Waffle Heaven

Landon Nordeman

Behold the waffle: crisp on the outside, fluffy within, and riddled with reservoirs to capture hot butter, syrup, or melting ice cream, it is a triumph of design. Likely invented in the Netherlands during the Middle Ages and carried across the Atlantic by Dutch settlers in the 1600s, the waffle has since spawned countless variations in the United States. The food may have reached its apogee in Philadelphia, long a waffle stronghold thanks to a high concentration of waffle-loving German immigrants. There, at an ice cream parlor called Franklin Fountain, owners Eric and Ryan Berley layer handmade ice cream between warm buttermilk waffles for a dessert that they've prosaically dubbed the ice cream waffle sandwich (pictured). "It goes waffle, ice cream, waffle, ice cream, waffle," says Eric, explaining the treat's towering architecture. And don't forget the powdered sugar.