Sweet of the Week: Waffle at Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafter

I love when desserts masquerade as breakfast. This would explain my undying love for piled-high pancakes, stuffed French toast, and treacly crepes. This would also explain why I can't say no to a chocolate-frosted Belgian waffle, especially when it's made at Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafter, a gem of a bakeshop tucked away in the Gold Coast. This blink-and-you'll-miss-it bakery serves some of the best European breads, pastries, and sandwiches in Chicago, and while the tiny spot is often packed with cramped patrons, many people still don't know it exists. Or at least, where to find it. Pro tip: look for the bright orange door up a short set of stairs on the north side of Walton. Once inside, prepare to be enveloped into a world of Belgian delicacies, perfected by an owner/baker with an accent as smooth and rich as his white chocolate bread. But today we're here to talk about my most recent discovery here, the waffle. The traditional fluffy, crackly waffles are available a few different ways, but I'd suggest you opt for chocolate if you want something dessert-y for breakfast. 


Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafter
Waffle at Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafter

This waffle is of the lighter, airier texture than the chewier, pearl sugar-laden liege-style. Not too sweet, the muted waffle serves as a blank canvas for additional layered flavors. It exhibits an exercise in restraint from the kitchen that they're able to hone in on texture and really nail a perfect waffle without leaning on sugar or filler. Rather, the giant rectangular waffle comes adorned with a few dollops of fresh whipped cream and an adjoining tin of fudgy chocolate sauce. This stuff is thick, hot, and deeply rich; perfect for enhancing the waffle and filling up all those crispy nooks and crannies. Combine a bit of fudge with a bit of whipped cream on a forkful of waffle and you've got yourself the perfect bite, sweet but not overbearing, with a clear emphasis on the quality of that perfect waffle. 

- Matt Kirouac