de Verdekke – Wafels & Dinges, 65th & Columbus, New York, NY

Wafels & Dinges is a chain of carts in New York City, ostensibly putting fourth an authentic Belgian waffle experience. I can’t speak to that, having never been to Belgium, but I can say what they put out is delicious. Warm waffles with a subtle sweetness topped with more directly sweet items, it’s a fine evening snack. Even finer is a treat that comes in the form of a sandwich, as you see above.

I don’t think I’ve got more to say about this than that it was delicious, but I should say that several times, and at a less-than-reasonable volume. This was outstanding, with warm crispy waffles and rich, creamy ice cream. This sort of thing is exactly why we eat sandwiches, isn’t it? It need not be fancy, just take the right things, put them together, and you move from good to great.

Dessert Burger – Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV

The sixty dollar Rossini at Burger Bar comes with a few perks, beyond the thrill of finding out whether it was worth your money and the story you get to tell. Specifically, it comes with your choice of a milkshake or something from the dessert portion of the menu. Though a number of the gourmet milkshakes looked delicious, one of the dessert offerings was the dessert burger and I couldn’t pass up another sandwich. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and when it arrived I was a bit tickled. A glazed donut is cut in two and a patty of chocolate fudge is added. There are a few slices of kiwi standing in for the lettuce, strawberry for the tomato, and a small square of gelatin does duty as the cheese. Raspberry coulis offers a ketchup garnish. I picked it up and dug in.

I wanted to like it. The idea is delightful, the presentation is cute. There’s nothing unreasonable in the ingredients, if presented in a list I’d tell you they would work quite well together. But in practice it just didn’t fly. The fudge was the catalyst for the failure, I think. It had a slightly grainy texture, but more importantly there was just too much of it. It was a thick, dense patty of chocolate and the whole thing turned into all fudge as the other ingredients disappeared early in each bite. It was lacking balance and as well all know, balance is crucial. A patty made of something lighter, cake dipped in chocolate perhaps, or just a different bit of donut, would have gone a long way. I’m glad I so enjoyed the Rossini at Burger Bar, because the dessert burger made for a disappointing cap to my meal. I’m all for incorporating sandwiches into as many parts of a meal as possible, but to do it poorly is to do a disservice to both dessert and to sandwiches. Some things, it seems, are better left unburgered.