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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

No. 80: Star Stream's Liège-Style Waffle

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 5:15 PM

click to enlarge Liège-style waffle at Star Stream, $3.50. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • Liège-style waffle at Star Stream, $3.50.

SFoodie's countdown of the 92 best things to eat and drink in San Francisco, 2011 edition.

click to enlarge sf_92.jpg

Like crème brulée, the Liège-style waffle makes a virtue out of the burning point of sugar. The street snack named for a Belgian city incorporates pearl sugar seeds in its batter. Once in contact with the blistering plates of a waffle iron, the grains of sugar melt and caramelize, while the ones buried in the batter turn chewy.

Star Stream's Remi Hayashi looked around for Liège-style batter recipes before realizing she could tweak her brioche dough to suit. The only lingering problem was the coarse sugar: The pearl kind is expensive. Hayashi tried the coarse-grained raw sugar called turbinado instead ― it worked. Star Stream's Liège waffle ($3.50) has the husky scent of browned sugar, a surfaced flecked with blisters, and a crumb that's heavy with butter. The buckshot effect of semimolten sugar is there in the interior, though the pockets are smaller than in the Belgian original. But it has the same knack of packing the hollows of your back teeth with chewy bits, like shards of Chiclets. This is not really a waffle, at least not as most Americans know it. It's a celebration of sugar.

Star Stream: 1830 Harrison (at 14th St.), 317-3013.

Dishes in our series so far:

92: Goat tacos from El Norteño

91: Faux shark's fin soup at Benu

90: Esperpento's alcachofas a la plancha

89: Poco Dolce's olive oil chocolate bar

88: Decantr's chicken-liver mousseline

87: Outerlands' levain bread

86: Fraîche's frozen yogurt

85: Gyro King's spinach pie

84: Tandoori fish from Lahore Karahi

83: Braised oxtail and daikon from Namu

82: Golden Gate Bakery's custard tart

81: Commonwealth's cured foie gras with umeboshi purée

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