At Smaaken, you can get your waffle sandwich with a swipe of maple butter, a layer of jam or a generous dollop of whipped cream, but the most obvious flavor combination—chocolate and peanut butter—was surprisingly not on the original menu. Yet that didn’t stop customers from asking for the Reese’s treatment. “We kept getting requests. After about five or six years in business, it was like, ‘Oh, yes, that is so obvious. Why did we never think of that?’” explains general manager Tessa Cleveland. “So it kind of developed from there.”
The resulting peanut butter cup waffle sandwich advertises exactly what you’ll get in its name: dessert loosely disguised as breakfast thanks to the foundation of golden Dutch-style waffles made from a 30-hour yeast-risen batter, which produces an airy center and delightfully crispy edges. Thinner than its Belgian counterpart, these 7-inch folded disks are more easily transportable and you don’t need to tackle them with a knife and fork, though do keep a supply of napkins handy. Thick, creamy Monarch peanut butter—which could easily pass for Jif (the finest nut spread on the market) in a blind taste test—and housemade ganache heated to 150 degrees become a slow-moving lava flow the moment you bite in.
The push and pull of saltiness and delectable dark chocolate keep this from veering too sweet—a plus for any tongues that tend to skip the dessert course (or order the cheese plate post-meal). The peanut butter cup is also guaranteed to warm you from the inside out like any of the food cart’s waffles, which is why even in a downpour on a chilly November afternoon, every seat on the Beaverton location’s pint-sized patio was occupied by diners devouring soft yet chewy sandwiches without a care for the weather.
BG’s Food Cartel, 4250 SW Rose Biggi Ave., Beaverton, 971-235-6578, smaaken.com. 8 am-8 pm Thursday and Sunday, 8 am-9 pm Friday-Saturday. Hawthorne Asylum, 1080 SE Madison St., 503-477-2794. 8 am-9 pm daily. The Heist, 4727 SE Woodstock Blvd., 503-688-8214. 8 am-8 pm Thursday and Sunday, 8 am-9 pm Friday-Saturday. $8.50.