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Review of Gaufree  Artisan Waffle Sandwiches
Gaufree Organic Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Review of Gaufree Artisan Waffle Sandwiches

Review of Gaufree  Artisan Waffle Sandwiches

Gaufree Jumps into the Waffle Sandwich Craze

Gaufree is located in the Woodbridge Town Center in Irvine

Gaufree is located in the Alton Square  Center in Irvine

If you haven’t noticed, there is a trend of Waffle Sandwich shops sprouting up all over Southern California. The brand, Bruxie, helped to pioneer waffle sandwiches as a mainstream restaurant concept.  Although like any popular food trend, there are numerous competitors sprouting up. The latest is a single store restaurant called Gaufree, which is located in the Alton Square Center, just off Alton Parkway. 

 GauFree literally translates to waffle in Hungarian, Dutch and French. The Owner Paul Hortobagy was an Executive Chef at the JQ Marriot hotel before he decided to jump into the waffle sandwich business.


Gaufree has an open kitchen so you can watch your Waffle Sandwich being made.

Gaufree has an open kitchen so you can watch your Waffle Sandwich being made.


Gaufree offers a Savory waffle that is made with yeast, instead of malt, like most traditional American waffles. The result is a platform that stands up well to savory ingredients. Gaufree ingredients are locally sourced and use free range chickens and grass fed beef.  The menu features both sweet and savory waffle sandwiches, salads , ice cream and full service coffee bar.  I recently attended the Gaufree  open house event to taste test their waffle sandwiches, below are my reactions. 

Savory Waffles


Organic Buttermilk Fried Chicken

A nice filet of chicken is dipped in a sweet and savory buttermilk batter and deep fried crisp.  The fried chicken is nestled between two waffles and garnished with lettuce, tomatoes, and a Meyer Rum Chipotle molasses dip.  Overall good execution of this dish. I liked the savory and sweet flavors and crispiness of the chicken. I would have added more sauce to this dish to make it really pop. 

Gaufree Organic Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Gaufree Organic Buttermilk Fried Chicken


Organic Eggs and Apple Wood Smoked Bacon

This was a fairly simple preparation of the eggs and waffles dish.   The eggs and bacon were both good, although it really needed more of the herb pesto and the waffles needed to be cooked a little more crispy.


Gaufree  Oraganic Eggs and Bacon

Gaufree Organic Eggs and Bacon


Sweet Waffles


Brussels Street Waffle with Chocolate sauce and Raspberry Coulis

This is a classic waffles dish for any of the sweet purist out there.  The raspberry coulis had the right blend of sweet and acidity to match the chocolate sauce. The two toppings complimented the flavor of the savory waffles. I loved this dessert.


Gaufree Brussels Street Waffle with Chocolate sauce and Raspberry Coulis

Gaufree Brussels Street Waffle with Chocolate sauce and Raspberry Coulis


Peanut Butter Pie Waffle with Sea Salt caramel

For my personal tastes, this waffle had too many flavors and it overwhelmed the waffle.  This dish is made with crème, bananas, toasted peanuts and salted caramel sauce. This was not my favorite dish, although my table mates loved it.



Gaufree Peanut Butter Pie Waffle with Sea Salt caramel

Gaufree Peanut Butter Pie Waffle with Sea Salt caramel



My Final Thoughts

Overall I  enjoyed my meal at Gaufree.  I think they are still working through some minor adjustments to the recipes; although, they are on the right track. If you are in the neighborhood, they are definitely worth a try. 

The obvious question is how does it compare to Bruxie?  I thought some of the dishes are just as good, although Bruxie still has the benefit of many years of practice.  Gaufree appeared to be still working on their waffle crispiness and dialing in the right amount of sauces and supporting ingredients.  I would come to eat here again and would try a couple other dishes like the pulled pork or the waffle burger. 

Note: I tried Gaufree for a second time recently and I noted significant improvements to their dishes and customer services. 

Gaufree on Urbanspoon


3851-A Alton Parkway

Irvine, California 92606




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Review of Rubio’s Ancho Shrimp Burrito

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Review of Shades Restaurant Huntington Beach

Food and Wine Festivals Guide

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Garbanzo Mediterranean 


About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.


  1. All of those look amazing! Definitely made me in the mood for some waffles!

  2. I’ve never heard of a waffle sandwich, until your article. Interesting idea and a novel concept. Hope it works long-term for those restaurants that are jumping on the trend.

  3. Those waffles look very yummy I bet they are low calories

  4. I’ve always been more of a pancake person however these guys have got me interested. I’ll definitely be stopping by Gaufree’s next week when I’m back in town.

  5. This is a really neat concept. I have heard of the fried chicken and waffle restaurants, but not the waffle sandwiches. They look and sound really great!

  6. I love this concept! The photos look great thanks for the review…

  7. Woow.. i never knew that waffles can be made in so many ways.. would love to try the savory waffles

  8. That chicken waffle sandwiches had me wiping drool off my keyboard lol I want some!!

  9. Wow! I can’t say I have ever had a waffle sandwich! It looks great though. Delicious

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