Waffle burgers. Say it with me – waffle burgers! Why hasn’t anyone else done this? I’m surprised this hasn’t popped up into the consciousness sooner – using waffles as a replacement for buns. The idea sounds awesome… but how’s the execution?
Pete Mayo’s Waffle Burgers is a tiny little restaurant located on Imperial Avenue in Lincoln Park aka not the best part of town. I grew up nearby so I know what it’s like. It’s one of those restaurants you could pass a million times without ever noticing it because it’s in such a weird location right on that busy, busy street.
There’s not much to it once you step inside, either. Two tables at best with a sparse counter and only paper menus to reveal what treats they’re cooking up in the kitchen.
The items are all cheap, too. The most expensive sandwich rings in at $6.25 for a cracked peppered turkey waffle sandwich which you can get served hot or cold.
[the small countertop/kitchen]
Jake actually discovered this one on Yelp with only two reviews to it’s credit. The name intrigued me enough to want to go by. Our first attempt failed when they were not open yet on a Saturday morning with no hours posted in the window. We took our chances this time around one October morning to find them open for business.
[the original waffle burger - $5.50]
I took the plunge and decided to order the “original” waffle burger which comes on your choice of waffle (buttermilk, blueberry, multi grain or cinnamon – I picked buttermilk) with a 1/4 lb patty, grilled onions, bell peppers (I asked for none), lettuce, tomatoes and cheese with a good bit of mayo, mustard and ketchup.
[waffle burger - once bitten, twice shy]
I loved the waffle as the “bun” but this burger could use some improvements. The beef was quite obviously a frozen patty and it was a bit underseasoned and wasn’t the freshest burger I’ve ever had. The condiments were fine, though it was a bit heavy handed on the mustard. Overall I wasn’t impressed, but I didn’t think it was awful either. The idea was more exciting then the execution in this case. On the other hand, there were these chicken waffle sandwiches…
[mayo's chicken n bacon sandwich - $5.75]
Jake ordered a Chicken n Bacon waffle sandwich with a multiple grain waffle.
Let’s just say that I was jealous of his meal after one bite.
The Chicken n Bacon comes with a deep fried seasoned chicken breast fillet, bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes. The chicken breast was very well seasoned – it had such a hint of spiciness to it that upped the flavor of it – plus it was crunchy and golden brown from it’s swim in the fryer.
[chomped in half chicken and waffle sandwich]
The chicken tasted much better than it’s beefy counterpart and I somehow managed convinced Jake to switch sandwiches with me.
He really is such a sweetheart.
And that chicken and bacon sandwich really was so good!
[waffle fries - "bigger" portion - $2.50]
We also shared a portion of waffle fries. These were pretty much the same as any other waffle fries you’ve ever had in your life.
[churros - $1 each]
We originally wanted to get an order of cheese poppers, but they didn’t have any that day. We decided to get the churros instead.
I would maybe not ever get the churros again.
They were really greasy and heavy and had this incredibly weird cream stuff in the middle? I don’t know. I didn’t like them at all. I think I had maybe three bites just to be extra sure and then tossed it.
[corn poppers sample]
Jake managed to chat up the owner though and the owner gave him some free samples of corn poppers for us to try.
The corn poppers were really delicious! They tasted like what I would imagine fried creamed corn to taste like – a nice, sweet batter with a sweet, slightly soupy middle filled with corn. These weren’t on the menu at the time, they were still in development! Hope they have them on the menu by the time we get back around here for another chicken and bacon waffle sandwich.
There were some hits and some misses here at Pete Mayo’s Waffle Burgers, but I credit them for a lack of creativity and trying to make something new and different for the marketplace. The burger needs a little love – a better quality, fresher beef with proper seasonings would do incredible wonders for it and bring it up to par with that crunchy delicious chicken sandwich. We will be back though to see how they’re doing!
Pete Mayo’s Waffle Burgers
5044 Imperial Ave.
San Diego, CA
Monday – Saturday: 11AM-9PM
Accepts cards, but machine was broken during our visit
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