Ha, I bet you thought my first ever waffle review was going to be some fancy pumpkin spiced Eggo, didn’t you? Or perhaps a frou-frou Kodiak Cake, or maybe a behind-the-scenes expose about my Grandma’s lovingly hand-griddled plaid cakes?
Wrong, wrong, and—bless her heart—wrong again.
No, my inaugural Belgian batter odyssey takes place in a questionably lit 7-11 parking lot, at approximately 7 minutes to 11. I’m sitting on the curb, next to the cicada buzz of a tired neon light, cradling an exclusive Stuffed Waffle, created as a partnership between the convenience store chain and Pillsbury.
It looks like a cafeteria grilled chicken tender, and I feel like a bucket of that cafeteria’s janitorial mop water. I’ve questioned my life choices many times, but before today, I never would imagined myself asking:
“Why didn’t I just buy the week-old rolling taquito?”
Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but my Stuffed Waffle, which at first appeared to be a Scottish pierogi, was not well flavor balanced. As a kidney-shaped waffle stuffed with egg, cheese, and sausage, I was most excited about the titular dough pocket and the scrambled egg, being a bona fide egghead since birth. Yet, it’s the sausage that overwhelms all else.
It tastes like every other microwaveable Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage you’ve ever left half-eaten at a hotel’s continental breakfast, just flattened with a meat tenderizer that was basted with pepper and the somehow-rendered fat of your dog’s Beggin’ Strips.
For meat lovers, lumberjacks, and Bob Evan’s pet labrador, this might be pleasant, but it leaves me sad that the uniquely (and perhaps overly) grilled waffle didn’t get to shine. See, when I tore my Stuffed Waffle open and the slippery sausage lolled out like a sunburned Lickitung, I got to try the other, non-meat-filled half.
And it was surprisingly good—and even more surprisingly: sweet. Like a texturized McGriddle bun, my perfectly caramelized waffle was both golden toasty and infused with a lightly syrupy—albeit artificial and very French Toast Crunch-esque—brown sugar sweetness. Combined with the meager eggy–cheesiness (the cheese tasted more like dull cottage than sharp cheddar), the whole doughy package ended up reminding me, of all things, of a well-crisped biscuit or cookie. A stroopwafel or a pizzelle, to be specific.
Remind me to ask 7-11 if they’ll cater my holiday party desserts. Think they can stuff a gingerbread man with Canadian bacon?
All in all, 7-11’s Stuffed Waffle was more McMulligan than McMuffin. When eaten together, your taste buds get smoked by smoky and greasy sausage, with only a faint hint of the uniquely savory-sweet goodness that sheaths it. Like a bad maple bacon product, 7-11 and Pillsbury don’t fairly share the spotlight between this ensemble breakfast cast. The Stuffed Waffle isn’t inedible, but it leaves me as sad as you’d expect someone on a 7-11 curb at midnight to be.
I recommend rolling over to McDonald’s for a McGriddle instead, or investing in edible staples to make your own griddled ravioli. Bon Slurpéetit!
The “Bowl:” 7-11 Stuffed Waffle
The Breakdown: With its waffle–biscuit dough and humble eggs ‘n’ cheese tragically smothered by a hickory-smoked hockey puck, this Stuffed Waffle isn’t the sum of its parts: it’s the narcissistic autobiography of just one protein-packed part. Worth the $2.49 only for novelty seekers, irony lovers, or Taco Bell Waffle Taco mourners.
The Bottom Line: 5.5 maple-encrusted Dough Boys out of 10