UC Berkeley students are pretty lucky because they are only a few blocks away from Little Gem Belgian Waffles. I heard about this place when it opened up last November for a soft opening, but only recently paid a visit. I took a friend with me who I consider my “Belgian Waffle” expert because she has spent time in Belgium. The type of waffle that Little Gem makes is from the City of Liege. The Liege waffle is unique because it uses a brioche-based dough and pearl sugar. The young owners learned to make the Liege waffles right outside of Brussels.
Together my friend and I ended up eating six waffles, but we ordered them two at a time so we could enjoy them while they were fresh out of the waffle iron. My friend was adamant about ordering the LG Signature Belgian Liege Waffle, which is the plain one. I agreed because with this waffle, you could really examine the taste and consistency. We also had the Nutella waffle that was topped with the hazelnut spread. I wanted the latter waffle with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but they ran out so I got a scoop of strawberry ice cream on the side. Little Gem carries Three Twins and Strauss ice cream which are local ice creams and some of my favorites.
Our second set of waffles were the TCHO organic milk chocolate and the Churroffles. TCHO is a Berkeley based award winning chocolate maker. The Churroffles, a mashup of a churro and a waffle, is their #1 best seller. After the waffle is cooked, it is drowned in cinnamon sugar.
We went savory for our last set of waffles. We ordered the bacon with organic maple glaze and the garlic cheese. The flavors were good, but they were my least favorite. The bacon bits tasted a little faux and I didn’t like how the cheese didn’t melt.
My Belgian waffle expert thought they were the best Liege waffles she has had outside Belgium. I agreed that the waffles were great. They had a nice glaze on the surface and the texture was crispy on the outside with a chewy center. It’s a matter of preference as far as toppings. I prefer the simple signature waffle. Once strawberries are in season, I would definitely order the signature waffle with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some strawberries on top to create a wonderful dessert.