Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Waffles a Welcomed Addition

Waffles, the new brunch spot at 1400 S. Michigan, appears to have established itself as a solid brunch spot in the Sloop. It seems like every weekend morning, the place is packed with folks waiting outside to get a seat.

To avoid the crowds, we finally had a free Friday morning recently and decided to try out the spot. We had no problems getting a seat (however, it did get busier as our meal went on). We've talked about the look of the restaurant in previous posts, so this time we're going to focus on the food.

It probably goes without saying that when you go to Waffles, you probably want to opt for the waffles (duh!). So that's what we did. Intrigued by the Green Tea (which is described as green tea waffle with a lemon ginger Chantilly cream topped with ground pistachio, powdered sugar and candied ginger). Sounded lovely and was pretty tasty as well.

Also ordered was the Brussels Waffle (which was more of your traditional type of waffle), eggs and bacon. Again, the food was solid. Generally speaking, both of us would go back without question. The only minor complaints from us was that the staff wasn't really stopping by that much to fill up coffee, bring our check, etc. In their defense, we were having a solid conversation and maybe they didn't think they should interrupt, but regardless, the server could have been more attentive. Not a huge problem, but something noticed by both of us.

Laura Bianci from chicagobusiness.com also recently stopped by Waffles and really enjoyed the food:

It's a mystery to me that Waffles could put so much thought and effort into its menu and so little into customer comfort.

The wood furniture and benches without backs, seating 105, invite us to eat and run, while the stark-naked d├ęcor is so frigid it makes fast-food chains look cozy; so why is this place so packed on weekends?

No doubt it's the menu, a brief and imaginative document that's well-executed.
We agree that the menu is solid, but don't agree with the assessment of the decor. While it's simple, it's a bright, contemporary feel if you ask us. Regardless, the food is the star and that's probably more important than any other thing.

(Hat tip: ND!)


Definingtabitha said...

I wish I had the same experience. Sadly I didn't and was underwhelmed by the food. The service was horrible and in the end after waiting 45 minutes for breakfast they gave me the wrong order.

Sadly I won't be trying it again any time soon.

Anonymous said...

went 2 weeks ago on a windy sunday. I was not happy with waiting 45 min to get a table, but thought the food was worth the wait. Ordered the chicken and waffles and enjoyed it very much. Will def be back

Vanessa said...

I went there almost 2 weeks ago and we had the worst experience ever! Server didn't know the menu and never brought water like she said she would. Once she took our order, she never came back. We got our 1st cup of coffee and soda, but then no refils.
The server was busy, but she had a managaer helping her and when they looked around the room, it was as if our table was invisible. We sat with our empty plates of food (which was not good at all)for 20 minutes and had to flag down a host to get our bill.
When we got the bill, the price of the omelet was $1.00 more than the menu. We checked the menu and they all were the lower price. When we asked about it when paying, they told us the computer said the higher price and that is the way it is. It's only $1.00, but after the bad food and service it was the icing on the cake.
I sent an email to the GM, and he said I would hear back from him last Wednesday, and still no answer. They just don't seem to actually care about customer service. It seems more like making money.

Jack said...

We went a few weeks back and really enjoyed the Waffles Benedict and the Waffles that had caramelized sugar in them with nutella and bananas on top. Since then we have talked each weekend since about going back and trying more! We tried the flight of hot chocolates which while good probably was a one time thing and perhaps not worth the money.

Overall a solid addition to the Sloop that we recommend to our friends

Anonymous said...

I went there a few Saturdays ago...food is outstanding but Vanessa is right the service flat out sucks..

We had to flag waitress down for everything, our refils, when we were ready to order, and then they forgot to bring our little side dishes out and we had to ask the hostess cuz our server disappeared. Too bad because I thought the food was outstanding. Its too small of a place for servers to get overwhelmed, just my humble opionion


Anonymous said...

Gave it a shot 3 times since its in my building. The service is awful. The food is pretty good but the serving size is tiny for the price. This place unfortunately is too much like bongo room in that they care more about how the food is presented than it being filling. Yolk is still by far the best breakfast option we have.

