Welcome to The Gamer’s Lodge one of Edmonton’s board game cafes. Follow the rainbow flag into the cozy cafe and enjoy their selection of games and special community events not to mention their game inspired waffle menu! Moon Unit Alpha and Doug Unit Cypher, just a couple of extra regular hoomans seeking a sweet treat, settled into a corner of the cafe, browsed the games, and then got to the monkey business that brought them to the establishment: WAFFLES.
Doug Unit Cypher ordered the The Donkey Kong at Gamer’s Lodge and Moon Unit Alpha observed. The first thing Cypher noticed was the abundance of toppings:
Banana rum puree
AND sweet-spicy bacon
Each of the toppings was quite sweet as well. Ideally the savoury bacon would’ve balanced the flavour but the surplus of toppings were overpoweringly sweet. The waffle was fluffy but not crisp which means it had a weak topping barrier leading to a soggy waffle if one does not consume it quickly. It was the tasty treat the the Units were looking for but very nearly overkill for the visitors.
Fun Time Douglas frequents gatherings called “Drink ‘n’ Draws” and the only draw back is: she is unable to draw. With friendly instruction she attends these gatherings regardless of her lack of skill and thoroughly enjoys the company of her talented friends.
The chain restaurant Hudson’s is generally good at accommodating a large group, ideal for the Drink ‘n’ Draw, and this visit it featured a seasonal menu that included the still growing in popularity: Chicken and Waffles! So, once again the sweet savoury southern combo was ordered only this version had a “Canadian Twist” (Hudson’s does vigorously market itself as “Canada’s Pub” after all).
So, here’s what happened:
The chicken and waffles were served hot out of the kitchen with a variety of toppings: – Cinnamon sugar – Whipped cream – Maple chilli syrup (the “Canadian Twist”) The waffle was too sweet. The maple chilli syrup was very, very tasty and had a great sweet heat to it. The cinnamon sugar seemed like overkill given the waffles already too sweet status. The whipped cream also seemed too sugary especially considering it’s sugar laden companions on the plate. Could’ve been more crisp and golden, in Fun Time Douglas’s opinion. The chicken was A-OK but nothing really stand-out. Pretty well exactly what you’d expect from a chain pub: serviceable.
A crisp, savoury, golden waffle topped with maple chilli syrup and some very mildly sweetened whipped cream would have been on the mark for a great waffle.
Also, why is maple chilli considered Canadian? Chilli peppers originally hail from Mexico. Delicious syrup nonetheless. The following score hinges entirely on the syrup.
Disclaimer: Sly doesn’t like chocolate, so this review has a slightly higher than usual bias.
Here at the Waffle Log Blog we don’t like to dwell on unsatisfactory waffles for too long, the ISCoW thinks it’s best to acknowledge the experience, learn, and move on. So, having said that let’s get on with it.
This waffle was deceptively golden in colour and visually appealing with whimsical toppings of chocolate and strawberries. Though the exterior was crisp the inside what flavourless and disappointingly crumbly. Sly acknowledges that The Pint Public House and Sports Bar is more suited for burgers, wings, and obviously: pints of beer. Sly had a caesar to cure herself of the hangover Fun Time Douglas had inflicted upon her. It was everything she had hoped for and more with a bonus pepperoni stick serving as a meaty garnish with the beverage.
Before you lose your mind and start accusing Sly for her dislike of chocolate, there’s room for everyone here at the Waffle Log Blog. Chocolate lovers and dislikers and any which preference in between. The ISCoW would also like to point out that her dislike of chocolate means there’s more for you and no sharing required. “You’re welcome” she says.
The Pint’s hangover brunch does offer bottomless tater tots. You’ve been advised and/or warned.
Picture a charming fantasy cafe, one that a child’s doll house might look like, plush velvet couches, pristine white furniture, and adorable treats on the menu.
Included on the menu are waffles. These waffles were very unique in their almost too-perfect gleam looking almost porcelain and fitting with the overall theme of this establishment, Veronica noted. She took a few slow and measured bites assessing this waffle because of it’s unusual appearance. This waffle was what Veronica would describe as “cakey”.
“Cakey” is not a quality that Veronica looks for in a waffle. Light, airy, crisp, and so forth are generally the qualities she seeks. It’s important to note that this dense waffle tasted quite good, sweet but not too sweet, and was served beautifully with plenty of butter, syrup, and a helping of whipped cream.
This waffle gets a nod for creativity and distinct style in a world of waffle homogeneity. Despite it’s one-of-a-kind qualities the rating that appears below is due to it’s consistency being less than desirable and lack of warm crispy outer waffle according to Veronica’s rubric.
Place: Smitty’s Gateway Blvd/Calgary Trail
I don’t remember but it was Shark Week 2015
Fun Time Douglas and Critical Bill set out on a more spontaneous waffle adventure and ended up at Smitty’s with what you could only call awkward décor with seemingly superfluous wooden beams and metal siding to create an effect? Dougie and Bill, with out intent, sat each facing appropriate televisions. Bill faced the Baseball game and Dougie faced Shark Week on the Discovery channel. Two waffles with two sides of bacon were ordered (what did you expect?) and the service was top-notch. Basically, the waffle itself was fine. As Dougie and Bill agreed, there was nothing wrong with it but also nothing great about it. It was the ultimate mediocre waffle. If you’re looking for your extra regular average waffle, check out Smitty’s. The council made a note; Bill was served a generous portion of bacon and Dougie was not. She even remarked that she may have been jipped. Bacon jipped. Bill shared his bacon because despite his critical nature he is a pretty friendly fella.
The highlight of Smitty’s was the bottle of Heinz Ketchup (this is not a product placement). The Ketchup bottle had a QR-Code that a smartphone could scan and it lead the user to a mobile game of Trivial Pursuit. Fun Time Douglas and Critical Bill love trivia. They agreed that they would play until they solved all six categories in a row. It did not take long between Bill’s knowledge of sports and Dougie’s knowledge of cartoons and their combined interest in history and geography.
Fun Time Douglas: 2-2.5/5
Critical Bill: 3/5
Veronica visited her sister, Even More Fun Time Douglas (a.k.a Arelasaurus), in Calgary. Arelasaurus is a real solid big sister and she did waffle recon and based on proximity to her workplace and availability. She chose a place with “Waffle” in the name, “Sweet Life Waffles and Crepes”. The sisters embarked with enthusiasm because surely a place with waffle in the name means they are committed to the waffle and take it seriously? Not so! Veronica does not hold Arelasaurus responsible. Her recon was solid. The sisters ordered the “Regular Joe” waffle and the Council will let Veronica take it from here:
Warning! Explicit Content: extreme disappointment and strong language
“What the fuck man!? With waffle in the name there are certain simple expectations. This waffle was too soft, not even warm–let alone hot–when it was served, and there was no butter. No butter? No butter in the entire establishment? Reheated but still cold waffle? A fucking faux pas. Even the bonus of real maple syrup couldn’t help this shitty waffle with crumbly texture.”
Arelasaurus’s note, “The bacon was excellent” and Veronica agreed, though bitterly and added, “Maybe the crepes are more their steez.”
Place: IHOP, The International House of Pancakes, on Gateway Blvd/Calgary Trail
The Council recognizes the guest Waffler: Pete the Patient Pirate. Bill and Veronica were joined by Pete to attend the International House of Pancakes after Google reconnaissance revealed that there was indeed a Belgian waffle on this pancake house menu.
Three coffees, three waffles, and the traditional side of bacon were ordered and the council began their noble task. On every table the International House of Pancakes provides a stainless steel carafe of coffee and four types of syrup; included are an old fashioned syrup, blueberry syrup, raspberry syrup, and a butter pecan syrup. Veronica utilized the four quadrants of the round waffle to sample each type of syrup with butter. Both Veronica and Bill noted that IHOP was stingy on the butter portions though Pete countered stating that it was a satisfactory helping of butter. Veronica was particularly critical of these waffles, more critical than Bill even. She reported that the blueberry and raspberry syrups were no good and too sickly sweet and the old-fashioned and butter pecan were O.K. She noted that the biggest failure of this waffle was that is was unevenly cooked. Critical Bill noted that the bacon was excellent value but the carafe supplied coffee was wildly over priced considering its stale drip coffee taste.
Critical Bill and Pete the Patient Pirate: 3.5/5
And now a message from Mitch Hedberg about pancakes:
The unintentional inaugural Valentines Day meeting of the International Supreme Council of Waffles: “For The Love of Waffles” took place on February 14th 2015.
Before we begin, I must remind readers that the International Supreme Council of Waffles is in search of the best waffle. In order to achieve our goal we had to set high standards. So, if our critique on the waffle in question seems harsh it is because we are committed to our task. Also, the rules of the ISCoW are that each individual member makes their own criteria and/or waffle rubric. It allows for a diverse Council with a larger breadth of perspectives in the hopes of serving all waffle desires. So let’s get on with it, man…
A nice cozy atmosphere was appreciated on this snowy and cold Saturday but perhaps reggae and waffles were not meant to be. Dougie suspects that it was an off night for the waffles as she had previously experienced delightful waffles from this establishment. One plain waffle was ordered, served with butter and syrup as a waffle was meant to be, and one special: topped with powered sugar, fresh strawberries, and chocolate (note: Dougie quite dislikes chocolate but finds it tolerable in small quantities. In this case it was a rich dark chocolate and complimented the strawberries).
The official report is: the waffle itself was too soft and battery, this waffle is in need of a more golden colour, a crispier outside, and fluffier inside. The beverages on the other hand were delicious. An old school chocolate milk for Bill and real brewed iced tea for Dougie. Critical Bill has a deep-seated philosophy regarding the purveying of the waffle: “They are best served in places with the words ‘cafe’ or ‘diner’ in the title by an older lady named Bev or Flo in a uniform and she calls you ‘hon’, if she is smoking all the better. A place with ‘Cha’ in the name and being served by a hipster dufus named Chad who calls you Dude probably is not going to resonate.” But, then again, Bill longs for a simpler time.
It should be noted that the company was quite enjoyable and thus the inaugural meeting of the International Supreme Council of Waffles marked the beginning of the mission to find the best waffle. Closing remarks, Critical Bill says the waffle was, “Dressed up but no party”. Rating:Dougie and Bill: 2/5 Waffles.