By Kathy Montgomery | Photograph by Paul Markow
It’s easy to think Violette’s Bakery Café is all about the waffles.
“I love waffles!” gushes Amber Godina (pictured), who owns and operates the bakery from a caboose in Clarkdale. “When my brother and I were kids, it was what you ordered when you went out. It was the best treat you could get.”
The compulsion to order waffles every time Godina went to breakfast led to many disappointments. That started the self-taught baker on a crusade.
“I wanted a waffle that was crisp on the outside [and] soft on the inside, that held up to syrup and would not crumble, and [that] would taste just as good an hour later,” she says. One day, while she was out to eat, it hit her. “I figured out the secret ingredient,” she says. “My waffles are really perfect. Nine ingredients, structured and restructured until perfect.”
So it’s not surprising that waffles figure prominently on Violette’s menu. The Classic is downright chaste next to the Belgian Spice, flavored with clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice, then dusted with powdered sugar and topped with pecans, house-made caramel and whipped cream.
There’s also the Churro — buttered, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, and topped with caramel and whipped cream — and another with chocolate-hazelnut spread. The latest over-the-top addition is the Belgian Royale, a waffle sandwich with two eggs, caramelized ham, hickory bacon and maple syrup.
But loyal customers insist Violette’s cinnamon rolls, served only on Thursdays and Saturdays, take the cake.
Godina starts with brioche, a traditional French bread rich with eggs and butter, and finishes with a cream-cheese frosting. Fans from as far away as Prescott Valley and Camp Verde make a weekly pilgrimage to get their fix.
“I’d wait six hours in a frozen tundra for another of these bad boys,” one devotee posted on Facebook. “If I had given birth to a daughter, I’d be tempted to name her Violette.”
But waffles and cinnamon rolls are just two reasons to visit Violette’s. Godina typically makes 75 to 90 pastries each morning, with rotating daily specials. Nearly all were gone by noon on a recent Thursday. If you arrive to find this sad state, don’t despair. There’s also a menu of sandwiches.
The Monte Cristo is a favorite, with two eggs, ham and Irish cheddar on a sliced croissant, with aioli on one side and strawberry preserves on the other. Lunch sandwiches include a turkey and cranberry croissant, with spiced cream-cheese spread, and a panini with ham, hand-carved turkey and Irish cheddar. For health-conscious diners, there’s avocado toast served on organic, locally sourced bread with a variety of toppings.
And, of course, there are always waffles.
Violette's Bakery Café is located at 900 Main Street in Clarkdale. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/violetsfinepastries.