pete mayo’s waffle burgers / lincoln park – san diego, ca

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 menu]

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
Sunday: 2PM-6PM

Accepts cards, but machine was broken during our visit

Peter Mayo's Waffle Burgers on Urbanspoon

12 thoughts on “pete mayo’s waffle burgers / lincoln park – san diego, ca

  1. Aww that’s so sad the churros weren’t so good 🙁 I normally love churros! The chicken n waffles looks really good – the chicken looks very crispy!

  2. The chicken in the sandwich looks amazing. Can’t wait to stop by and check it out one of these days.

    If you haven’t already, check out Bruxie next time you’re in the OC area. They have some interesting waffle sandwiches.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Imperial Ave has a lot of interesting ethnic restaurants that are worthy of exploration. Sometimes you gotta just go down to the ‘hood for some good eats. It’s not all frou frou urban hipster stuff in the so-called cool areas.

    Jake’s chicken waffle sandwich looks great! and how nice of him to trade with you too!!!! points on his man card!

  4. Hey Mary – Been trying to get here for a while, but the place is never open… seems like the hours vary. A friend of mine who knows “Petey” has been telling me about the place for months. I was told that Pete originally served folks in his home. What a story.

    1. Hi Kirk – We were told the hours I listed in my post by one of the workers but who knows if they stick to them? Hope you get a chance to check it out sometime.

  5. I’m surprised the grilled-from-frozen waffle didn’t bother you. That was my main complaint when I reviewed this burger for A Hamburger Today on Serious Eats. If a place is going to make waffle burgers (and sandwiches) their claim to fame, they should make the waffles from scratch. Could have been SO MUCH BETTER.

    1. Hi Erin – I guess I don’t mind Eggo’s? I can see your point though – the waffles should be made fresh if that’s going to be their thing. Everything should be made fresh and from scratch if they really wanted to maximize the flavor. In the end though the beef bothered me more than the waffle!

  6. Like Jenny said above, in the OC area (specifically old town Orange) there’s a popular waffle shack called Bruxie that serves gourmet waffle sandwiches and dessert waffles. I’ve had the waffle burger before and it’s great! Here’s their website:

  7. I have one of these irons and make excellent real waffleburgers.

    Make sure u use it outside. Makes excellent waffles as well!!

    Need to lose weight!!! Eating to many of them!!!


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