Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Lunch Club at

Every Friday, me and a few colleagues take a trek to a new lunch spot for FRIDAY LUNCH CLUB: BAD NAME, GOOD LUNCH.

This week, I had a nasty case of Waffle Fever brought on by some very tasty waffle sampling at Taste of the Nation and some truly ogle-worthy waffle porn in the newest Williams Sonoma catalogue, so our destination was the FlavourSpot waffle cart, "home of the Dutch Taco, Portland's Original Waffle Sandwich." FlavourSpot has two locations, one on N. Lombard between N. Denver and Greeley, next to Videorama, and one on N. Mississippi at NE Fremont. We opted for the N. Lombard location because according to the online menu, they are the only location open weekdays for lunch, however, that is a big fat lie, one we didn't discover until JUST NOW when we read the hours on the Flavourspot homepage. Moving on.

Barreling down busy N. Lombard, we were almost on top of FlavourSpot before we spotted the unassuming olive green cart tucked into the far corner of the Videorama parking lot, one lone picnic table perched perpendicular to its tail end.

There was no one in line, which is good, since if we're late back from lunch our boss locks us in the windowless, airtight storage room (it used to be a vault) for the rest of the afternoon, where we're forced to survive on Diet Coke, staples, and outdated celebrity gossip magazines.

We scrutinized the well-weathered one page menu pinned to the side of the waffle window, trying to choose between a sweet waffle or a savory waffle, or trying to rationalize simply ordering both. There was a lot of waffling going on (so, so sorry), but finally everyone made some difficult decisions and we placed our order with the very serious waffle girl.

In no time, my (first) order was up, the Ham & Cheese--thick slices of smoky salty Black Forest ham wrapped around a slice of creamy melted Gouda cheese, all of which was cradled taco-style in a freshly-made, slightly crisped to golden perfection but still tender, 7-inches-in-diameter waffle. I think you can imagine my joy. I turned to Shellie to see if she wanted a bite of my ham and cheese waffle wonder, but she was clearly enjoying a private moment with her own Sausage & Maple waffle--plump pork sausage patties (vegetarian sausage available for $.50 more) and 100% pure organic maple spread.

Turns out I hadn't seen anything yet. "S'more!" shouted the very serious waffle girl, meaning that my Nutella with Mallow creme waffle was sitting in the window. My eyeballs went all Geico-googly when I saw the fluffy billow of stark white marshmallow creme nesting with a creamy slash of Nutella inside the prettiest golden-brown waffle you ever saw this side of Grandma's kitchen.

Not to be outdone, Shellie dashed to the waffle window to pick up her Fifth Avenue--peanut butter and Nutella, and Mette almost toppled the picnic table getting up to grab her Black Forest--Nutella and raspberry jam. Perhaps you're noticing that Flavourspot is a Nutella lover's wet dream?

We were starting to slow down. Waffles were laid on the table, deep breaths were taken, sharing was insisted upon, encouragement was given, tall icy cold glasses of milk were fantasized about.

In the end, we did pretty well. We surveyed our waffle carnage, gathered up our waffle remains and neatly packed them in their foil wrappings, and hurried back to the office, with round waffle-filled bellies and the smug certainty that even though we'd spent well over an an hour cramming waffle after glorious FlavourSpot waffle in our mouths and would now have to pay for our tardiness by spending the next three or so hours in the Vault trying to keep the mice at bay with a barricade of empty Diet Coke cans and rolled up March 2007 US Weekly's, we'd have snacks. Wonderful Nutella, Mallow creme, peanut butter, ham and cheese-smeared waffle snacks. Confinement just doesn't get any better than that.


FlavourSpot * N. Lombard between N. Denver & Greeley (corner of Videorama parking lot): M-F 6:30-3pm, Sat/Sun 8am-3pm, 503.289.YUMM(9866) and corner of Mississippi & NE Fremont: M-Sa 9am-dark, Sun. 9am-3pm, 503.282.YUMM(9866) *