Iron Paffles & Coffee: Waffles like you’ve never had them

When puff pastries and waffles collide

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The Iron Paffle serves their paffles — puff pastries cooked in waffle irons — as sweet or savory sandwiches. 

Sadie Goodman | Cavalier Daily

I tried my first Iron Paffle about a year ago, and I was pleased, but not impressed. The first paffle I tasted was savory with fried chicken, arugula, mac and cheese and aioli. The waffles themselves were good, but the filling left me wanting more in terms of flavor and texture. Based on my first encounter, I wouldn’t have chosen to return to Iron Paffles & Coffee myself. 

Appeal

I was prompted to return after hearing some of my friends say how much they enjoyed the food. I returned a year later to give it a second try, and this time I definitely selected a better option. I had the TBALT, a paffle with turkey, bacon, avocado, arugula, tomato and aioli. I opted for no bacon, but this sandwich was still delicious! The filling was savory and light but kept me full for hours after. The flavors were fresh and complemented the crisp, flaky waffles perfectly. I explored the website and found the signature waffles are puff pastries cooked in a waffle iron. The texture is light and crispy, but be warned, they can be a little messy. Except for the fried chicken paffle, any of the sandwiches can be ordered gluten-free. 

I also ordered a large soy latté, which was well-made and just strong enough that it didn’t have a bitter coffee taste, but still kept me wide awake. They had a good selection of drinks and dairy-free milk options, which is always nice. The milk and sugar area was slightly disorganized and understocked, so I’d recommend ordering a drink like a mocha or a latté, or perhaps a juice or kombucha from the fridge near the register. I did appreciate the complimentary cups of water offered by the register. 

Affordability

While the waffle was delicious, I did find the prices to be quite steep for the amount of food served. My sandwich was $9, and I finished it all in about five minutes. It was enough food that I felt full, but for $9 I would appreciate a side or a bag of chips. There is an option to order an open-face sandwich with just one waffle for $6. If you’re looking for less of a meal, the sweet waffles are also less expensive than the savory ones at $6 for a sandwich and $4 for an open-face paffle.

Iron Paffles also does a good job of offering specials and deals.  The Early Bird menu offers $7 savory paffles before 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and the Monday Madness deal offers $6 savory paffles all day. You can also order additional sides for $1.50 or various sweet baked goods from the display near the register.

Accessibility

Iron Paffles & Coffee is located on Water Street near the Downtown Mall and is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The paffles are also available on Uber Eats or Grubhub if you find yourself craving them and don’t have access to a car. 

Atmosphere

The interior consists of a long, shared table with wooden bench seating on either side. There is also ample seating at a wooden bar that runs along the front window and right side wall of the interior. The menu is presented as a mural on the left wall with a large, intricate painting of an elaborate waffle machine beside it. The artwork inside creates a modern, hipster atmosphere that matches the food and drinks served quite well. 

The service is quick — the sandwiches were out within six or seven minutes of ordering. I went around 11 a.m. on Sunday morning and there was no line, but a few people were already enjoying their food. The paffles come in cardboard holders, which make them a great snack for a Downtown Mall stroll. But they are a bit messy, so I advise having napkins at the ready.

Overall, the paffles are definitely delicious, but if you’re not willing to spend $9 on just a sandwich, I don’t advise coming for a meal. The sweet paffles are more reasonably priced and could be a great dessert snack or midday treat. Iron Paffles & Coffee is definitely worth a try!

Sadie Goodman is a Food Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at life@cavalierdaily.com

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