The Albondigas Waffle at Waffles
Secret’s in the sauce. Anybody can make a waffle. It’s the toppings that put you on the short list. A side of au jus creatively replaces maple syrup alongside chef Jason Hilgers’ (Japonais; The Bristol) short-rib waffles at Waffles, the bustling South Loop hot spot he launched last summer with owner Alex Hernandez. Hilgers’ short-rib waffles get a sprinkling of chopped bright green scallions and bits of tangy cheddar cheese. They’re a treat, but the off-the-charts pleaser here, the best savory waffle in Chicago, is Hilgers’ Albondigas. Its waffles are covered in a spicy, tomato-based Mexican stew with lamb and pork meatballs topped with Chihuahua cheese and lively sprinkles of evergreen-colored mint. “The Albondigas reminds me of the Mexican soup my mother made for me as a kid,” owner Alex Hernandez recalls. Hernandez, a native of Burbank and Willowbrook, continues to manage River North eatery Japonais.
1400 South Michigan
Best of Chicago 2011