Jon said...

I had been really looking forward to experiencing Waffles since their sign went up, and managed to stop in sometime in early October with a couple of friends. We got there kinda early so there was virtually no wait, but they did fill up as we ate as well.

I had too had the Green Tea Waffles and my friend had the Red Velvet which we both got with a side of eggs and bacon. While the other had the Filet and Waffle Benedict.

The food was fairly good, tasty in fact, however I will agree with others that service might need some improvement. Typically when I go to a restaurant I order and I get everything I want and just dig in and never have to see the server again until it is time to get the bill, however my friend waited for quite a while on items such as refills on water and a bottle of ketchup.

The furniture could be more comfortable, but the decor is meager but smart - I can't fault them much on that.

Personally, I think my only qualm is the price. Taste only goes so far; for the portions the cost of meals can quickly climb up if you looking for a good "brunch" spot, considering all the a la carte items. IMHO Yolk is the place the beat in the South Loop (now if we could only get them to have longer hours of operation)!

Anonymous said...

Servings are too small, and for what you get the price is too high.

I rank it #3 behind Yolk and Bongo Room for breakfast spots in the area.

Anonymous said...

The serving sizes are perfect, this is partially the reason why Americans are typically overweight compared to other nations natives. But yes the service is awful.

Josh said...

Waffles: B
Referring to people from other countries as "natives": Solid A+. That's comedy gold.

Anonymous said...

Vanessa, just curious. Do you want them to send you $1.00 in the mail? If so, don't forget the tax and tip imact of the $1.00. Perhaps ask them for $1.00 + a dime for the tax on that $1.00 and 3 nickels for the tip on that $1.00. It sounds like they may owe you$1.25 "all-up".

Invest that money wisely and in 3 decades you may be able to use it to get a tall Latte down at Starbucks.

They may snicker at this now but just wait and in 30 years when you are having your latte and they aren't things will be different.

Anonymous said...

Serving size is fine, just needs to be $1-2 cheaper per item (DURING THE WEEK AT LEAST). I have not been on a weekend yet, but during the week service is fantastic (decent crowd, but nothing like what I see driving by on the weekends).

Anonymous said...

Decent food (at best). However, the service is horrifyingly terrible. Should have known not to even bother when we were treated to eye-rolling from the hostess when we asked for a high chair and space to park our newborn's stroller. I will not be back. Once again, the utter lack of any viable competition in this ghost-town neighborhood will allow this place to keep treating patrons like dirt. So sad.

CarmenRH said...

I have been to Waffles a few times and never had bad service. I really like the savory options and appreciated the smaller portions that seemed of higher quality. My husband didn't care for the Green Tea waffles. Overall, we think it's a nice addition to brunch options in the area. I wish them the best of luck!

Anonymous said...

If only Yolk delivered

Vic said...

anon @ 9:04

do us all a favor and move up to a stuffy apt in roscoe village and feed your children strained peas in your kitchen like the rest of humanity.

When they grow up and you have stopped bitching like a little girl, then you can come to waffles.

Stop crying an grow a pair, pal.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:04am - Plenty of options.. Yolk, Eleven City Diner, Zapatista (weekends for brunch), Little Branch, Bongo Room (weekends), Cafe Society, Scout (weekends) & White Palace Grill (which is actually pretty good). We need an option south of 18th (Lexington Park Condos or Motor Row).

scottyboysloop said...

Wow, I've been to Waffles four times(once on a Sunday and the other there times during the week) and NEVER have I had bad service. I agree the price is a tad high, but I think overall, it's a great addition to our area!

Anonymous said...

slightly off topic but talking about getting new businesses to fill our empty store fronts...Chipotle please!?!?

Anonymous said...

> Food was good
> Feel of Place

Opportunities or issues:
> portion size of waffle for almost $10. A bit much for one medium size waffle
> size of place
> service was average

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me Vic??

What an utterly disappointing response.

