Listening to Nick Musson talk about the path that led him to opening The Waffle Factory (30 North Avenue, Webster) will give you wanderlust. Musson graduated from Webster Schroeder High School, went on to study in Greece — Musson is Greek and Belgian — worked on both US coasts, ran a successful local food cart, and then came back to Webster to open a brick and mortar location.
Musson started The Wafel Cart four years ago, and it became a fixture at Rochester's Public Market. He was offered a job in New York City and put the cart on hold to relocate there. "I kept getting messages from old customers telling me to come back, that they missed the cart," Musson says.
After learning that the Mad Hatter Tea Room and Café (now Mad Hatter Restaurant and Bakery) was moving locations, Musson called the realtor immediately, and in October of this year, The Waffle Factory opened.
The Belgian recipe that Musson uses for his waffles produces dough, rather than a typical waffle batter. The dough is made with pearl sugar from Belgium — the sugar can range in size from something similar to rock salt to larger chunks and therefore does not dissolve as easily — and the result produces something along the lines of a brioche waffle. There are currently 34 different options for waffle toppings, and patrons can customize their own.
The De Bam-Bam ($5) is a waffle topped with marshmallow fluff and Fruity Pebbles cereal. And if you're looking to channel The King, order the Elvis Waffley ($8), topped with — you guessed it — bacon, bananas, peanut butter, and honey. "My family specialized in chocolate," say Musson, whose family owned The Candy Kitchen in East Rochester. "I thought Rochester was missing a fun place for desserts."
Musson currently has plans to expand the menu to include more savory items, like breakfast sandwiches, and add more sweets, such as homemade ice cream and milkshakes. In the spring, he plans to open a Belgian-style beer garden with picnic tables, beers on tap, and pretzels and bratwursts on the menu.
The Waffle Factory is located at 30 North Avenue, and is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 626-1152; rochesterwaffle.com.
Genesee Country Village and Museum (1410 Flint Hill Road, Mumford) has been awarded a $10,000 grant from candy company Mars to continue research into the history of chocolate. Staff at the museum studied 19th century cookbooks to find recipes made with chocolate and then recorded video of the recipe preparation in the museum's historic buildings. The videos will be made public on YouTube and Facebook. I'm currently rethinking my career choice and Googling "chocolate historian."
Genesee Brew House (25 Cataract Street) will host a four-course pairing dinner on Thursday, December 15, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $30. Menu items include a chicken and waffle dish and a smoked pork belly and potato hash. Tickets can be purchased through eventbrite.com. geneseebeer.com/brewhouse.
Nox (302 North Goodman Street) will host CURE's 3rd Annual Tacky Sweater Party on Thursday, December 15, from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Staff from Nox and Butapub will compete to see who has the ultimate tacky sweaters. Proceeds from food and drink purchases will be donated to CURE Childhood Cancer Association, and there is no entry fee.
National burger chain, Smashburger, has opened a location at 100 Marketplace Drive in Henrietta.
Park Avenue fixture Hogan's Hideaway (197 Park Avenue) is currently closed. New owners will be taking over the restaurant and reopening.
Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.