That sliver of a Murray Avenue storefront that once housed Dozen cupcakes has been transformed into another dispensary of sweet treats. Now those with a taste for dessert any time of the day can grab a Belgian waffle at Waffalonia.
Belgian waffles are not made from a batter, but from leavened dough, and are thicker, lighter and chewier than American breakfast waffles. Waffalonia serves the Liège variety, in which pearl sugar is added, creating that distinct melted-sugar coating when cooked.
Eating a fresh-off-the-iron waffle is akin to eating a hot donut: crunchy, chewy, sweet and warm. The interior is light and fluffy, the exterior crisp and wrapped in a finely spun web of caramelized sugar. I recommend beginning with the "plain" Liège waffle ($3), to fully appreciate the confection's subtle balance of sweet, soft and crispy.
The venue has a train-station theme, and the advanced waffle options are listed on an old-fashioned departures board. Antwerp is topped with chocolate sauce and ice cream; Bruges, strawberries and whipped cream; and Charleroi boasts strawberries, bananas and Nutella. To visit all of Waffalonia, a $6 option allows for unlimited toppings. To wash it down, there are coffee, soda and Belgian-style hot chocolate.
Tiny Waffalonia has only 10 stools at three counters, and you'll need a seat if you order one of the indulgent waffles with melty toppings. The plain waffle comes wrapped in a piece of wax paper, and it's perfect for a grab-and-go.
1707 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412-521-4902