PSA for all brunch lovers: A new Short North restaurant will bring a fresh take on authentic Belgian waffles to Columbus in early 2018.
The idea behind The Belgian Iron Wafel Co. came to life when co-owners Aimee and Brandon Harper had a taste of the liege-style waffle at a local restaurant out west. From that moment on, they knew they had to bring the idea to Columbus.
“It was immediately noticeable that this was something unique,” Brandon Harper said as he reminisced on his first impressions of the breakfast pastry.
Created with a thick batter with Belgian pearl sugar folded into the dough, the liege waffle is known for its uneven edges, flaky, caramelized texture and sweet taste.
Of all things, the uneven edges drew the Harpers’ closer to the dessert. The Harpers said they enjoyed their traditional experience, even opting for the traditional Dutch spelling of ‘wafel,’ but also wanted to do more.
Belgian Iron Wafel Co. will start with several dough choices including vanilla and cinnamon, as well as gluten-free options.
Beyond that, chef Thomas Brown will be adding his own toppings such as basil bacon brie, lobster with white wine sauce, s’mores and berries.
The couple believed the nontraditional topping combinations could improve upon the already delectable brunch item.
Although the options may seem limited, Aimee Harper said the list isn’t the end-all, be-all of their creative waffles.
“Every month or so, we will have rotating waffle toppings to correspond with the seasons, holidays or just because,” she said.
However, Brandon Harper said most of the topping changes will be based on the suggestions of staff and customers –– stressing the importance of communication in the restaurant business.
“We would like to have an open restaurant where customers are free to talk to members of the cooking staff,” he said.
Beyond the menu’s diversity, both Brandon and Aimee said they’re building their business with an emphasis on atmosphere. The first step was to find the perfect location, which happened to be in the heart of Columbus’ Short North.
“We have always appreciated [the] Short North’s focus on creativity and art,” Aimee Harper said. “From the beginning, we knew Short North was the area where the concept would thrive. We have the opportunity to create recipes of our own through the art of food.”
She and her husband said they wanted to add to the Short North’s historic architecture with their restaurant, located at 19 W. Russell St.
Built in the 1800s, the building offers a modern, yet rustic vibe. The inside features iron workings and real wood floors, with every decision working toward the specific atmospheric goal.
Belgian Iron Wafel Co. will also feature convenient, on-the-go options, along with an online ordering option for customers who are in a rush.
For those looking for something outside the “foodie” experience, The Belgian Iron Wafel Co. will also feature an espresso bar with roasts by local coffee shop Mission Coffee Co.
“We want to create an experience for our customers,” Aimee Harper said. “From the moment you walk into the restaurant, you are in an upbeat, fun atmosphere. Maybe you’re feeling adventurous and try the waffle flight for a more “foodie” experience. Or you’re a coffee kind of person and want to experience the different Mission Coffee roasts we have. Either way, we want everyone to leave with a positive experience.”