After six months and about 2,000 trial runs on a flimsy waffle iron from Target, Marty Meersman finally perfected a stellar secret recipe. Inspired by Taste of Belgium’s waffle hegemony at Findlay Market, Meersman had originally set out to re-create the breakfast staple at home. But a simple experiment blossomed into a half-year crusade to craft the ultimate Liège waffle—the incomparable Belgian version, which relies on a yeast dough base instead of batter. His results were such a smash hit—friends regularly requested waffles as Christmas gifts—he started to work out how to take Marty’s Waffles to the streets.
Meersman, who teaches visual arts at Northern Kentucky University, bought a food truck in fall of 2011 and by last August had worked up the courage to set up in the parking lots of Alexandria businesses on weekends and weekdays when his lecture schedule permitted. While he likes to experiment with seasonal flavors and toppings, he never strays from his signature waffle base. His variations currently include the best-selling sea-salt and caramel waffle topped with bourbon-maple whipped cream, as well as a life-altering tiramisu waffle sandwich filled with fluffy mascarpone and Kahlua whipped cream, dipped in dark chocolate and espresso. Lunch crowds have the option of savory ham and cheddar or turkey and swiss selections as well.
Without a set schedule or location, Marty’s Waffles relies almost exclusively on Facebook and Twitter to promote each stop. Watch for the orange and red panel truck with a blown-up portrait of Meersman’s Belgian ancestors, circa 1860 on the side—naturally, sharing a giant waffle.
Originally published in the April 2014 issue.