Waffle Awareness Day Strikes Bozeman
When we saw this event put on by Bozemangia, we had a serious dilemma to consider: Waffle Day (Bring-your-own-wine) in Bozeman or free Foo Fighters tickets in Missoula. So, of course we gave away the tickets and headed on over to Vera Fare Café. It was another half-overcast day in Bozeman when our trio arrived at “A Night of Waffles”, bottles of wine from Vino Per Tutti in hand, ready for the first of four scrumptious treats prepared at Vera Fare Café. The evening was broken down into the three main meals of the day (Savory waffles infused with garlic and parsley) and a sweet treat at the end (a sweet waffle cooked with a hint of orange zest), all of which are made free of gluten. While people were dreaming of the waffle wonders soon to come, the room began to fill up with the scent of first course.
As we sipped on our mimosas, the first waffle arrived on the scene. It was a twist on the country-style breakfast, which consisted of a savory waffle topped with scrambled eggs, smoked Gouda cheese, and topped with turkey sausage gravy. This semi-traditional preparation of a Belgian waffle (toppings with a sauce to finish) proved to work well for this course. Although the strong gravy flavor did not allow the taste of the waffle to shine though, the gravy made the waffle, and its toppings, stay together, making every bite of this breakfast an even mix of all the ingredients and flavors. After breakfast, we poured a light, crisp French wine (an Ugni Blanc from Domaine de Pouy) to accompany lunch, a savory waffle version of the classic BLT with the addition of an avocado aioli spread. This was the first time we got to experience the full taste of the savory waffle, and by-God, we couldn’t get enough. The freshness of this dish was a great contrast to the power of the gravy from the first course. The only problem was with the delicious avocado aioli; there wasn’t nearly enough of it on each waffle. We all wanted more. After a short break, a small pre-dinner-waffle salad, and opening a bottle of pinot noir, we were all warmed up. Topped with chicken, roasted red peppers, broccoli, cabbage, and peanuts, this Thai-influenced waffle was the perfect dinner to cap off the main courses. With a light sweet sauce and a good balance of fresh vegetables and grilled chicken, the dinner waffle took our best-in-show award.
Last, but not least, was the dessert waffle, topped with both chocolate and caramel sauces, maple tossed walnuts, strawberries, and a dollop of whipped cream. Even with all these wonderfully sweet ingredients, we found the waffle (this time cooked with orange zest in it) tasted extremely similar to those chocolate oranges that always show up around the Christmas season. Although one member of our trio didn’t care for it, another decided to have a second round. With stuffed bellies, and a little giddy from the wine, we left Vera Fare with a new appreciation for gluten-free food and the noble Waffle.
By Kyle Ellerbe and Tate Chamberlin