. By configuring seasonal menus, this exhibits a particular restaurant’s use of fresh and local ingredients, as certain ingredients cannot last at certain times of the year. If I see a restaurant using an ingredient out of season, I would immediately question its source. People tend to want to stick with familiar things. At the same time, we must all realize that all good things must come to an end. When a restaurant converts to a new season’s menu, we must learn to adapt to those changes as well, and explore what the season has to offer. Specifically, Fall has treated Hopscotch Tavern fairly well with this year’s ingredients. With a new Fall menu not yet reflected on their website, Hopscotch aims to turn up the heat in a season expected to cool down significantly than previous years. Their menu changes quite often thanks for Chef Cody Shorts’ whimsical nature, so if you see something on their menu one day, it could disappear as early as the next day. That said, head over to Hopscotch soon and scout out their Bradley Burger. Served medium by default (can request medium rare), the Pork Belly Bacon makes this burger truly stand out from the crowd, as it provides a thicker, juicier, fatter bite than regular bacon could ever provide. Hopscotch accompanies these two co-starring meats with house sweet pickles, dried tomatoes, crispy onion strings, fried cheddar, garlic aioli, and house ketchup. This burger comes with a side of house fries with house ketchup, a milder, fruitier version of the normal high fructose corn syrup ketchup. For the perfect pairing, drink an IPA with this burger, as the bitterness will balance the savoriness of this burger. As Burger Parlor recently celebrated their first anniversary, Hopscotch will celebrate their first anniversary very soon, so pay close attention to their activity, as they may have something special in the works.

1. Pono Burger‘s Sassy Wahine

Although the Southern Californian food industry speaks of local and sustainable often, we must not forget its prevalence around the world. Across the nation, countless chefs pledge to utilize organic and farm-fresh ingredients in their cooking for a tasty and guilt-free meal. The same goes on in other countries as well, as they use local ingredients that reflect their location/region in their cooking. These organic and sustainable ingredients will never contain hormones, pesticides, or antibiotics, so we do not have to worry about putting foreign substances in our bodies. Sure you could attempt to search for restaurants that use local, organic, sustainable ingredients, but even if they claim that, they still have to prove the sources. I can honestly tell you that the proof lies in the pudding at Pono Burger in Santa Monica. Founded on integrity, this small burger shack serves burgers using certified organic grass-fed never-frozen beef patties, free of hormones and antibiotics. The renovated military silo-turned dining room reminds us that, for a new business, the organic/sustainable movement has existed for a long time, but has recently gained notoriety thanks to all the exposures of the corrupt practices of the major fast food corporations around the world. Pono Burger stands by their creations, especially their Sassy Wahine, a cheese-less burger served medium rare by default, topped with house-made wasabi mayo, pickled ginger, organic avocado, house-made Okinawan sweet potato chips, organic pea shoots, and a house-made sesame ponzu dressing. A burger unlike any other, Japanese meets Pacific Islander in this fusion of a burger. Cooked to a perfect medium rare, the beef patty holds so much juice and flavor that you would not need so many toppings to accompany it. Thankfully, all the ingredients that contribute to the Sassy Wahine all serve to accept the beef patty. Each ingredient adds a spicy, tart, creamy, crispy, or sweet taste, covering all of the four main taste buds, plus the savory taste bud – the fifth taste, also known as umami. How fitting that we can accurately use the word umami to describe this burger, because rarely does one find a burger that can hit every single taste bud on the human palate. If you find yourself in Santa Monica, you owe it to yourself to track down Pono Burger, and experience umami for yourself. Visitors traveling by car can park for free in the underground parking garage, so what have you got to lose?