There are no Belgian waffles in Belgium. It’s true. Waffles are everywhere there and have been for hundreds of years, but they are Brussels waffles and Liege waffles, named for the region where each originated. The Brussels waffle is what we in the US call a “Belgian waffle,” fluffy, a pale gold color (under optimum conditions), with deep, square “pockets” that hold the toppings—and there is little flavor without the toppings. The Liege waffle is richer, denser, sweeter, chewier. It is flavorful enough to eat without toppings, but few do, especially when they are lucky enough to delight in the waffles at the Press Waffle Co.
Bryan Lewis had always loved waffles, whether American (the thinner ones) or Belgian (Brussels), but it was not until he and his wife Rachel were in Europe prior to their wedding that they were introduced to Liege waffles in a small cafe in Scotland and were hooked. They were able to indulge in their newly found favorite food in the other European countries that they visited, but back at home in Dallas, there was not a Liege waffle to be found. They had been looking forward to serving them at their wedding reception, but they couldn’t even find a baker who would try to make them. Bryan saw this gaping, Liege-less hole in American cuisine, and his entrepreneurial spirit kicked in. Having no culinary experience did not deter him. For the next year, while he worked as a theater director, he experimented in his kitchen until he perfected the Liege waffle. The timing was great: his brother Caleb had just arrived home from college, and the two founded Press Waffle.
They first built up a following as a food truck business and then opened a permanent storefront. They now have four company-owned stores and are planning to open more, as well as expand across the country with franchises.
Their waffles are made by hand every day from a thick, rich dough (instead of batter) and pearl sugar imported from Belgium. It’s the pearl sugar that creates the signature crispy, caramelized crust. At Press Waffle, you can enjoy Liege waffles for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dessert—any time you want! Order your customized waffle and watch it be made in less than a minute.
You can order savory or sweet. Some standard savory waffle options are the Lumberjack (bacon, maple syrup, melted cheddar cheese) and the Monte Cristo (ham, turkey, cheese, blackberry jam). Sweet options include the Smore-like Happy Camper (cookie butter, chocolate syrup, toasted marshmallow) and the Elvis (peanut butter, banana, honey, bacon crumble). Or take a bare waffle and help yourself to the wide variety of toppings, including Nutella, chocolate, lemon curd, whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries and pecans.
Bryan and Caleb hope to teach America “A New Way to Waffle” with franchises dotting the landscape from one coast to the other. Quick-serve restaurants and all-day brunch or dessert eateries are increasing popular options for eating out or “grabbing and going.” People with a dream to be an entrepreneur can have their own business without the sometimes painful “trial and error” phase. Bryan and Caleb have already ironed out the kinks and will provide ongoing support throughout the family-like franchise relationship. Bryan, Caleb and their whole team are all highly invested, involved and committed to the success of all franchises.