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They Sent Me Waffles

May 13, 2019

Hopefully you all had a delicious Mother’s Day. Do you know one way of telling I married the right woman?

On Mother’s Day, we could go anywhere for brunch. But Mrs. Fussy only wanted to go to Dan’s Place Two. For those who aren’t familiar with the grittier side of Albany’s old school diners, this may be the grittiest of the bunch. While there are some who dismiss the joint as “Dirty Dan’s”, and most affectionate stories for this postage stamp sized eatery involve late night drunken shenanigans, this classic diner is good stone cold sober in the light of day.

As it turns out, we were the only family celebrating Mother’s Day at one of their few tables. Do you know what that makes us? Smart!

Crowds. Lines. Waits. Who needs that on a day of celebration? Instead, the kids shared a house-made blueberry muffin that was split and “toasted” in butter, served with more butter on the side. Mrs. Fussy had eggs, potatoes, bacon, toast, and lots and lots of coffee. I ordered light with over easy eggs, potatoes, and a small grapefruit juice. Little Miss Fussy went for chocolate chip pancakes, which had some delightfully crisp edges. The Young Man chose french toast with sausage.

There were no waffles. But there would be waffles later in the day, because back at home we received a special delivery from a place called Send Me Waffles. You can imagine where it goes from here.

They sent you waffles?

Last week I got a note from Ilene Friedman, which isn’t a name you should know. But Ilene used to do social media for The Chefs’ Consortium, a group of New York food professionals who are committed to supporting local foods and farms. Once upon a time, I used to write local food stories for the website, and covered a few of the group’s events.

Anyhow, her new gig is a start up food venture called Send Me Waffles. Which is kind of self explanatory, but there is a little story that goes along with it. It was a story of stumbling onto the most popular food truck at a festival, which led to the discovery of the Belgian Liege Waffle.

If you’ve been to one of our local farmers markets, you may have experienced these yourself from other vendors. The thing I like about them most are the nuggets of pearl sugar contained within, especially the bites where a little edge of the pearl sugar gets caramelized on the waffle iron’s surface.

What Ilene and her partner have been able to do is to figure out a way using just flour, pearl sugar, butter, milk, eggs, light brown sugar, water, honey, vanilla extract, yeast, and salt to make these little sweet treats shelf stable. And as such, they are suitable for sending through the mail.

Part of the trick has to be the packaging, because each waffle come in a hermetically sealed pouch, with a cute tag on the front, and an eat or freeze date on a sticker in the corner.

What is missing are proper reheating instructions. But that’s okay. It says to reheat in your toaster oven for a minute, or if you’re heating a bunch to do so in the oven. But there isn’t a suggested temperature. We started at 375F for one minute, and cranked it up to 400F for two. But I think I would still go higher, and maybe even a little longer.

Most definitely these are better when they are warmed all the way through.

More importantly, these are absolutely a fun and unique gift that would be delightful to receive and a pleasure to send. There is so much crap that people send mail order, it’s incredible to see something that’s made from real ingredients. Yes, it’s a little expensive if you want to break it out on a waffle by waffle basis. But have you ever done that for the Harry & David pears? Food gifts by mail are never cheap.

Heck, mail order anything is expensive. This should be fresh in everyone’s mind since we’re just coming off of Mother’s Day. Liege waffles, on the other hand, are a unique and fun gift. And the box comes with six little pouches of joy. So perhaps the recipient will share them with their family, or maybe simply enjoy a waffle a day for the better part of a week. Plus, Send Me Waffles does a bang up job of making the ordering and anticipation of your waffle box fun.

I’ve been saying for a long time that I would be happy to pay more for less, if a product used better ingredients. And this is the case with Ilene’s waffles. She’s making them at a production facility up in Clifton Park, and is even currently running a promotion where you can get add an additional waffle to your order for free if you use the code FREEWAFFLE at check out by May 18.

It was kind of her to send me a box for free, but I told her that if I didn’t like them, I wouldn’t write about them. Sure, maybe you could make these yourself at home. But these aren’t traditional waffles. They are yeasted, and seem like a real pain in the neck to master. And I don’t know about you, but when I see how much butter goes into something, I just don’t enjoy it as much as when somebody makes it for me.

Little Miss Fussy loved these. And when she found out we actually have a waffle iron buried deep within our garage, she was incensed we had hidden this fact from her all these years. That girl may be inspired to try her hand at these treats, in which case Ilene may have inadvertently created a new competitor. But for now, I don’t think she has anything to worry about.

Send Me Waffles is a ton of fun, and I wish them all the success in the world.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Benjamin M. permalink
    May 13, 2019 11:52 am

    I wish I could make those waffles at home. I absolutely love them!

  2. albanylandlord permalink
    May 13, 2019 8:01 pm

    Dan’s Place makes some awesome breakfast. I was there last week for the first time in a while and got some of the incomparable sausages with breakfast. The corn beef hash, done crispy, is also great. It just comes out of a giant can, but the extra time it gets on the flat top transforms it.

    Your wife is a genius and pretty special for choosing Dan’s Place. My Sunday brunch buffet was pretty decent if you chose carefully, but it was over $30 each.

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