If You Go
• Hello Waffle Drive-Thru, 3151 N.E. Second Ave., Camas. Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. www.facebook.com/hellowafflecart
Arika White has had her eye on a spot where she could open a drive-thru version of Hello Waffle, a favorite regular at the Camas Farmers Market.
That spot is near the corner of Northeast Third Avenue and Northeast Second Avenue in between Camas and Washougal.
She picked it “because I have been doing the Camas Farmers Market for three years and they are my most loyal customers, the most enthusiastic about what I am doing.”
The drive-thru menu features savory waffles, sweet waffles and waffle sandwiches. Many of the old favorites like pumpkin cheesecake, caramel apple, and caprese (topped with pesto aioli, fresh arugula, tomato, fresh mozzarella, and balsamic drizzle) are still on the seasonally rotated menu; in addition to, vegan and gluten-free options. Vegan/gluten-free waffles are made with Kember’s mix on a dedicated gluten-free waffle maker to avoid contamination.
The drive-thru serves drip coffee and espresso drinks featuring Paper Tiger coffee. Arika purchased the same espresso machine as the one used at Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters coffee shop. In addition, Kenny Fletcher (of Paper Tiger) spent a day showing her how to pull shots on the new equipment; so, the espresso drinks are the same high-quality beverages as those served at his coffee shop. Milk, soy milk, hemp milk, and almond milk are offered; as well as, vanilla, hazelnut, chocolate, caramel, and lavender flavored syrups.
The waffles are made to order with a yeasted overnight batter. They come out of the waffle iron crispy on the outside and airy and chewy on the inside. All the toppings, including the vegan maple syrup, are housemade. I tried the pumpkin cheesecake waffle and the maple, banana, and bacon waffle. The pumpkin cheesecake waffle was topped with pumpkin cheesecake mousse, gingersnap pecan crumble, caramel and whipped cream. The pumpkin cheesecake mousse is pumpkin puree and cream cheese whipped into a cloud. It is so good that it makes all the other seasonal pumpkin spice concoctions seem sad. The addition of gingersnap pecan crumble and rich caramel take this dish to a deliciousness that can (I am warning you) lead to obsession. You may find yourself in bed dreaming of pumpkin cheesecake clouds falling from the sky and melting in your mouth.
When I ordered, there was another woman on the other side of the drive-thru ordering the pumpkin cheesecake waffle. She commented, “It is good that you are in my neighborhood; well, good and bad.”
I know what she means. If I lived in the neighborhood, I would need a waffle everyday. The maple, banana, and bacon waffle had pieces of bacon baked into the waffle and was topped with banana slices and a side of maple syrup. My friend, Monika Spykerman, said, “The bananas are perfectly ripe and the waffle has a mild bacon-y zing.”
I know I will be returning to Camas soon to try the savory waffles and the waffle sandwiches and, of course, another pumpkin cheesecake waffle. Waffles this good are worth a 20-minute drive.
Rachel Pinsky can be emailed at email@example.com. You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @couveeats.