One of Zaitunay Bay’s newest spots is a Waffle parlor that caught my attention while walking along the corniche. "Maison de la Gaufre", which translates to "The House of Waffles" welcomes you in a cozy and chic setup preparing waffles a-la-minute for those of you with a sweet tooth.
Established in 2003 and under-license from Belgium -I couldn’t confirm this information on the net-, Maison de la Gaufre is a waffle company that markets a growing line of packaged fresh and frozen waffles. It is one of the first waffle factories in the Middle East and started in Syria before moving to Lebanon. Maison de la Gaufre sells a variety of gaufres, including plain, chocolate, and jam-filled. You can dazzle it up with fresh fruit, confectioner’s sugar, or hot liquid chocolate.
Let's start by some definitions: A waffle is a leavened batter or dough cooked between two plates, patterned to give a characteristic size, shape and surface impression. There are many variations based on the type of waffle iron and recipe used, with over a dozen regional varieties in Belgium alone. Waffles are eaten throughout the world, particularly in Belgium, France, Netherlands, Scandinavia, and the United States. There are two kinds of Waffles:
- Brussels waffles are prepared with an egg-white-leavened or yeast-leavened batter, traditionally an ale yeast; occasionally both types of leavening are used together. They are lighter, crisper and have larger pockets compared to other European waffle varieties, and are easy to differentiate from Liège Waffles by their rectangular sides.
- The Liège waffle is a richer, denser, sweeter, and chewier waffle. Native to the greater Wallonia region of Eastern Belgium – and alternately known as gaufres de chasse (hunting waffles) – they're an adaptation of brioche bread dough, featuring chunks of pearl sugar which caramelize on the outside of the waffle when baked. It is the most common type of waffle available in Belgium and prepared in plain, vanilla and cinnamon varieties by street vendors across the nation.
Maison de la Gaufre serves both. The normal round waffle, crunchy and topped with your choice of dip or the other square one stuffed with chocolate or apples.
The different choices of offerings:
- Square, filled with chocolate
- Square, filled with apples
- Square, filled with strawberries
- Liege cinnamon
- Liege chocolate
- Liege vanilla
Any waffle can be dipped in milk chocolate, white chocolate or dark chocolate. Let's start with the square one. A fluffy cake-looking waffle with its toasted squares and filled with chocolate. I loved the quality of the dough and specially the richness of the filling. Pay attention not to spill chocolate all over the place, or burn your lips. This innovation is unique and new, different from the average waffles with a whipped cream topping or Nutella. As for the Liege waffles, even though nice to try, I found them to be a bit too crunchy, too sweet and too hard. They lacked juiciness and flavor. If I were to choose, I'd go for the DeliFrance ones, found at the supermarket entrance, which have the same shape but more body and a more pleasant texture.
If you're a waffle lover, this is a place you might want to visit. On the go, buy your waffle for LBP5,000 and continue walking on the marina. Opening a dine-in space offering fruit topped waffles with ice cream is an idea to consider.