Friday, August 12, 2011

The Gaufre Gourmet

(NOTE: The Gaufre Gourmet is now in downtown Portland on SW 9th Ave., between Alder and Washington)

(Second Review -- February 2012)
(Third Review -- March 2012)

The Gaufre Gourmet is a food cart located in the Green Castle food pod off NE 19th and Everett in Portland, Oregon. They mainly specialize in unique sweet and savory waffles.

Back when Gaufre Gourmet was at Green Castle in 2011

I had just finished my lefse from Viking Soul Food (located in the same food pod), but because that lefse was really just a snack to me (a tasty one at that), I needed more food to fill me up. Hence, it was waffle time!

The operator of this cart was outstanding in customer service. First, he allowed me to have a sample of his Liege waffle, a sweeter waffle that gets hit with sugar on top.

All their waffle choices looked damn good, so I had trouble picking which one to go with. I felt morein the mood for a savory waffle choice, so I went with their "ABC" waffle: a waffle gets a coating of fig sauce, then is topped with arugula, bacon, camembert. The arugula itself is dressed with a simple white balsamic vinaigrette.

ABC Waffle
I also got to sample their Cholula honey butter and strawberry jalapeno syrup, put on top a small waffle piece.

Sample piece of waffle w/Cholula honey butter and strawberry jalapeno syrup
I thought the flavors in the ABC waffle were good. The arugula was dressed very nicely with the white balsamic vinaigrette, giving it a slightly zingy bite to go with the sweeter fig jam. The savory, salty bacon was wonderfully cooked. The camembert (a cow's milk cheese from Normandy) was creamy and had its own little zing from the aging process.

I personally would have liked to see the camembert melted a bit more, as opposed to the intact slice that laid on top of my waffle. Also, I think the bacon could have benefited from a bit more cooking to make it crispier. Finally, I felt there was too much arugula on the waffle. It seemed like every bite I took, the arugula really butted its way into the picture.

As far as the Cholula honey butter and strawberry jalapeno syrup go, it was good, but I was disappointed that the Cholula and jalapenos did not come through more. All I really tasted was honey or strawberry. I could not detect any zing or heat in my sample serving.

Despite the aforementioned concerns, I did like my experience here. At the time of my visit, Gaufre Gourmet also had a special with Cackalack's Hot Chicken Shack to create a "chicken and waffles" dish. So if you're a huge chicken and waffles fan, check it out to see if it's still going on! Gaufre Gourmet gets an above-average score here for their nice array of menu items and the quality service. As noted above, I think the ABC waffle can be improved on.

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