Interview by Leon Boone
Whoever said good food was limited to restaurants was a fool. As the Philly food-truck industry gets more exciting serving newer, and surprisingly more sit-down-style bites, partners Flo Gardner and Robin Admana of Foolish Waffles are ahead of the scene with their incredible idea. Robin, who has spent much time traveling in Europe decided to bring all of its yumminess back to America; on the road and, even better, the Delaware Valley and our very city of Brotherly Love*. What really sets them apart are the never-dared fusions with other ethnic faves. Consider their most popular item on the menu–and most sought after sandwich–the “Best Of Philly” Pork Belly Banh Mi Waffle.
We were lucky to get a chance to speak with co-owner of Foolish Waffles, Flo Gardener, as the truck faced a few technical difficulties on the road. All we can say is: diner owners, creperies, and Mr. Puck–take a seat.
Our intern Leon Boone speaks with Flo:
Leon: I have had a lot of waffles in my life and I have never seen anything like the variations you offer. How did you come up with these unique recipes?
Flo: After traveling in Europe and eating lots of waffles in Brussels and Amsterdam, Chef/Owner Robin Admana came home and waffles were never the same. So it started with just the idea of ‘sweet waffles,’ but then she realized no one can live off of sweets alone. So she wanted to take well-known sandwiches and their pairings, and put them on waffles.
Leon: What sparked your interest in creating a waffle truck?
Flo: Robin (Admana) worked in the legal industry for many years, then enrolled in culinary school while continuing to work–but the whole time it was more about saving money to start a food-biz. (When) she and I became friends, we always talked about food and starting some business in food. Robin was set on waffles–and so it began.
Leon: Were there any difficulties you experienced in the process of starting your food truck? What advice would you give to someone else who wants to start a food truck?
Flo: We had a lot of issues finding the right truck; we didn’t really know much about trucks (we are city girls) and it can be very stressful at times. When the truck breaks down, you can’t work. The truck is your mobile restaurant. Most often, the truck won’t start until after you’ve prepped all the food for your service. So it can be pretty disheartening when it happens. So our advice: take care of your truck!
Flo: Our most popular waffle by far is our Fried Chicken & Waffles. It features buttermilk fried chicken with a honey chili glaze, topped with cabbage slaw and pickled bourbon jalapeños all on a crisp Brussels Waffle. Our “Best of Philly” Bahn Mi Waffle is close second and helped us secure the “Vendy Cup” and “People’s Choice Award” at the Vendy Awards in 2015.
Leon: What are you looking forward to doing or seeing during this year’s Art for the Cash Poor?
Flo: We are just excited to participate this year and be surrounded by amazing artistic talent. We were slated to vend last year, but couldn’t at the last minute due to truck issues. (See question 3!)
*Flo and Robin’s truck will be at Art for the Cash Poor 2016! While thinking about that piece of art you must have, sink your teeth into a sweet and savory waffle!