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More Than Waffles Less Than Enjoyable

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A trip to check out More Than Waffles was aimed at satisfying both the craving for a good breakfast and the desire to check out a new (to us) place. It's been a family owned and operated joint in the Encino Town Center since 1975...You'd think they'd have figured out a few things by now.

It was late morning on a weekday, when the breakfast rush should be over and the crowds thinned out. The small dining room was fairly empty, and we were seated right away at a wobbly table. The bus boy brought us waters, and we ordered coffee. But when we took our first, much-needed, sip, to our shock and surprise, the coffee was vanilla flavored! It wasn't awful,but not what we'd expected, and would have liked to have been warned about.

We wanted to sample their waffles, surely, but, like their name implies, we were eager for more than that. Their menu has about a dozen or so main belgian waffle dishes, with sweet-tooth friendly concoctions of gooey sauces, fruits, with whipped and ice creams.

They serve their egg dishes with a waffle instead of potatoes or toast, so an omlette seemed like an ideal choice--a little protein with our carbs. We ordered a "Belgian Omlette" which is served with mushrooms, tomatoes, bacon, and cheddar cheese. By the time our food arrived, our coffee cups were empty, and although staff were milling about everywhere, none of them were paying attention to the tables; they were socializing, wrapping their arms around each other and going in and out to the patio.

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Our omlette tasted okay; they don't cook the ingredients into the folded egg package, but more heap the half-cooked fillings on the plate and then drape the egg on top. This means the flavors are touching but the ingredients aren't really cohesive; this makes the omlette hard to eat, and to stomach. Two older ladies to our right were served their omlette after ours. We watched them open it up to share it, take a bite, and push their plates away, craning their necks and scanning the room for someone who could come take it back, it was that disgusting.

We weren't so disgusted, but not entirely pleased.

It was the waffle, of course, that was the standout of the meal. It was warm, crisp, airy, melt-in-your-mouth good. We tried it with butter and syrup, and with a spoonful of the apricot preserves they serve. Our bill had been dropped at our table by our waitress (wait, was that our waitress? Which one was ours? Where's she going?) before we'd finished eating, and when yet another waitress cleared our plates she ignored the credit card sitting on top of the tab. Now we waited, ready to go, knowing we'd never get a refill of coffee or water without begging, and eager to get out of this basement. Hello, anyone?

One of the ladies next to us reached over and plucked a sugar packet out of our basket. "We don't have any!" she remarked. Our dining companion laughed, because she'd had to swipe the basket from their table in the first place--which was where our knife had come from, too, since we hadn't been set a full place.

Finally the bill was handled, and we were free to go. More Than Waffles was less than enjoyable, save for the waffle itself. Perhaps they should take the "More Than" out of their name, and stick with the one thing they got right.

More Than Waffles 17200 Ventura Boulevard, Encino (on the lower level of the Encino Town Center) (818) 789-5937