There once was a time when food sold out of a cart or truck on NYC streets was considered unappetizing, not to mention a surefire way to contract food poisoning. Besides the occasional soft pretzel or bag of roasted nuts, most people never considered stopping at these places for an actual meal. However times have certainly changed, and street food has increased from pretzels and hot dogs to falafel, gyros, tacos, and most recently: waffles.
Last summer, a man by the name of Thomas de Geest (of Belgian decent, naturally) decided the city was lacking in sweetness (no kidding) and came up with an authentic belgian waffle truck called Wafels & Dinges – meaning "Waffles and Things." The "wafels" offered are the traditional light brussels wafel; the liege wafel which is a chewy waffle packed with sugar; or the cinnamon wafel. The "dinges" are toppings for your "wafel," ranging from strawberries and whipped cream to nutella and dulce de leche. Stop salivating. You can find this truck Monday-Friday from 8 Am-11 Am on Park Ave between 26th and 27th street, or from 3-9:30 PM at 14th street and 3rd avenue by Trader Joes.
But wait! Just when Wafels & Dinges thought they were alone – in the name of true NYC competition – one of their former employees opened up his own waffle truck called Waffle 4 U. Rachid Hamzaoui is the brains behind this "imposter truck," serving the same style waffles (in a similar style truck) but with even more decadent toppings (think chocolate fudge and ice cream). They even have specialty waffles like the Tiramisu Waffle with coffee ice cream, chocolate syrup and whipped cream. I guess Mr. Hamzaoui is blurring the line between breakfast and dessert. And that’s not all he has up his sleeve – according to a report by Eater.com, he plans on opening a French Fry truck with different types of fries (I assume waffle fries will be on the list?) with accompanying dipping sauces. Sounds like an interesting idea to me, but the Waffle Wars are still on. And evidently, these guys are taking it pretty seriously. From their website:
"Warning!!! Be Ready! We sell authentic Belgian Waffles! Unparalleled to any other waffle! Who has superseded us in bringing authentic Belgian waffles into NYC streets? No One! We did it! Waffle4U did it!"
Are they sure they’re Belgian waffles and not Nazi Waffles? Either way, wouldn’t stop me from chowing down on a Tiramisu or Banana Split Waffle. I still think that the original is almost always better, but I guess there’s only one way to find out…