Although Baladoche occupies a mere sliver of a storefront space on Clark Street, you'll have no trouble spotting it with your nose; the caramel-vanilla scent that wafts out of the cafe's window covers a three-block radius in fresh-from-the-oven perfume.
Opened in fall of 2006, Baladoche (a word made up by the owners to mean "good and sweet") specializes in Zucker waffles. The secret of the gooey Belgian snacks lies in straight-from-the-mother-land pearl sugar. When the waffles are cooking, the sugar pearls burst and ooze, kind of like chocolate chips melting into baking cookies. The sugar caramelizes on the surface, giving the waffle a golden-brown color. The treats take about five minutes to make, and cost $4.59 without cinnamon sugar and $5.50 if you just can't resist it.
Other menu options include the cat-shaped Langues de Chat Belgian Galler chocolates (available for 92 cents apiece or in 18-piece bulk boxes for $16.51); Illy coffee and Italian gelato in flavors like chocolate, vanilla and cappuccino.
The sparsely-decorated, silver and white cafe allows seating for about 15 at tables in the back or at a stainless steel counter. If you want to send e-mails between bites of zucker, you're in luck: Free wi-fi is a Baladoche perk.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg