Waffles Waffles Everywhere: Starving Artist

Unorthodox ways of cooking food or presenting food always intrigues me.  I figure it is either going to turn out to be the most amazing thing ever, like deep frying turkey, or disastrous, like putting cheese into cereal (I was trying to convince myself some time ago that cheese goes with everything…I was wrong).  So when a friend told me that there was a place in Toronto that uses waffles instead of any other form of bread in their dishes, I had to check it out.

On this particular weekend I had access to a car since I was being sent by my office to an offsite location to work on a Saturday.  Boo-urns to working on a Saturday but having access to a vehicle allowed me to do a Costco run and eat far from home.  We made the trek out to Landsdowne and Bloor and walked into a packed restaurant.  Luckily we didn’t have to wait too long and were seated on the back patio.

A couple people in our group ordered coffee and commented that it was very good coffee.  I get the jitters when I drink coffee so I went with a strawberry banana smoothie.

The smoothie was…well smooth.  It had a nice texure with well balanced strawberry and banana flavors.  I thought it would have been a little sweeter but I actually liked it this way.  My only complaint is about the portion size.  I wanted to order another one after quickly downing the first one but figured it wasn’t worth the price.  For meals, my sister ordered the Waffle Benny, poached eggs on top of caramelized bacon and waffles served with a side salad and potato salad.

My sister commented that the potato salad tasted like Costco’s potato salad.  Given that Costco serves up some pretty decent food, I’m not sure whether this was a compliment or an insult.  I thought it was pretty good but then again, the members around the table said that it’s pretty tough to screw up potato salad.  In any case, I liked it.  The benny itself was great.  After taking a cooking class I’ve developed a whole new appreciation for Hollandaise sauce and this particular one is well executed.  It was a little cool by the time it came out but the flavor was bang on.  The eggs we cooked perfectly, solid in form but soft to the bite.  The yoke inside was just a little runny but not too runny.  The caramelized bacon was a treat.  Just the right amount of bacony saltiness and a hint of sweetness.  We should have order some more side bacon.  The waffle under everything was excellent. For a place that prides themselves on serving waffles with every dish I would have come to expect this.  So saying my expectations were met, or even exceeded in the case of my dish, says a lot.  As a dish, the waffle benny is probably one of the better benny’s I’ve tasted in a while.  Each component was great and it all worked so well together.  My friend across from me ordered the potato waffle benny with caramelized bacon.  She had a side fruit salad instead of the potato salad.

Now I didn’t get a chance to sample anything on her plate except the fruit.  I figured the Hollandaise and bacon were similar to my sisters.  I would have liked to have tried the potato waffle though.  There were no complaints but no compliments on her side.  The plate was clear by the end of the meal so it must have been pretty decent.  I had some fruit….cool, juicy and very refreshing.  My other friend ordered the chicken bacon club with havarti special sauce and cucumbers.  He ordered his with a side of baked beans.

We decided to go half and half on our sandwiches since I was debating on whether to order the club or my sandwich.  The club seemed like the safer choice and bacon is always a pretty good sell with me.  I had a sample of the beans first.  Warm, firm and very tasty.  I love baked beans though (maybe it stems from years of having baked beans for breakfast at the Calgary Stampede breakfasts) so this may not be for everyone.  The waffles on the sandwich were delicious.  The waffles are very plain but I like the texture it adds to the sandwich.  At first it feels kind of strange, but then you realize that the waffle doughiness is a welcome change to normal bread.  The bacon wasn’t as sweet as the caramelized bacon in the bennys but was still cooked right.  It didn’t have as much flavor though (kind of wished they used the same type as the benny).  The chicken was moist, not overcooked which can always be disappointing.  The veggies were fresh and the havarti sauce added some smoothness and creaminess.  Although all the individual components were good, the sandwich was a little bland.  One of the strongest flavors was the cucumbers.  Perhaps if the chicken were spiced or they used a cheese with more bite….I don’t know.  I tasted like a very healthy sandwich but I definitely wasn’t cruising through flavor country.  After reading about another sandwich on the menu I was pretty sure I was going to get it, the Tex-Mex chicken sandwich with salsa, sour cream and jalapenos.

Now this sandwich put you in flavor country.  The chicken was moist and had a ton of tex-mex spice flavor.  The salsa added a refreshing layer, the jalapenos added some heat that was balanced out by the sour cream.  The waffles had some spices cooked into them which added another interesting layer.  Waffle bread with spice, what an idea!  Overall, a great sandwich!  I would definitely make the trip back for this dish.

Everyone around the table enjoyed the waffles.  We noticed other patrons ordering waffle bacon which appeared to be bacon dipped in waffle batter and then thrown under the waffle iron.  What were we thinking when we didn’t order a side of this!  Oh well, next time.  So, using waffles instead of bread…a novel idea that’s a home run with this eater!  I can’t wait to try out the rest of the menu.

http://www.starvingartistbar.com/

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~ by jlowjlow on October 10, 2010.

One Response to “Waffles Waffles Everywhere: Starving Artist”

  1. Hi there,

    Um, waffle bacon? I’m there!

    I’m the community manager at Urbanspoon and I wanted to invite you to be a featured blogger on the site. I found you from the blogroll of “A Glutton in Kingston” – one of our favorites 🙂

    One of the main things we’re trying to do is to help people find out what bloggers have to say about restaurants. I was wondering if you would be interested in sharing your restaurant reviews on Urbanspoon. Users will see a teaser of your review on our site, and we show a link to click through to your blog and read the full review.

    For instance, if you wanted to add your post on your meal at Starving Artist, here’s a page that explains how it works:
    http://www.urbanspoon.com/e/restaurant_link/1450717
    via
    http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/10/1450717/restaurant/Bloordale-Brockton-Wallace-Emerson/Starving-Artist-Toronto

    In any case, I like your blog and I wanted to say hello! Any feedback you have is much appreciated. Answers to popular questions are at http://www.urbanspoon.com/faq#faq-category-6 … or you can simply email me.

    Cheers + happy spooning!
    Christine

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