Summer is right around the corner, and it is already building up to be a busy one, primarily because Wendi’s birthday is in June, and we went crazy this year. We did a lot of fun things (which you can read about here and here and here and here). One place we ended up was Wally Waffle in Akron. Little did we know we would arrive during some kind of Summit County stage festival, which meant we could not park by the restaurant. Instead, we had to go find a place to park on some side street.
We thought maybe our Saturday would be a two-for-one, show up for Wally Waffle and stay for the festival, but we decided it was too hot, and we were going home. That’s OK, because we had a really good time at Wally Waffle.
There are a lot of fun things on the menu, like the Southern Sprawl, a country fried steak topped with sausage gravy, two eggs, toast and Wally fries (shredded hash browns) or grits (not sure if they are homemade or instant). There’s the What in the Waffle?, which is a Belgian waffle with bacon inside topped with sausage gravy and two sunny side up eggs. Wendi settled on a Frenchie Sandwich, a two-egg omelet with bacon (she could have ordered sausage) and American cheese sandwiched between two pieces of French toast with Wally fries.
I came so close to getting the Southern Sprawl, but ultimately decided against it. I would have given Wendi the two eggs that came with it because I do not eat eggs. It is frustrating that most breakfast menus are built entirely around eggs. I am glad Wally Waffle had other options. I told Wendi I would love to open a breakfast restaurant that didn’t serve eggs, to which she replied, “Who would come?” I guess just me. I was tempted to get the Chicken N’ Waffle, but it came with chicken wings. I didn’t want a bone-in chicken with my waffle. There was the Elvis, a Belgian waffle with peanut butter and bacon cooked inside, topped with bananas, honey and whipped cream. The Funnel Cake waffle sounded good. It was dipped in pancake batter and deep fried. I wasn’t up for pancakes. A woman across from us had the Chicken Waffle Sandwich, which was chicken tenders wrapped in a Belgian waffle topped with sausage gravy. It included a side of Wally fries. I decided to go with this. I was already informed by Wendi that we were not going to place called Wally Waffle and getting a burger.
I also noticed on the menu Wally Waffle served “Country Ham.” I have not eaten true, Southern country ham since we took a trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. We stopped in a McDonald’s that served a country ham biscuit. So, I was excited to see country ham on the menu, but a little disappointed when it was a typical ham steak and not the cured, salty country ham. (This ham was very tasty and it did not disappoint, but it wasn’t what I call country ham.)
As for the Frenchie Sandwich, Wendi liked the concept, but she ended up deconstructing it. So, she ultimately ended up with an omelet, French toast and Wally Fries. However, she put syrup over everything and loved it. (Well, she did put ketchup on the Wally Fries, as you can see below.)
Interestingly enough, I ended up doing the same thing. When the Chicken Waffle Sandwich came out, I added some hot sauce to it. I regret making the decision because when I deconstructed my sandwich, I had hot sauce on a waffle and really didn’t want to cover that portion of it with syrup. However, the other half of the waffle I did, and let me tell you, a waffle covered with sausage gravy topped with syrup at Wally Waffle is pretty good.
The chicken tenders had a nice flavor, and the hash browns were cooked to perfection. Nice, crisp exterior with a creamy inside. Those Wally fries were incredible. I expected the waffle to be much crisper, so when Wendi and I had a chance to talk with Josh, the owner, I asked about the waffle. He said the Belgian waffles are indeed crisper, however, because the chicken is folded into the waffle to create a sandwich, the waffle batter is mixed with a little pancake batter. This makes for a softer waffle that is easy to fold.
We really enjoyed talking with Josh (he was kind enough to show me the kitchen, which you can see in the slideshow below) and learning about the history of the restaurant. He owns the one in Akron, and his brother owns another one in Tallmadge. The original restaurant was owned by his grandfather, and then his father took it over. Josh and Justin grew up in the restaurant business, and eventually bought the establishment. Having been a cook and assistant chef (first cook), I liked the Wally Waffle menu. I like the concept. I encouraged Josh to look into creating a franchise. I think it has that kind of potential.
If you try it, let us know what you think.