Not like Mom’s: Authentic Belgian waffles, Waffalonia, Pittsburgh

"The Antwerp"
“The Antwerp” with speculoos ice cream, April 2014

I happen to be intrigued by almost everything about Belgium. Geographically, politically, and historically lodged between Holland (the country that introduced me to Europe) and France (the primary country that speaks the language that I study), Belgium is the intersection of Europe at which I feel most myself. The French accent seems softer here, and the humor, brighter. In Belgium, Lynn and I began our walk along the Western Front in 2010, and I had my first argument in full-blown French (avec “vous” et tout) with a bartender in 2007. Wine as the national beverage is traded for the beer that links me to my boyfriend, and the land smooths into long wide fields that carry me back to my family’s Pennsylvanian farm.

So of course I was going to love the authentic Belgian waffles Waffalonia (Oakland and Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh), which serves up hearty, sweet waffles stunningly unlike those onto which my central Pennsylvania grandmother douses chicken and gravy. Instead, these Liège-style waffles are made from a yeast-driven dough and stuffed with imported sugar crystals that caramelize under heat.

It may be lost on many Pittsburghers that these waffles are named after Belgian cities and displayed on a menu that recalls a European railway schedule, but I used pass through Antwerp (here with speculoos ice cream and chocolate syrup) by train in 2007, and I was enchanted by the cobblestones streets of Bruges (here with strawberries and whipped cream) when I was fifteen.

Beyond the memories, the waffles are to die for. Pressed to order, the waffles are topped with fresh fruits, syrups, spreads, or locally-made Dave and Andy’s ice cream.

French student-approved
French student-approved, April 2014

Squirrel Hill
1707 Murray Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 521-4902

4212 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 685-4081


10 thoughts on “Not like Mom’s: Authentic Belgian waffles, Waffalonia, Pittsburgh

  1. I want to here more about this argument you had in francois!

  2. Sacrebleu! There are many mistakes in this article! First, Belgium is not next to Holland! Holland is NOT a country, this is the Netherlands! Also, another mistake is that Waffalonia is good! This is nothing to compare with what I got in Belgium and I would not recommend the place!

    Other than that, I cannot argue with the rest and mostly agree with what you said: Belgium is a fantastic country, where you have the best of both worlds. Being french and having lived for more than two years in the Netherlands, the best place I feel ok is Belgium …

    1. Good morning, Juli, is it fair to say that Holland is the term that most readers would understand as “the Netherlands”? (All of the article is tagged to the links about “the Netherlands,” not “Holland,” so I agree with you. I was feeling reader-friendly yesterday.) What’s your definition of a standard Belgian waffle? Perhaps I only ate at Belgian waffle street tourist trips.

      1. Well, to make long story short, the mix should not be sweet in regular waffle and the waffles should be really really thick. Also, most of the time, you do not put ice cream on top, just powered sugar or some whipped cream with chocolate. Having a sweet mix with a sweet ice cream make it very too sweet and more a bowl of sugar rather than something tasty. Again, this is just my European/French taste I developed when growing in France and living in Belgium and Netherlands! But I found the same issues when experimenting french stuff here: french dishes are really simple and people used to overdo it and screw the original recipe (I have many example all along the Burgh!)

      2. I definitely saw a few American-style Belgian waffle stands (with icecream et tout), then. It’s so interesting how tourists can influence a cultural product! What are your other examples in the Burgh?

      3. I definitively agree that changing the recipe and adapting it is a good idea! But in that case, this is not a Belgium waffle, just a waffle with an American touch! I totally agree that having influence from many countries is a great thing to change recipe and experience new tastes. But in that case, why people refer to the dish as the original one? For example, why we have french fries whereas this is mostly something from Belgium!

        About Pittsburgh, I prefer not to mention any place, I will be too pessimistic. Overall, I think we have very good place for traditional and basic food and most french restaurant are not worth the trip. This is just my two cents to the discussion and I would prefer to go to a nice restaurant (for example, the Penn Avenue Fish Company) rather than going to a fancy place with a touristic-like experience and food without taste.

      4. paindecampagne May 1, 2014 — 11:02 am

        Very well said!

  3. A mon humble avis, saying that Waffolonia is not good -to the point that one would not recommend it?- is an extremely violent charge… I have personally loved both the place and the product.

  4. Hi, I know I’m not “in” this conversation, but because I commented earlier on, I’m in this thread. So, can I just kindly comment that this blog is a blog, meaning: it’s one persons opinion on things. Naturally, your opinion might differ from the author’s opinion. And that’s great! Let’s just agree that these are all opinions, move on, and get along. Harsh and very negative retorts to an opinion-blog is not necessary here folks. Your comments then just become ridiculously rude and unnecessarily insulting.

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