Batter Up on Liberty
The Wafel Shop on the other side of Fourth Avenue also specializes in batter-based confections, but the decor is plainer and the array of toppings simpler. The cheery counter staff offers a choice in preparation (actually different batters) between sweet and heavy Liege style or crispy and more familiar Brussels waffles (or, as they say in Belgium, wafels). Each costs $5 ($2 more for gluten-free), and basic toppings--butter, syrup, powdered sugar, or a light dusting of chocolate shavings--are free.
The Wafel Shop's combos top out where What Crepe's begin, reflecting simpler topping options--no steak or salmon here, but there's plenty of bacon, a reportedly popular topping. Order a la carte, and a buck or two will get you any of five kinds of fruit (the blueberries and raspberries we sampled were fine and fresh) and a half-dozen sauces and spreads. Almost all--Michigan maple syrup, chocolate sauce, whipped cream--are familiar, but you may want to ask for a sample of the dense and unusual cookie-crumb-based Biscoff before springing for it.
Three kinds of nuts and bacon were as close as they got to savory toppings on our first visits, but the counter folks promised more to come, including perhaps a Mexican waffle, if you can imagine. Sure enough, whipped goat cheese, cheddar, and arugula made their debut as the Observer was going to press. Ice cream is promised for the summer months as well.