In the land of pairing food with libations, there are wine pairings and beer pairings but whiskey pairings? Apparently, this is considered “outré by many” but as I learned one late Saturday morning, whiskey not only serves as a pretty effective hair of the dog, but it goes really well with waffles. I’m talking the freshly made, thick, crispy, golden kind that is ready to be topped with piles of toppings like maple syrup, peanut butter, chocolate, whipped cream, and fruit. If you’re not groggy from food coma after this, you’ll ease into your lazy Saturday by sipping on Old Fashioneds. It gets your creative juices flowing before you start getting crafty.
At Pop Productions’ Whiskey Waffles Workshop, I got to see The Shanty (79 Richardson St) in a different light. Literally, I’ve never visited it it during daylight hours. It usually delivers a down-to-earth night out with fancy cocktails made with spirits that were distilled on site by NY Distilling Company. But on this day, the space was flooded with ambient light and Co-Founder Allen Katz himself was behind the bar, mixing up drinks using whiskey bearing his own namesake – “Mister Katz’s Rock & Rye”.
Allen Katz is a man who wears many hats, we found, because later on he took us into the distillery and unraveled the mystery behind the room that faces the bar through a large glass wall. He spoke about grains, enzymes, tanks, and barrels with the eloquence of a science teacher. It certainly made you appreciate the whiskey more and so I’ll blame it on him for my lack of productivity thereafter. I went home with just two coasters.
That isn’t to say others didn’t leave with a good amount of personalized handmade paracord and cork coasters. It was well stocked with material and even had a gift wrapping station with cards. The lady sitting next to me was pumping out beautifully designed coasters like a machine and while over the years my competitive side has waned, I did side eye her a little bit.