By: Kayla Merriweather and Mia Colloredo-Mansfeld
On a cool Monday morning while many slept in due to the teacher workday, Mia, Kayla, and special guest Zoe (Mia’s sister) began a quest to find the perfect waffle. Here are their chronicles:
The Egg & I (3 ½ stars):
The Egg & I was the first place we went. Upon arrival, we were promptly seated, but it took about five to seven minutes to receive the “Belgian Waffle Eggspress” (a waffle sprinkled with powdered sugar with butter to the side as well as two scrambled eggs and bacon, and denoted as one of their “Favorites”). There were only about three other parties in the restaurant, so it makes one wonder how long it would take to get food if it was busy. Once the food arrived, we dug in. It was about 9:30 A.M., so the waffle tasted pretty good because of our mutual hunger. Our initial reviews were that the waffle was very light, soft, and airy. Yet after venturing to all our waffle destinations, the waffles we liked the best are slightly crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside. The waffle from The Egg & I was a little too soft, so it earns three and a half stars.
Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe (4½ stars)
This Franklin Street classic did not let us down. We were seated at the counter, giving us the treat of seeing our food cooked before us. We ordered a waffle with cinnamon apples, an egg, and bacon (the “Waffle Combo”). As this was not a Belgian Waffle, it was thinner than the others we sampled, but still managed to be crispy and light. Topping the waffle were warm cinnamon apples, not overpoweringly sweet, but sweet and gooey enough to act as an alternative to syrup. Another pro was the quick service. It was pretty crowded for a Monday but we were seated, served, and had paid in under 15 minutes, so if you are looking for a quick, but good, bite of breakfast, the Waffle Shoppe is definitely a good option.
Breadmen’s (5 stars)
By the time we reached Breadmen’s we were getting full, but the quality of the Belgian Waffle we ordered ensured we finished every bite. We chose to garnish our waffle with chocolate chips, however there were other options such as fresh strawberries or pecans. The waffle itself was cooked to perfection. The outside was nicely crisped, with a light, fluffy inside. From the first bite, we were convinced of this waffle’s true beauty. The ambiance of Breadmen’s was also another positive. The atmosphere was very cozy and warm, enhancing our waffle-eating experience even further.
Elmo’s Diner (3 ½ stars)
By the time we rolled around to Elmo’s our stomachs were nearing full capacity, but we pressed on for the sake of ECHO. Once we arrived at the diner, we were seated promptly. Our waiter had a curious assortment of pens, but was very pleasant and helpful. We ordered the warm blueberry compote (whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup) topping the waffle with whipped cream. The food took about five minutes to arrive. The dish was pretty heavy on the whipped cream, but the blueberries were fresh and sweet. The waffle itself was not very firm, and the blueberries did not help with the mushiness. The waffle didn’t have the crispy-yet-soft feel we were looking for, so Elmo’s earns 3 and ½ stars.
All in all, Chapel Hill and Carrboro are both filled with various places to indulge in delicious waffles. While Elmo’s Diner and The Egg & I were decent, we highly recommend either Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe and Breadmen’s for waffle cravings.