I never really cared for waffles or pancakes growing up. I would eat them when my mother made them, but never really liked them. I was a French toast kind of girl. And just so you know, it was not my mother’s cooking. It was totally me. The turning point for me with pancakes was around five years ago when I had the Four Seasons’ Lemon-Ricotta Poppyseed Pancakes from The New American Cooking by Joan Nathan. I was already starting to come around, but this recipe got me there fast. With waffles, it took a bit longer.
It all happened a couple of years ago when I went to Le Pain Quotidien. My sister ordered their sugar pearl waffles. One bite was all it took. Oh my gosh! They were the most delicious thing ever! (Maybe not the most delicious thing ever, but at that moment, it felt as if that were true.) They served the waffles with fresh berries and that is all they needed. No powdered sugar and butter (my go to for waffles growing up), honey, syrup, molasses, or agave nectar…they were perfect just as they were. That shows you that something is made well – if it does not need anything else to make it delicious.
Started in Brussels, Le Pain Quotidien is committed to slow food, organic ingredients, and communal eating. In their own words, “Good food tastes even better in good company.” Oh so true. For a chain restaurant, they want to encourage you to linger, to enjoy conversation, to connect over good food. So refreshing. The founder of Le Pain Quotidien focuses on the artistry behind food in a very comforting and authentic way. I feel as if I am eating at a farmer’s table (a really impressive farmer’s table). The portions are light to be sure (unless you get the lentil salad), but good, and are focused on the integrity of the ingredients used. It is an inspiring, comforting, and delicious place to eat. Born as a bakery with a communal table, Le Pain Quotidien translates as “the daily bread”. Starting with tartines, a couple of salads, and a few pastries, they have grown incredibly. And the newest addition, their own cookbook, so that you may share “simple, wholesome, and sustainable food” with friends and family around your own table.
Tempted to try sugar pearl waffles? Well, you can either make a visit to a Le Pain Quotidien location or you can make your own using Lars Sugar Pearls (there is a recipe on back for making waffles). I would recommend both!