Walking toward the WAFL STOP, my attention is attracted to colorfully painted images of boys and girls enjoying waffles and assorted beverages on the side windows. As you come closer to the food truck, which resembles a schools bus combined with a SWAT car, the signs "SLOW, WAFLS AT PLAY" and "Gourmet Waffles" give you a great understanding of what this food truck's specialty is.
The WAFL STOP, with WAFL being an acronym for "Waffles Are For Life," offers low priced, dinner plate-sized waffles made-to-order.
"What makes it gourmet is I make everything from scratch with the best stuff I can," WAFL STOP owner and operator Brian Schultz said.
Schultz, who began the food truck at the beginning of October, has the WAFL STOP running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The truck is stationed at 700 Ohio St. on Thursdays, Cornwall Avenue on Fridays, O'Donnell's Bellingham Flea Market on Saturdays and Samish Way on Sundays. The hours and locations occasionally vary, but Schultz said he posts the truck's daily location on the WAFL STOP Facebook page.
Schultz, a Bellingham resident, wanted the focus of his food truck to be waffles after researching and discovering the success of a waffle food truck in New York called Wafels and Dinges. He also wanted to separate himself from other food trucks in the state, which mainly sell meat-based items such as Philly cheesesteaks, Schultz said.
All waffles are made from Schultz's own batter recipe for traditional Belgian waffles. Schultz is currently working on a recipe for liege waffles, which uses pearl sugar. The pearl sugar caramelizes and creates pockets of sugar throughout the waffle to give it a unique sweetness and light crunch, Schultz said.
The WAFL STOP's menu has three specials: Strawberry Supreme or Blueberry Blast for $5, and Banana Supreme for $4.50. Each special consists of strawberries, bananas or blueberries with fresh whipped cream. The Strawberry Supreme and Blueberry Blast also come topped with homemade strawberry and blueberry sauce.
A fun and delightful option for customers is the ability to create their own waffles. Customers can either have waffle on its own for $3.50 or add a large variety of toppings. Chocolate sauce and maple syrup can be added free of charge. For 50 cents, peanut butter, bananas, strawberries and blueberry sauce can cover your waffle. Warmed Nutella can be added for $1 and a shot of real maple syrup is offered for $2.
If my bank account had let me and I wasn't allergic to bananas, I would have gotten everything on the menu, but of course I could only select a few of the options. I love waffles and usually only like to top them with butter and maple syrup, but this time I decided to get creative. I ordered a waffle with peanut butter, chocolate syrup and whipped cream. I wanted to try something new and also see if the waffle could stand out even with all of these sweet, delicious toppings.
My waffle took about 5 minutes to prepare and was well worth the small wait. Schultz paid close attention as the waffle was cooking, constantly checking on it to ensure it was properly made.
Once my waffle was ready, Schultz handed it to me on a paper plate, which could barely be seen as it was covered with my delicious looking waffle. The peanut butter was spread all over the top of my waffle with whipped cream circled on top of it. The entire waffle was also covered in chocolate sauce spread in a checkerboard pattern.
My first thought as I was about to take my first bite was I had no chance of finishing it, but the meal wasn't heavy on the stomach so finishing the waffle and all its toppings were no problem. The menu described the waffles as light and fluffy, and the WAFL STOP stayed true to its word. The texture of the waffle was chewy and fluffy while also maintaining a touch of crispiness.
The texture stood out even with the thickness of the peanut butter, which also added a nice sweetness to the dish. The chocolate syrup, while sweet, added a hint of bitterness to balance out the explosion of sugar that hit my taste buds. The whipped cream really brought the entire meal together as it had a very soft, silky texture helping moisten the waffle and the peanut butter. It made it easier to chew and made the waffle taste that much better.
If you come across the WAFL STOP either driving by you on the road or stationed at a nearby street, it might be a good idea to listen to the signs on the truck. Slow down, read the menu, and stop and enjoy a gourmet waffle.