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Gaüfreé, offering scratch-made waffle sandwiches and waffle desserts, set to open September 7

Irvine’s newest fast-casual restaurant will specialize in savory and sweet housemade waffledishes with organic, sustainably-sourced meats and produce

Irvine, Calif. (September 2013) – Gaufre. Goffre. Gauffre. Long before we knew the iconic honeycomb-patterned cakes as waffles, they were called gaufres, a medieval European street food that continues to be beloved today. Enter Gaufree, a new fast-casual eatery that will pay homage to the old-world treat with its own take on artisanal, savory waffle sandwiches and sweet waffle desserts.

At Gaüfreé (pronounced go-free), customers will be able to choose from 8 different specialty waffle sandwiches – all scratch-made, from a signature slow-cooked pulled pork with housemade BBQ sauce and horseradish yogurt – to an organic buttermilk fried chicken waffle sandwich with a chipotle molasses dip, to Louisiana Tasso ham with Emmental cheese with garlic aioli. The vegetarian gaufre comes with sautéed kale, scallions, bell peppers, eggplant, port-wine glazed tofu and garlic aioli.

Burger lovers can also find two different waffle burgers, with grass-fed or prairie beef. Pretzel bread or lettuce wraps can also be selected as an alternative to the waffle.

In addition to using free-range chicken from Pitman Farms and produce from Scarborough Farms, honey will be sourced from Backyard Bees and coffees will be from fair-trade purveyors.

Gaüfreé co-founders Paul Hortogbayi and his daughter Marcela Varadi have a deep love and appreciation for the waffle, having eaten nearly every rendition of it throughout Europe, thanks to the family’s early experience as part of a traveling circus.

“Being part of a circus meant traveling all over Europe and gaufres were found in practically every country we visited – it was our favorite street food as a family,” said Varadi. “We’ve eaten gaufres in Hungary, where are our family is from, as well as Italy, France, Scotland, Germany and of course, Belgium. Gaüfreé is our tribute to all the waffles we’ve eaten from different countries and have come to love so much through the years.”

Gaüfreé is located at Westpark Plaza, 3851-A Alton Parkway. Lunch and dinner is served from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; with breakfast, lunch and dinner from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Information: 949.222.5622.