Here in the Midwest, waffles don't get the love they deserve. They're the bastard step-child of breakfast food, not as traditional as pancakes, as practical as cereal, or as lavish as eggs Benedict. Aside from a few greasy spoons, waffles appear on breakfast menus with unfortunate rarity. That's where Black: Coffee and Waffle Bar comes in.
Black Coffee and Waffle Bar opened this May in Southeast Como, in the space once occupied by lackluster coffee shop Muddsuckers. While the ownership remains the same, the menu underwent a drastic overhaul. The team bypassed generic sweets for comfort-food pastries from A Baker's Wife, and chose Dogwood Coffee as the basis for a line of standard yet solid drinks.
Black serves waffles all day, from co-owner Lisa Ply's stellar homemade recipe. Unlike others served around town, which often bear more resemblance to preservative-laden Eggo atrocities than hearty breakfast treats, Ply's waffles have a subtle sweetness -- they possess plenty of tanginess from buttermilk, which makes the slight hint of sugar sing.
The Naughty Waffle ($7.50) is the star of the show, a glorious mess of fruits, nuts, and granola buried in a gigantic mound of whipped cream. While almond butter doesn't seem like the ideal foil for strawberries, blueberries, and bananas, the combination works because the waffle isn't too sweet. Ply's recipe is light, eggy, and goes well with both sweet and savory toppings. Granola and raw almonds provide a nice crunch against the softer ingredients. This winning combination will definitely make you feel splendidly self-indulgent by meal's end, even if the naughtiness of the waffle is in name only.
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