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For the student on the go, food trucks are quite possibly one of the most beautiful things to ever grace the city’s streets. Food trucks can vary in size and food offering, but each attracts its supplicants with rich smells, loud music, and colorful side boards. Every time a new one appears on Broadway, students flock to its sides, investigating its contents. One of my favorites is here on 113th and Broadway on Mondays, and that is Wafels and Dinges.
What’s a dinge, you ask? To be honest, I really have no idea. The Belgian waffle food truck company, however, seems to take great delight in recognizing that I, amongst many others, squint in confusion at the word. No matter what a “dinge” is supposed to mean, it effectively translates into a wide assortment of glorious toppings that can grace the surface of your liege waffle. Wafels and Dinges has expanded since its founding in 2007; every day, several trucks and carts parked throughout the city fulfill the waffle needs of New Yorkers! The company was rated the number one food truck in the city by Zagat in 2010, and for good reason.
The waffles are crispy and crunchy on the outside, giving them the perfect texture that leads so many people to proclaim the waffle’s victory over the smoothness of the pancake. On the inside, the waffle is a peculiar mixture of chewy and fluffy (read: you’ll be really full after eating this waffle). The variety of dinges allow for customer creativity. The first dinge is free, the second is $1, and for $2 you receive unlimited dinges (or as the menu says, a WMD: Waffle of Massive Deliciousness). You can choose the waffle combination that beat out Bobbly Flay’s version, or craft your own from the myriad of toppings including ice cream, Belgian chocolate fudge, walnuts, strawberries, bananas, nutella**, maple syrup, dulce de leche, whipped cream, and/or spekuloos spread. Spekuloos spread is a delicious gift of flavor and texture.*
I know. I’m hungry now, too, even though I literally just had two of these waffles in the last few days. Wafels now has a new permanent location in Verdi Square on 72nd and Broadway, a quick ride on the 1 train or a pleasant walk from campus. My favorite Wafeleur companion, Garin, hailing from de olde colonial lands of Virginia, visited just to get some of these waffles (might be a slight exaggeration). He and I made our way to the heavenly smelling truck on Sunday.
Then, a few days later, my dad was in town and while we were at dinner, I told him I had recently gone to Wafels and Dinges. My dad casually asked, “Oh, did you want to go again tomorrow?” And I replied, “We could actually go tonight, I think the cart’s there til 10pm.” A few minutes later, we were in a cab heading to 72nd. Our mecca to Wafels was well-received by the waffle-maker who boisterously welcomed us into the world of heavenly dinges and even took a photo with us.
Overall, Wafels and Dinges is just a fun, delightful fika option. The truck’s design and its packaging are bright and entertaining. Take time to read all the funny little placques on the truck and look for all of the text (especially the fine print!) on your waffle box, spekuloos cookie, and coffee cup. Wafels and Dinges clearly makes a point of finding amusement and joy in its own work, sharing the waffle love and laughter with its customers. This continues even onto the truck’s Facebook page. Daily updates let you know what the secret code is that will let you get a free dinge (some recent ones have included: acting like a flying squirrel, telling a joke to your Wafeleur/Wafelette, or pretend you’re smoking from a corn cob pipe). The coffee is pretty good actually, a lot better than what I’d expect from most food trucks (plus you get a free cookie!). My personal favorite combination, in case you were wondering, is a liege waffle with spekuloos spread, whipped cream, walnuts, and strawberries. Yum.
You can find the location of various trucks by clicking “Find Us” on the company’s website, checking their Facebook, or following them on Twitter. Scroll down to see my gallery (sorry, cell phone pics) of my waffle journey!
*I did some research, and here’s what I found: Speculoos is made from caramelized gingerbread cookie which was traditionally baked for consumption on St. Nicholas day in Belgium.
**While finding gifs for my post, I also discovered that there’s apparently a really intense internet love for nutella (one, two, three, four, five)…which honestly is unsurprising considering the recent outpouring of commentary about how much nutella Columbia students alone reportedly consume. (Nutellagate?) So, my fellow students, if the nutella pangs are just too much for you…hit up 113th on Mondays, and just literally pour a whole jar of it onto a waffle.
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