TAMPA, Fla. - When Marina Marrer and her husband moved to Tampa, they were hoping to fulfill a lifelong dream. They wanted to open a small restaurant, but the biggest challenge they faced was their timing.
"We opened in the middle of the pandemic, so September 2020," she explained.
Thanks to tremendous local support, WonderWaffel is thriving despite opening during the pandemic. Their unique take on a breakfast staple may have something to do with that support.
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"WonderWaffels are like the waffles in Europe, and that's a little bit different to the American one," Marrer said. "Our waffles are soft, fluffy but also crispy, and each waffle has like five mini hearts in it."
She said the waffles are hot, the fruit is fresh and cool and when you fold it, you can keep it warm longer. It's like a waffle taco, stuffed with a variety of fillings from fresh fruit to chocolates to nutella.
"Best seller for the sweet WonderWaffel is the classic and peanut special," Marrer said. "The peanut special is nutella and peanut butter, banana, strawberry, Reese's and peanut crumble on the top."
In addition to the "sweet" waffles, WonderWaffel launched a couple of "savory" waffles about a year ago. The batter is less sweet, and the waffles are filled with chicken and cheese much like a waffle sandwich for a lunch or dinner.
Marrer said the combinations are endless. They also have gelato, coffees and milkshakes. No matter what tickles the taste buds on their menu, the pair likes to chat with their customers.
WonderWaffel's are prominent in Germany, a popular chain that originated in Berlin. There are a small handful in the US. Marrer said because their restaurant is the lone one in Florida, it has a small business feel to it.
"The funniest part is you can come in here like once per week, every day, and you can always create something new," she said.
For more information or to follow along, visit WonderWaffel's Instagram page.