Waffle house promises to be the “perfect blend”

Melisa Soysal
Melissa Soysal/THE REVIEW
The Perfect Blend looks to introduce the art of the Liège waffle to Main Street.

Associate News Editor

People told Jeanne Kress to have at least six months of her financial situation set before opening her restaurant. The owner of The Perfect Blend would be competing with the restaurants that have already found their home in downtown Newark, but even she couldn’t have predicted her shop’s current success.

“The response has been overwhelming,” Kress said. “The restaurant is supporting itself because people are coming in here and giving me feedback, which is great. They respond to the waffle itself so positively.”

On Aug. 3, The Perfect Blend became the first waffle house to find its home on Main Street. The waffle that Kress serves, her own rendition of a Liège waffle, has roots dating back to the 14th century.

According to The Perfect Blend’s website, the Liège waffle was invented by a chef working under the rule of Prince Bishop of Liège. He demanded a new pastry, so the chef blended together sugar pearls and vanilla into a dough foundation. The result was a “tantalizing perfume” released by the vanilla and a taste loved by the prince and his subjects.

However, Kress did not immediately find herself infatuated by waffles. She begun making pies in an attempt to find her passion, but realized she was, in her own words, “the worst piemaker.” Moving to muffins and then eventually to Liège waffles, Kress found something that stuck with her.

“I skeptically tried one and I was hooked,” she said. “From there, I said, ‘this was it.’ Nothing was going to stop me from learning how to do this, how to perfect, and get the information on it.”

With all of her information gathered, Kress said she wanted to make her recipe different. It was in the toppings, she said, where she was able to differentiate herself from other waffle shops.

The menu boasts 11 toppings and four sauces. The customer can choose between fruitier toppings like banana or strawberries, or alternatively indulge in sweeter toppings like Snickers, crushed Oreo and Nutella.

On her way to try her first waffle, second-year graduate student Hannah Deblauwe walked right past The Perfect Blend, unable to notice its obscure entrance near Quest Diagnostics. Once she found it and walked inside, she said she felt right at home.

As a lover of waffles and waffle shops, Deblauwe said that it’s easy to tell the difference between the quality of waffles at a place such as IHOP between smaller businesses.

“I like their waffle better than IHOP’s,” she said. “It’s a little bit of a walk, but its some good exercise and when you get here, you get to cool off, have some nice coffee and a sweet tasting waffle.”

Having been open for just about a month, Kress said she is pleased with the direction her shop is going. The future is up in the air, but for Kress that means continuing to work on the dream that has given her so much joy.

“I certainly have dreams that I would like to fulfill,” she said. “But right now, I’m really pleased with that way things are going.”

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