August 30, 2010 at 3:58 AM
Are the Belgian waffles at Rockn' Joe Coffeehouse and Bistro, 20 Prospect Street, as good as the ones prepared by a world-renowned chef?
No. They're better. Just ask Bobby Flay.
Flay, a celebrity chef and restaurateur, recently challenged Thomas DeGeest, of Wafels & Dinges, to a cook-off on his Food Network television show Throwdown! with Bobby Flay. He claimed his Belgian waffles were superior to DeGeest's famous Liege Belgian Waffles, which are available in New Jersey exclusively at Rockn' Joe.
A food duel ensued right in the heart of New York City. DeGeest and Flay both made a batch of waffles on the spot and served them to the judging panel of pastry chef David Carmichael and chef Mathieu Palimbino.
In a blind taste test, the judges preferred DeGeest's authentic Liege waffles to Flay's Belgian waffles. DeGeest was declared champion waffle maker and winner of the Throwdown.
Wafels & Dinges' big win is no surprise to Rockn' Joe (www.rocknjoe.net) owner Lisa Marvin, who has been serving Wafels & Dinges waffles for two years.
"Their waffles have an addictive cinnamon-sugar aroma and a dense, chewy texture that makes them truly irresistible," Marvin said. "If you know you have a busy day ahead of you, there's no better way to start your day than with a Wafels & Dinges waffle and a cup of Rockn' Joe gourmet coffee."
Wafels & Dinges Liege Waffles are authentic Belgian waffles, the one recipe Belgians kept to themselves when they brought "Brussels" Belgian waffles to the United States at the 1964 World's Fair in New York. They're made with a yeast-sweetened dough and a special type of pearl sugar that caramelizes when the dough hits the iron, resulting in a rich, flavorful waffle.
"Rockn' Joe Westfield is the only place in the state where you can enjoy these authentic Belgian waffles," said Rockn' Joe founder Kevin Brennan. "We're proud to serve them."
Brennan said he always expected Wafels & Dinges to win the competition. He has a lot of respect for Bobby Flay, but he can't imagine anyone being able to top DeGeest's Liege waffle.
"The food we serve at Rockn' Joe is so good that even Bobby Flay couldn't come up with a better recipe! He wouldn't do too well against our coffee either," Brennan joked. "If he ever does a coffee Throwdown, we'll be ready for him."