Waffle Iron returns with popup this weekend; Basil Leaf Cafe to start serving breakfast
If the Waffle Iron’s recent hiatus has left you in a waffle withdrawal, you’re in luck. Sam Donnell, owner and waffle wizard, has announced plans of a popup this weekend at the Basil Leaf Café, 616 W. Ninth St.
The Waffle Iron, which shares the space above John Brown’s Underground with the bar, closed temporarily in late June for kitchen renovations — a move that had been in the works long before The Waffle Iron moved in about three months ago. But Donnell says they’ve taken longer than expected (something about securing a building permit, he guesses), and with no solid reopening date in sight, he’s “aching to make waffles” again.
For Sunday’s popup (that’s from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., no reservations necessary), Donnell says he’s planning a menu of “classic Waffle Iron” selections.
“Nothing too crazy,” he promises. “It’ll be a chance for everybody to reconnect and get some damn waffles.”
The Hank Benedict (also known as the Waffle Benedict) and Donnell’s popular brown sugar maple bacon waffle are pretty much guaranteed, but much of the “summertime” menu will depend on what’s available at the Lawrence Farmers Market, Donnell says.
Right now, he’s looking forward to seeing if pal Brad Walters' space “has enough juice to handle my iron.” Yes, he really did say that.
Donnell, who says he’s still using The Waffle Iron for private events, is tentatively partnering up with Walters again for a chicken-and-waffles night at the Basil Leaf sometime down the road. According to the Basil Leaf Cafe's Facebook page, it's looking like Aug. 30, though Donnell himself didn't give out a date.
Also on the radar: a possible taco-waffle mashup event inspired by Southern California-style taquerías. Donnell’s been developing a recipe for a cornmeal-based waffle over the last few months that he says pairs nicely with Latin flavors and withstands the weight of “a big pile of carnitas on top of it.”
No word yet on when we can eat carnitas out of a waffle, but I’ll certainly keep you updated.
Breakfast at Basil Leaf
In other Basil Leaf Café news, owner/chef Brad Walters has confirmed plans of a future breakfast menu at the Italian eatery.
It’s something Walters used to offer at the Basil Leaf’s original location (a Phillips 66 gas station along Sixth Street) and has been toying with for a while since opening up at 616 W. Ninth St. in 2013.
Walters says he’s hoping to capitalize on Lawrence’s love of breakfast spots, which despite their prevalence here, often still result in overflow on weekend mornings.
“I think we can pull some of that crowd and bring something unique to the scene that you’re not going to see anywhere else,” Walters says.
He’s still tweaking the roster now, which he says will probably debut next week, but was able to offer a few tantalizing tidbits — namely, French toast made with cinnamon rolls soaked in caramel-apple brandy.
Also, expect biscuits and gravy, plus a “wide variety” of omelets and a few daily specials. There will also be self-serve stations for coffee, juice and milk.
Walters says he isn't sure about the breakfast menu's official debut. He did confirm breakfast hours, though, at least tentatively: 7 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.