On paper, a waffle-inspired food truck may not sound like it would have the most eclectic of options on its menu. Sure, everyone loves waffles, but what could one do to entice customers aside from the sweet standard fare? Well, for owners Robin Admana and Flo Gardner, there’s certainly plenty more to offer with their food truck Foolish Waffles, which serves “sweet and savory waffles,” but in a whimsical fashion.
Based in Philadelphia, Foolish Waffles has been in operation since 2014 and continues to be a unique source for those who want something more with their waffles. Located at Chestnut Hill during the city’s mild weather months, the waffle truck venture got started with a Kickstarter campaign when the duo of Admana and Gardner were able to raise $12,898. As of now, the two have only one truck in service.
The name Foolish Waffles itself has an interesting origin. Originally, the owners decided on the name “Frolic Waffles,” but soon retracted that due to it being similar to another waffle shop in upstate New York. According to co-owner Flo Gardner, the reasoning on settling on the name Foolish Waffles was because of wanting to “encourage people to to have a little fun while eating [their] waffles.” In addition, the crew tends to generally act foolish while on the job, creating a cheerful and fun atmosphere.
When it came to creating a new, inventive way to eat waffles, it all started when Robin Admana took a visit to Brussels and Amsterdam and sampled the areas’ take on the dish. Soon after, waffles were just never the same when she returned to the US, so Admana started with the idea of serving various “sweet waffles” that no one has ever had before. But that idea soon changed when it occurred to Admana that “no one can live off sweets alone.” That lead to to taking popular sandwich pairings and replacing the bread with waffles. It a simple merger of two worlds that elevates the delicious results to new, mouth salivating levels. Taking things one step further, speciality waffle irons had to be imported from the Belgium and the Netherlands to ensure that every customer can get the full experience behind what brought this food truck to life. These waffle irons are considered to be Admana and Gardner’s most prized possessions.
One of Foolish Waffles more popular menu items is the Pork Belly Bahn Mi Waffle, which dares to fuse waffles with the popular Vietnamese dish. A “Best of Philly” award winner, the delectable treat consists of coriander black pepper-glazed pork belly, pickled cabbage, jalapeños, cucumbers and a togarashi/sriracha sauce. For the vegetarians out there, a ToFu option is available, too.
Not to be overshadowed, though, the Fried Chicken & Waffles is also another go-to item that gets just as much attention because of its unique spin. Featuring buttermilk fried chicken with honey chili glaze, topped with cabbage slaw and pickled bourbon jalapeños all on a Brussels waffle, it’s no surprise why it’s up in demand. Whether it’s creating your own item or sampling a waffle combined with scrambled eggs and thick-cut bacon, there are savory choices aplenty.
Now, if savory choices aren’t on your mind, there are the plenty of delectable sweet selections as well, such as the Full Harvest (also on a Brussels waffle), which includes housemade apple butter, salted caramel, pumpkin crunchies and whip cream. Yet that might be hard to pick when there’s also the Strawberry Nutz, which is served on a Liege sugar waffle with Nutella, mascarpone whipped cream, and fresh strawberries.
Simply put, it’s readily apparent that customers will be getting a surprising, yet bonafide waffle concoction no matter what they choose. Which of course is made an even more daunting decision with their many seasonal specials.
Aside from varying waffle options and having an award-winning menu item to lay claim to, Foolish Waffles is also a double winner on the food truck scene in Philadelphia. At the 2015 Vendy Awards (Philadelphia’s annual mobile eateries celebration), Foolish Waffles became the first food truck to receive both the People’s Choice award and the highly-competitive Vendy Cup. In the media, Foolish Waffles has recently been featured on Food Network’s “Top 5 Restaurants Show” which will only grow the demanding popularity of Admana and Gardner’s project.
Overall, Foolish Waffles is an ambitious new spin on how to serve the fluffy, golden breakfast favorite with other well-known dishes. Between favorable options and an eccentric crew, this food truck is surely one not to miss while in the city of Brotherly Love.