Show 423, May 1, 2021: Ika Taft, Proprietress, More Than Waffles, Encino

The proudly family-owned More Than Waffles located in the Encino Town Center launched in 1975. Since 1998 the established has been owned and operated by the Taft Family. “They specialize in the authentic Belgian Waffle called, “Gaufre.” They are known for their thickness but have a light and airy texture which makes them lower in calories, only 140 calories per waffle. The waffles are made from the finest ingredients and served plain or with a variety of fresh toppings and are accompanied with house-made jam and melted butter. More than Waffles offers some 19 different waffles to choose from, and of course you can create your own.”

“More Than Waffles also offers a full breakfast menu that includes 21 omelets which are served with a Belgian Waffle or home fries, breakfast burritos, crepes, pancakes, various benedicts, hash and much more.”

“Besides breakfast, More Than Waffles offers a full lunch menu including Sandwiches, Salads, Pastas, Chicken Dishes, house-made Soups and juicy Hamburgers (including Vegi Burgers and Turkey Burgers.) More Than Waffles uses a variety of Organic products and offers many healthy and low-calorie dishes for a lighter touch.”

Love is in the air at More Than Waffles. Proprietress Ika Taft (who started there as a server) met her future husband, Greg, at the restaurant. As coincidence would have it Ika’s and Greg’s daughter, Henny, also was introduced to her future husband (Mike) at More Than Waffles. Henny is currently the General Manager of More Than Waffles representing the 2nd generation of caring, hands-on Taft Family stewardship.

Since they only have 17 tables available in their comfortable patio on the lower level of the Encino Town Center Ika suggests getting on their Yelp Waitlist during normal operating hours. If your party is on the list by the 2 p.m. daily close you’re guaranteed attentive & relaxed service even if you’re seated after 2:00 p.m. That’s real hospitality….

More Than Waffles was a beneficiary of Chef Andrew & Lauren Gruel’s “86 Restaurant Struggle” relief fund with support to both the Front and Back of The House Staff there.

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Show 415, March 6, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style Pizza

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants which is a genuine (and increasingly growing) concern.

For California restaurants to safely reopen as the pandemic is slowly mitigated they need protection from frivolous COVID 19 lawsuits. Chef Andrew shares his informed thoughts.

Chef Andrew also updates us on the inspiring progress for the grass-roots, 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign to benefit out-of-work and struggling restaurant workers. Chef Andrew and his wife, Lauren, have already distributed over $380,000 in small grants to deserving restaurant workers in serious need. All applications are carefully vetted by the Gruels. The substantial need, and fundraising, continues…

Chef Andrew shares the heartwarming story of the recent grants to the most in need employees ($1,200 each) at the family-owned, More Than Waffles in Encino in the San Fernando Valley. This was the basis for a moving segment last week on the national “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.”

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