City Paper is not for tourists
The Sandwich: Grilled National Ham and Cheese Croque Monsieur
Where: Wicked Waffle, 1712 I St. NW
Stuffings: Sliced ham, Gruyere cheese, bechamel sauce
Bread: Freshly griddled waffle
Thickness: 2 inches
Pros: Heated ham and cheese sandwiches can quickly become mushy, especially if bechamel sauce is added, making a thin, crisp waffle an excellent base. Each bite has just the right amount of crunch, and the fillings don’t make the waffle soggy.
Cons: If you’re looking for flavor variation, don’t order this sandwich. The cheese, ham, and creamy sauce all meld together into a mass of salt, with each bite tasting exactly the same as the one before. The waffle tastes of wheat-flavored air and doesn’t stand up to the potent salinity of the fillings.
Sloppiness level (1 to 5): 1. The bechamel sauce is just thick enough that it doesn’t slide off the slick ham, and the cheese melts enough to serve as a glue of sorts. Your fillings aren’t going anywhere.
Overall score (1 to 5): 2.5. While using a waffle as a vessel to hold a sandwich is a novel concept, it’s the lack of diverse flavors that ultimately sinks this sandwich. The result is a cheesy salt bomb that sits in your gut for the rest of the day, but lacks the satisfaction of something truly rich and indulgent.