Waffles are so easy to prepare at home that ordering one in a restaurant should qualify as an event.
The savory waffle at the Birchwood Cafe (3311 E. 25th St., Mpls., birchwoodcafe.com) more than fits this description. Chef Marshall Paulsen changes the formula frequently for this served-all-day house specialty, but count on a tender waffle enriched with a pantry staple (millet, quinoa, sweet potato) and topped with seasonal vegetables, a compound butter, a crunchy nut, a fruit marmalade, ridiculously decadent chunks of thick-cut bacon and a sunny side-up egg ($14). There's even a gluten-free rendition.
Another attention-grabbing waffle is the liège. The buttery version ($4-$5) that Rachel Thompson sells out of her Tbsp. Waffles (tbspwaffles.com) stand at the Fulton Farmers Market (4901 Chowen Av. S., Mpls., neighborhoodrootsmn.org), Linden Hills Farmers Market (2813 W. 43rd St., Mpls., lindenhillsfarmersmarket.com) and Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market (629 NE. 2nd St., Mpls., northeastmarket.org) is one of the Twin Cities' tastiest street foods.
And at L'Etoile du Nord Cafe (320 5th Av. N., Bayport, (letoiledu- nordcafe.com), chef Olivier Vrambout revisits his Belgian childhood with spectacular results, serving his version of yeast-fueled waffles ($6-$9) with house-made Nutella and bananas, or the whipped cream to end all whipped creams.