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Long-Awaited What the Waffle Opens in KLD

Susan Post Susan Post Long-Awaited What the Waffle Opens in KLDPhoto by Walker Evans.
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What the Waffle will make its official debut as a stand-alone restaurant this Saturday, August 1 at 695 E. Long St. in the King-Lincoln District.

What the Waffle first introduced its waffles to the masses in 2016 as a part of the Food Hub at 1117 Oak St. in Olde Towne East. From the beginning, Owner Gayle Troy was eyeing moving into her own location. After about a year run, Troy closed down things at the Food Hub in late 2017 to focus on her new location in the King-Lincoln District.

While the location has been a few years in the making, the expanded menu should make it worth the wait.

What the Waffle will offer breakfast and lunch and brunch on the weekends. On the breakfast menu, there are waffle sandwiches, stuffed with diner’s choice of sausage or bacon along with egg and cheese. Traditional Belgian waffles get a spin with dishes like the Bacon Jalapeño Waffle or the French-E – a buttermilk Belgian waffle dipped in a French toast mixture and browned in butter.

For lunch, diners can choose their waffle flavor – original, cheddar cheese or garlic herb – and use it as the base for a variety of sandwiches. There’s The Tony, with house-made meatballs, marinara sauce and cheese, or a play on a Hot Brown with grilled chicken, sliced tomatoes, cheese sauce, bacon and more shredded cheese. The ultimate comfort food, Troy will whip up chicken noodle soup daily, along with another rotating soup-of-the-day.

Brunch sees What the Waffle’s menu venture into chicken and waffles territory, and will also feature brunch classics like shrimp and grits, steak and eggs, and more.

For Troy, it’s not just about the waffles, but using her restaurant to make an impact on the community. What the Waffle hires and trains young women that are aging out of the foster care system.

While the restaurant was coming together, Troy has worked with several organizations to support these young adults and connect them with resources. She’s worked with Franklin County Children Services on work readiness workshops and partnered with Columbus State Community College and their Mid-Ohio Market to help students prepare meals with the food they received from the market. She’s also made connections as a part of the Restaurant Association to connect young women who want to explore careers in hospitality with others in the industry.

Troy is excited to be a part of the King-Lincoln neighborhood as the area begins to see more revitalization.

“Just to be a part of that fabric at this point in time and at this age my life is just exciting,” she says.

In an area that lacks dining options, she’s also excited for What the Waffle to provide a fresh, fast-food alternative.

What the Waffle officially opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 1. It will be a takeout only affair – at all times, not just because of coronavirus. The small space allows for a few seats for guests to wait on their eats, but does not have space for dine-in.

The restaurant’s hours are Wednesday to Friday, 7 – 11 a.m. for breakfast and 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. for lunch. Brunch runs from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, visit whatthewaffle.org.

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