By Emily G. Peters
It’s chewy, caramelized and crowned with a melty scoop of ice cream. It’s Waffles de Liege—and they’re coming for your sweet tooth.
Owned by Lawrence Tai and George Wu, Waffles de Liege started as a food truck before landing its Old Town Pasadena storefront in 2017. Tai, who studied mechanical engineering, was on his way towards becoming an LAPD officer when Wu approached him about starting the food truck. Several ideas from crepes to pancakes were tossed around, but they hit gold with the Liege waffle concept.
“When we first started the truck, only a handful of places were doing Liege waffles and they were all either terrible, expensive or both,” explained Wu. “What sets Waffles de Liege apart is the quality of the Liege waffles. We make our dough fresh using our own recipe, instead of purchasing them flash-frozen from Europe like a lot of stores do.”
Similar to but wonderfully different from its cousin, the Belgian waffle, Liege waffles use slightly different ingredients and preparation. Together, Wu and Tai balance innovation and authenticity around a central focal point: taste.
“In today’s age, due to social media how a food looks is prioritized over how it tastes. That innovation has created some pretty horrific and mediocre-tasting food items,” said Wu. “Waffles de Liege is about more than just making your food look good to your followers on social media. We believe food is a form of art, and putting care and attention into the product is important to us. But we also strive for quality in how our food tastes—and that’s what keeps our customers returning.”
The result is a product with more chew and a crispier bite than other Belgian-style waffles. A selection of ice creams, syrups and more literally send their waffles over the top—but you won’t hear the customers complaining about calories.
“The most popular menu item is easily the Ice Cream Waffle Special. It keeps it simple while giving you the amazing dynamic of a hot caramelized waffle paired with creamy Fosselman’s ice cream,” said Tai. “I like to suggest the Speculoos Special, which is the Liege waffle topped with speculoos and bananas. It’s a great alternative to Nutella and bananas, because I feel like you can taste every element, whereas Nutella usually steals the show as a topping.”
The concept of balance isn’t reserved to the menu. Both Tai and Wu value the convenience of big chains, but ultimately view indie businesses like theirs as creative soul behind Pasadena.
“Indie businesses are a major contributing factor to a city’s quality of living. They represent the individuality of their communities, and should be celebrated and supported,” said Wu. “We take a lot of pride working with our community, and like networking with local small businesses and patrons. It’s from there that a real sense of community and connection is born.”
Waffles de Liege is located at 21 East Holly Street in Old Town Pasadena. Closed on Mondays, you can contact the team at www.wafflesdeliege.com | 626-793-7726 | firstname.lastname@example.org and follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @wafflesdeliege.