Wannawaf opened recently in Portland’s Monument Square in the space that was Cobblestones (a sandwich shop). It’s in the sort of forgotten end of the row of restaurants on Monument Square that starts with the Spartan Grill and ends with Shay’s. People seem to fail to notice that there’s a coffee shop (Other’s) and another business on the end down by Longfellow Books.
Apparently Wannawaf’s other location in Boothbay is successful (hence the expansion to Portland), but I have my doubts about this waffle and ice cream shop making the transition from touristy Boothbay Harbor to Portland’s business/lunch crowd in Monument Square. I’ve heard the waffle shop is empty a lot, as it was when I stopped in for lunch on a Friday.
Apparently I have trained my friends well, as Professor A. made sure to tell me after his visit that they have chicken and waffles and so he thought of me. Chasing the dragon that is District’s chicken and waffle, I went to try Wannawaf’s version.
The waffles are made with the ingredients mixed in, in this case small, breaded bites of boneless chicken. I opted for maple syrup as my one included topping and added sriracha hot sauce. For $7, I received a paper boat with 4 triangles of waffles that disappeared pretty quickly.
The chicken to waffle ration was a little low, compared to when the chicken is served on top of the waffles. So while it was good (the fresh herbs sprinkled on top were a particularly nice touch), it didn’t make my list of places I’d be returning, as my waffles didn’t fill me up for long. For $7, I could have bought a Granny’s Burrito in the Public Market and had to retire to the couch for the rest of the afternoon.
So Wannawaf seems to be more for the “stop in with the kids for the afternoon and buy a round of ice cream; get it served over a waffle if you wanna be silly” set. I am not in that set and I don’t know if that will be enough to sustain them in Portland. Time will tell, I guess.