Telling a patron to "sit in a stuffy apartment and feed his/her kids strained peas"?

Rather than criticizing the trixie hostess who sounds like she need a serious attitude adjustment, you rip apart the customer for asking for a high-chair at an eggs and waffles restaurant?

Get a grip, and a reality check, Vic!

Trust me, if all the families in this neighborhood "picked up and moved to Roscoe Village" as you suggest, there would be NOTHING left in this hood besides the fried chicken buffet at Jewel.

TraderVic said...

actually if all the people like YOU that bitch and complain at every little thing or that your downtown neighborhood is not "stroller accessible" would actually leave we would have one hell of a bussling hood.

Shame on you for raising a child in this environment anyway with all the city pollution, crime, safety concerns. SHAME ON YOU for being a bad parent. I have lived 18th and mich for some time now and notcie crazy irresponsible parenting like yours and it fills me with rage

Get out of the city, you dont belong here.

Anonymous said...

TVic - The LOOP I agree with you, but not the South Loop. This is really a unique area (in all of the US, not just Chicago) in that you get the city at your finger tips, the Lakefront, Museums, lofts, high-rises, single-family, Soldier Field, easy access to EVERY highway,(gasp) big box retail right down the street, but not in our face, yet being VERY FAMILY FRIENDLY. SL is always going to have a neighborhood feel. It is going to be a COMBO of River North (hotels, entertainment: future *Music Row*) and Lincoln Park (neighborhood feel with restaurants spread out).

Anonymous said...

Wow, this turned nasty pretty quick. Thought we were supposed to be talking about Waffles?

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's going to be one lucky lady who ends up starting a family with Vic (insert sarcastic sigh here).

All things considered, I tend to agree with the overall tone of the reviews here: the food is "different, but tasty," the prices are too steep, and the service is bad. I especially agree with the "trixie" label given to the hostess. That may fly in Lincoln Park, but not here.

BRENDAN said...

I think its pretty unfair and borderline tasteless to coin someone a "trixie" ( girl who hails from lincoln park chasing after a sugardaddy) whom you have never met before. To me you're no better than this Vic person who is spewing his own garbage. Learn from your own mistakes.

To say things like "oh well this isnt lincoln park" is beyond ignorant. I personally do not like LP because of the traffic/crowds but its happens to be one of this cities most successfull and vibrant areas.

Anonymous said...

Guys like Vic, who tell others to "grow a pair" on a message board, are most likely the type of guy who hangs with trixies.

Hey Bud, this is an "eggs and waffles" joint, not a fancy dinner place. Hence, it should be catering to young families, not greeting them with eye-rolling attitude.

The last place I went to which greeted me with attitude about my kid was entourage man, how did that place go over?

Anonymous said...

Now I'm not saying Vic is totally right, but I've been to Waffles on the weekends and it gets crazy packed. So if I had a kid and a stroller i would probably go somewhere else for breakfast that wasnt so cramped for room.

Anonymous said...

whats funny is I've noticed a trend with alot of northside brunch spots that don't allow kids. Maybe thats why she came to the south loop.

JF said...

Waffles is great. I have been there numerous times with my child and they more than accomdated our family. I have also had a private party for one of the bears games and not only did they customize the menu for us the owner Alex made sure everyone could park. Mind you this was a home bears game. That was good customer service
There is also carry out, and delivery i think. We do carryout a lot when our little one is not cooperating.
This place has all the pieces to succeed as sloopy points out in the article it just needs time. They have been open for like 3 months. it's not like we are talking about acapella

Anonymous said...

The hostess lady usually at the register has been beyond rude and indifferent to everything going on each time we've been to Waffles. Small portions and slow service is one thing, but you would thing the person collecting the money would be nice. Really disappointed with this place.

Anonymous said...

Went for first time yesterday morning. Food was OK. Both the hostess and our waitress seemed "bothered" by our existence. Very odd. Very rude. Bad enough for us to decide to stick with Stax Cafe on Taylor as our "go to" breakfast spot, even though we live 1/2-block from Waffles.