Regular readers of this series and my “More to the World” posts know well that I am an unashamed foodie, who both enjoys eating as well as preparing foods ranging from simple everyday dishes to fine cuisine. So, it might bewilder many to know that until a few years ago, the extent of my experience with waffles included a very few nicely prepared restaurant Belgian waffles as well as several—no iron required—frozen toaster waffles lazily topped with maple syrup, fruit, and/or confectioners’’ sugar. Until along came my wonderful husband, who just so happens to be an exceptional waffle maker. Over the years, he has charmed me with several very delectable versions of the crispy, yet fluffy battercakes. As a result, I have developed somewhat of a passion for the characteristically honeycomb patterned delights. You can only imagine my joy when, in November of 2011, I learned that acclaimed Executive Chef Robert Adams would be bringing three waffle sandwich creations to the quick service menu of Sleepy Hollow Refreshments in the Magic Kingdom® Park. Until then, I had never seen or heard of a waffle sandwich. My immediate reaction was: “Wait, what? A waffle sandwich; I can’t believe I never thought of that!” Yet, another reason I am not a Disney Chef. The enticing menu additions were as follows: a Nutella® and Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich; a Ham, Prosciutto and Swiss Waffle Sandwich; and, a Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich. After seeing the photographs of Chef Adams’ tantalizing creations, I found myself craving each of them.
In a previous post entitled “I Have a Craving for Disney Cookies”, I mentioned that I have actually produced spreadsheets for planning Walt Disney World (WDW) vacations with my husband. Since you know this about me, it should come as no surprise to read that I immediately added the aforementioned waffle sandwiches to the meal plans for my husband’s and my next trip. When he and I returned to WDW, I chose to indulge in the Nutella® and Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich and vowed to try the remaining two on a future trip. It was simply delicious. Served open-faced, the foundation of this decadent sandwich is, of course, a Belgian-style waffle so crisp, light and airy it would have been heavenly all on its own. That being written, I am ever-so pleased to report that Chef Adams’ minimalistic, unassuming, yet exceptional sandwich did not stop there. It was rather liberally topped with the rich, creamy European spread; then, piled high with succulent, fresh blueberries, strawberries and bananas in perfect proportion to the slathered waffle. It looked splendiferous. As I carried the much anticipated gourmet-esque sandwich to a table nearby, I remember thinking, “I am so up for this!” Not only did it look yummy, it looked challenging. I could hardly wait to take my first bite. I sat down, quickly sized things up and—with some effort—confidently folded the open-face waffle into a ginormous taco-like sandwich, picked it up and attempted a bite. If you think I was successful, you would be wrong, so very wrong. Everything seemed to be in slow motion as I watched countless pieces of the luscious fruit fall from the sandwich to the table; then, onto my lap and the pavement below. What did I learn from my experience? When eating a generously portioned, fabulously delicious Disney dish, I must resist the urge to arrogantly, hand-to-mouth, stuff my face and opt to humbly use a knife, fork and/or spoon instead. While I would give myself a one for eating skills that day, the sandwich earned a perfect score. It was fabulous and I highly recommend trying it. Even so, my endorsement comes with a caveat. Due to its size, I suggest partakers consider it an entire meal or share it for dessert or a treat.
Enjoying that first Nutella® and Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich at WDW resulted in my having cravings for weeks after. Before long, my husband and I began making a yummy imitation in our own kitchen. Though delicious, no WDW food item—replicated at home—has ever compared to eating the real thing amid the atmosphere in which it was originally created to be enjoyed. Hence, whenever I made my tasty pretender, I was reminded of the day I delighted in devouring the original at Sleepy Hallow Refreshments, and the two waffle sandwiches I did not choose as well as my vow to try them in the future.
Well, since I probably have made it clear that my husband and I believe in preparing for tomorrow today, it should probably go without saying that it is not uncommon for us to have spoken of future trips to WDW during our stay or while returning home. That trip was no exception. As plans began to take shape for the next trip, Chef Adams’ glorious waffle sandwich creations beckoned to me until the two of us returned to Sleepy Hollow Refreshments once more. So much so that it turned out to be our first meal at the Magic Kingdom® Park. Having learned from my past experience, he and I had already agreed to share a sandwich, which would require a choice between the two remaining untried options—the Ham, Prosciutto and Swiss Waffle Sandwich or the Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich. As I am somewhat spicy-averse, I definitely prefer things on the mild side. For that reason, I was leaning toward the tamer of the two while my husband declared for the more adventurous one. I conceded to him, and the spicy option was ordered. Make no mistake, he made no mistake! It was fabulous! So, fear not fellow spice wary, the intensity level was quite palatable, even pleasing. The heat of the sauce-coated chicken was perfectly balanced and complimented by heaps of cool, tangy slaw and arugula. I knew, almost immediately, that I would crave the Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich the same way I have and do the Nutella® and Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich. As I finished my portion, I wondered if the Ham, Prosciutto and Swiss Waffle Sandwich would produce the same response.
Sadly, neither he nor I tried it while on that 4-day excursion to the WDW Resort. With so little time and so many dishes of which to partake, the agreement was made that the Ham, Prosciutto and Swiss Waffle Sandwich would have to wait for another trip. Heretofore, I failed to mention that when I first learned about the three sandwiches in 2011, it was the one I found most enticing because I am a sucker for piled high ham with a delicious slice of Swiss cheese. Lamentably, it remains the lone waffle sandwich yet untried at Sleepy Hallow Refreshments, or is it? No, it is not. Unbeknownst to me, the quick service refreshment location is open for breakfast and offers an Egg Omelet Waffle Sandwich daily. So, I guess it is back to my spreadsheet to add another waffle sandwich to the “untried” column. I am sure my cravings for the yummy sandwiches both tried and untried will be unending.
(Photos from the author’s personal collection.)
Have you tried any or all of the waffle sandwich creations at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments? If so, please let readers know what you thought of them and which is your favorite in the comments section.
Kendall began visiting Walt Disney World in 1991 with her family and has continued to visit the resort with her husband. As a child, she and her family filled vacations with challenges such as “How many times can we ride Splash Mountain during SpectroMagic and the fireworks?” (Answer: 7) Now, after marrying a converted Disney skeptic, she and her husband enjoy challenges such as “How many hours can we eat nonstop at the Food & Wine Festival?” (Answer: 4)