SW 9th and Alder, Portland
Update: Went brick and Mortar and is called Gigi’s cafe.
The first time I heard about this food cart was at the Portland Summer Food Cart Festival, where I was a judge. Not only did I love their stuff, we chose their waffle as the overall winner of at the Festival. It was was the Spicy Goat that won that day. I only got a partial piece of the waffle (I had to share it with the other judges), but I have dreamed of the day that I would make my way downtown and get myself one WHOLE Spicy Goat waffle.
For me there was no looking over the menus or decisions to be made, but you know I never dine alone. After all their pondering, we finally chose 5 waffles. I, of course, got the Spicy Goat, with Arugula, chevre cheese, pistachios, salami and Kelly’s Harbanero Jelly. This is a combination of sweet, salty, tangy and spicy. I said it at the festival and I will say it again… They nailed it with this combo. I would have never put this together in a million years, but it works.
Even though I knew I was going to stuff myself with the Spicy Goat, I also wanted to try the ABC Waffle (Arugula, Bacon, and Camembert with a hint of fig jam). If you like bacon and a nice creamy cheese, definitely try this one. It is also a great savory flavor combination.
My husband and daughter both wanted the Strawberry Lemonade, so they both ordered one. Seriously, a rookie mistake, we didn’t need two. The lemon curd that they use on this was outstanding. It gives an amazing freshness to the strawberries. Oh it’s a sweet one too!
Last but not least we also tried the Breakfast of Champions, which was berries, granola and yogurt. By the time we bit into this one I was convinced that there was nothing at this cart that would disappoint me. Every combo stands on it’s own, every one is done with great attention to detail.
Here is what makes their waffles different.
The liège style waffle is made from a sweet brioche-style dough (not a batter) with big chunks of pearl sugar that are kneaded into the dough immediately before baking. The yeasted dough gives these waffles a dense and chewy texture, while the sugar gives them a sweet flavor and a carmelized coating.
One of my goals on this blog is to find the hidden gems and tell you about them, so you don’t miss out. I am here to tell you this is a hidden gem. They get lost in the sea of food carts in the downtown area, but it’s there, hidden among all the others, and it’s worth seeking out.
- Atmosphere at this pod is very busy and bustling. I did like that just a few steps away is a little park to sit and eat.
- Pricing was really average. You can get a waffle as cheap as $2.50 and a gourmet one for about $6. They are big waffles and they don’t skimp on toppings.
- Service is awesome. They are super friendly and they don’t question you when you order way too much. And can I just add that the owner, Charlene, is so dang cute.
- They also have Illy coffee to go with your waffle.
- Gaufre Gourmet is located on 9th and Alder in downtown Portland.
When I visit restaurants or carts for the first time I never let them know I am there. On this day, it was my first time at the cart but not my first time eating her waffles or meeting Charlene. So yes, she knew I was here on this day.
As of July ’13 also located in this area is: