Friday, March 27, 2015

Funky Waffles

I recently visited a Syracuse University culinary speciality: Funk n' Waffles, a hip underground waffle house that appeared on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri. My boyfriend, his sister, her boyfriend, and myself stopped by the morning after the Billy Joel concert. The place really is cool. Customers have to walk down graffiti-covered stairs to get to the dark and colorful restaurant.
Funk n' Waffles really lives up to its name – the menu is funky. Not only can you order normal waffle toppings like strawberries and chocolate sauce, but also strange toppings like pulled pork and fried egg. The specialties seen on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives were the chicken and waffles, and also a Thanksgiving waffle with stuffing, turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes. Weird combination!

Jake and I went to Funk n' Waffles once before, at night time. Live music made a comfy and laid-back atmosphere. This time we went around noon on Saturday, so the place was stuffed with college students looking for brunch. We had to wait 20 minutes for our waffles, which isn't a big deal given how crowded the place was.
All four of us ordered different waffle creations. I got the Florentine, a buttermilk stuffed with feta cheese and spinach and topped with smoked salmon. Sour cream was served on the side. Given my love for smoked salmon, cheese, and sour cream, I couldn't turn this waffle down. The smoked salmon was a bit on the sparse side and tasted dry, but the waffle as a whole was better than expected. The feta was gooey from being melted inside the waffle, serving as a nice contrast to the buttermilk. Topping a waffle with sour cream sounds disgusting, but it paired well with the cheese and salmon – I can't imagine what else to top this waffle with. (Picture at the top of the article!)

Jake got a pulled pork waffle. Plain and simple, this was just a buttermilk waffle topped with pulled pork and sauce from a restaurant called Dinosaur BBQ. Jake said he enjoyed the waffle because "the buttery taste of the waffle mixes well with the sweet BBQ sauce." The pile of pork was so big that even Jake could barely finish his waffle! I tried a bite and thought it tasted alright, but it wasn't something I'd order myself. Granted, I've never been the biggest fan of barbecue sauce.
Jake's sister bravely ordered the Jive Turkey (or Thanksgiving) waffle. The buttermilk was filled with stuffing and topped with turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Cranberry sauce was served on the side. She said the waffle really did remind her of Thanksgiving, but the mashed potatoes tasted like the "instant" kind.
Her boyfriend tried another specialty from Funk n' Waffles, the Chicken & Waffles. Just as the name states, the buttermilk was topped with 6 chicken wings. He seemed to like his waffle and ate the whole thing easily. 
Overall, Funk n' Waffles is a very cool, unique restaurant to visit. I recommend it just for the oddness of the menu. All of the food was good, but nothing completely blew us away. The waffles tasted like they could've been from any breakfast place.  I want to note that all of us chose "savory" waffles, and none chose any of the "sweet" options. I've heard that the fruit and dessert waffles are fantastic.
If you're interested, the menu is here.