It was a year ago when Fitz Books opened in downtown Buffalo. At the time, owner Aaron Bartley said that Phase I was the books, and Phase II was the waffles. Now that Fitz Books is celebrating its one year anniversary, Bartley is launching the waffle component of the business, while hosting a storewide book sale, starting on Friday, October 15.
Now, if you think that Bartley is simply serving up your average waffles, then you don’t know the man. Per usual, he’s cooked up a plan to offer a super unique recipe, which, he told me, has Belgian roots. It’s called a Liege waffle – a waffle that has a lighter batter, larger squares, and deeper pockets than its American counterpart.
The Liege waffle is a variant of the Belgian waffle.
Not only did Bartley purchase a special waffle iron from Belgium, he’s also making scratch dough at the kitchen at Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP). Then he prepares the waffles to-order at the bookstore.
“It’s a yeasted waffle with a dough texture, not a batter texture,” Bartley explained. “I first came across this type of waffle 12 years ago in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the public market. I never tasted one of that kind before… I was struck by it. When I got into books, I knew that I needed something that was simple enough to prepare without a full kitchen, or waste product. It’s considered street food in Belgium.”
Three defining characteristics of Liege waffles: Belgian sugar pearls, which caramelize deliciously when cooked at the right temperature; yeast; and a brioche-like texture.
The Fall Book Sale is being held in the space next to Fitz Books at 433 Ellicott Street. Bartley told me that 3000 books will be for sale for $1 each, which means that this will be the perfect time for bookworms to build up their libraries… and fill up their stomachs at the same time.