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Worcester Waffle Spot Going Green, Expanding Menu

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Coconut waffle with mango mint chutney

Worcester’s WooDaddy Waffles is going green to serve their newest endeavor - tamales. The hip brunch spot runs in a local bar and is sure to give a unique experience. And they just might be on their way to being Worcester’s first food truck.

Their current location – Moynihan’s pub on Main Street – might not seem like the best brunch spot at first glance, but owner of WooDaddy, Zaliah Zalkind, has been committed to serving up a delicious, healthy, and sustainable breakfast to anyone who’s daring enough to give it a shot.

“We’re reopening Sunday and coming back from summer vacation. We believe deeply that the world would be a better place if most businesses closed for a month out of the year,” he said. “The next four months for us will be a transitional phase. We will be fundraising and building our solar thermal and bike-powered tamale infrastructure.”

Zalkind is adding a high-tech branch to their green breakfasts. WooDaddy Waffles already served up organic, healthy, and wholesome brunch, but they’re taking it a step beyond your average eco-friendly eatery.

“The goal is to start trying to imagine what a post-petrol and post-fossil fuel food service company would look like. We are doing our best to create that,” he said. “We’ve been talking a lot in the kitchen. A lot of good restaurants say that they use as many organic, local foods as possible, but what is possible turns into what is most convenient, and we want to push that. Instead of doing what’s possible, let’s do what’s necessary. The next four months that’s what we’re pushing towards.”

Cooking with Bikes and Solar Power

So what does a breakfast look like when cooked with bikes and the sun? As Zalkind explains, not too out of the ordinary.

“To get an idea of what that looks like on the menu, we will be testing our new menu and adding tamales. Why tamales? They lend themselves very well to steam, and we’re doing steam because it’s easily generated with solar power, and corn is easily ground with a bike-powered corn masa grinder,” he said. “It’s all human and solar power.”

The restaurant’s green endeavor just received a donation of $500 from a private foundation to build the bicycle powered corn masa grinder, are raising funds to build a sun oven to start cooking the tamales.

“We will be doing our kick starting campaign and visitors can come in and fill in a comment card,” Zalkind said. “We’re crowdsourcing our new menu to get an idea of what people think. All of our old waffles will be available as well for those who are feeling nostalgic.”

Coconut rice waffle with vegan chocolate mousse

What’s on the Menu

For anyone who has never been to WooDaddy, your decision will be a tough one. Go with their traditional yet delicious waffles or try some tempting tamales? Go with your gut and know you can’t go wrong.

For waffles, they offer treats like a French toasted waffle, curried lentil waffles, waffles rancheros, and other breakfast options. Zali’s Tamales will give you some different options like their Three Sister’s Tamale – a tamale filled with fresh corn, summer squash, fire roasted mild poblano chilles and masa.

Worcester’s First Future Food Truck?

Zalkind said that WooDaddy is also looking into a more mobile location – a food truck.

“We’re hoping to go mobile and are looking into other options. We’re currently halfway to our goal of having a truck,” he said. “That depends on City Hall and city council in terms of getting the food truck. We would love to be Worcester’s first food truck.”

He added that while the mobile option would be great for them, it would also be great for Worcester.

“If the city repeals its anti-street vendor policy, that would give us all we need to open up in Worcester,” Zalkind said. “If you ask me, it’s a huge trend across the country, and any city that wants to be smart about public space would not be working against that.”

Why it Works in Worcester

Why WooDaddy in Worcester? To Zalkind, it just works.

“I think there is space in Worcester for projects like WooDaddy, like housing cooperatives... In larger cities, doing a collective project is much more difficult because they’re saturated by a more traditional business market,” he said. “Because of Worcester’s post-industrial present and past, there is space for these possibilities.”

WooDaddy will be open Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Moynihan’s at 897 Main Street in Worcester.


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