We started the final day of our trip down Food Network’s Eat St memory lane with a spot of lunch at Piccadilly Circus. A steak and potato pasty seemed like just the trick to hit the spot. No, we weren’t in Westminster, but it sure felt like we were. We were at London Pasty Company, located at Cartlandia in Portland, Oregon.
As you know, Cartlandia is one of my favorite places to visit in Portland. If you haven’t read my previous raves about this pod, you’ve got some catching up to do. Not only is this place one of the largest food pods, it’s quite legendary despite its young age. This incredible food pod features indoor / outdoor dining, indoor / outdoor big screen TV’s, a beer garden, a bike shop, parking lot, and more than 30 amazing food carts.
Cartlandia could very well have its own zip code – I, for one, would be more than happy to receive my mail there.
Upon entering the parking lot, we were greeted by Jane – the owner of London Pasty Company. If you’ve ever been to London or anywhere in the UK, you’d automatically feel the butterflies of nostalgia in your tummy at first glance of this delicious little find. Inside and out, this kitchenette is truly reminiscent of London.
No grimacing allowed! While it’s long rumored that cooking isn’t one of England’s strong points, please join the 21st century, as many of the world’s most highly acclaimed chefs are working in kitchens in the UK just as I type. London Pasty Co takes great pride in making hand-crafted, fresh, wholesome, natural, and very authentic British Food, and it’s stunning.
Just like you’d expect, if you’ve ever been to the UK, Jane is one of the most friendly, warm and welcoming food cart operators I’ve met. Born and raised in the UK, she really brings a true British experience right to the heart of Portland at Cartlandia. We had such a great time chatting with Jane, while eating traditional steak and potato pasties, slow cooked corned beef pasties, and a mouth-watering spinach and garlic roll.
It was difficult saying goodbye to Jane – I was still chewing the spinach and garlic roll, and was afraid I had garlic between my teeth! Actually, we were due for our flight, and needed to return the rental car. Time was short, but I was willing to take a gamble, and possibly miss my flight home just to get a taste of a waffle from Woohoo Waffles.
Before we left Santa Barbara, CA – home of Stitches ‘n Dishes – on this trip down memory lane, Cartlandia polled its fans on its Facebook page. An overwhelming number of fans demanded that we visit Woohoo Waffles. Why, if you can get a burger as big as your head or some award winning BBQ at Cartlandia, would you want to try a waffle, of all things?
Woohoo Waffles is why.
Allow me to clarify… That’s Liège-style waffles with various gourmet toppings. What’s a Liège-style waffle? I couldn’t be more thrilled that you’ve asked. After all, the word somewhat resembles a bathroom faucet brand name, doesn’t it? That’s a beautiful faucet on your bathroom sink… Oh thank you, it’s a Liège.
Actually, Liège waffles are the most popular contemporary Belgian waffle variety, and I’m now convinced one of life’s greatest indulgences. Liège waffles are known for their distinctive and uncompromising ingredients – brioche-based dough and pearl sugar. Erica and Derrik Best, the mother/son owners of Woohoo Waffles make their waffles with authentic, imported Belgian pearl sugar.
The sweet aroma of the caramelized sugar wafting from the Woohoo truck was hypnotic. Any previous reluctance or doubt were cast aside like that Barbra Streisand CD I received from a Secret Santa at last year’s holiday party, and I quickly made my way to the order window.
Unfortunately, time was not on my side.
As much as I’d love to have had a Triple B waffle with brie cheese, premium bacon, and basil complimented with NW peach spread, or a Sweet Monkey Waffle made with Nutella, organic banana, caramel drizzle, pecans and whipped cream, or by far the most tempting, a Coffeehouse Waffle made with chocolate, espresso mocha ice cream, chocolate covered coffee beans and whipped cream, I’d be well on my way to the airport, before she finished making one.
In order to really grasp Derrik and Erica’s take on the Liège waffle, I decided to keep it simple. I ordered the Maple Waffle – 100% pure Vermont maple cream with whipped cream. And now I fully understand why their last name is Best – they make the BEST damn waffle I’ve ever eaten. These waffles are so soft in the center, they’re almost creamy, but the caramelized sugar brings out a crispy texture that tickles your tongue. It’s quite literally a sweet flavor explosion, that will leave you craving more for days after.