By the time I reached The Waffle Window, I had been dreaming of biting into a crisp, warm waffle with crunchy bits of pearl sugar for weeks. More than sipping a Stumptown mocha in an artsy hotel lobby, this is what I was most looking forward to doing in Portland. And, despite the build-up, both options I sampled—a savory spicy bacon cheddar jalapeno, and a sweet, seasonal waffle—exceeded my expectations.
The only downside to visiting The Waffle Window is making the (sometimes agonizing) decision about what to order. There are waffles topped with cream cheese pudding and fruit, drizzled with Guittard bittersweet chocolate and peanut butter, and served in sundae or ice cream sandwich form, to name just a few options. Following my instincts to go with whatever is seasonal, I went with a special: the Rose City ($4.50).
Juicy local strawberries are piled on a Liege-style sugar waffle, with rhubarb sauce and two creamy toppings: rose cream and whipped cream. The whipped cream has only a touch of sugar, while the rose cream is more aggressively sweetened. It has the texture of a mousse: light, and studded with air bubbles, but not much of a flowery flavor. I liked the interplay between the crunchy waffles and the soft, creamy toppings, but you might want to scootch the rose cream off the waffle and do a little portion control so the sweetness of it doesn't overpower the tart rhubarb sauce. If I could go back right now (and I would, probably for the next five days in a row), I'd ask for a little extra on the side.