By Maura Lammers
Despite Boots Bakery being a mainstay in my local restaurant rotation thanks to their top-tier drip coffee, I never tried their famous pumpkin waffle until I started training for marathons. As my mileage increased and I needed a carb bomb to bounce back after long runs, the pumpkin waffle became my recovery meal. “I’m not really vegan, but I love Boots,” has been my common refrain for years, fitting neatly alongside my insistence that, “I’m not really athletic, but I love running.”
The batter ingredients are simple: canned pumpkin, coconut milk, and a blend of potato, tapioca, rice and xanthan gum. The waffle contains no added sugar, sweetened only with agave and a spice medley of cinnamon, ginger and clove. A scoop of Nucoa butter infused with brown sugar and cinnamon tops the waffle.
The pumpkin waffle is the most popular item on the menu at Boots, where the staff reports 50 vegan waffles are made fresh to order during a weekend rush. Spokane had a six-month waffle-free hiatus after Boots closed its original location on December 31, 2022, but they thankfully reopened this summer.
Recently, I visited Boots at its new location in Saranac Commons (Mon-Sat 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sun 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.). While eating my inaugural waffle at a new table with the same mismatched orange chairs, I daydreamed about which races I might train for next year. The crispy waffle edges took me back to all those early-morning runs and hours of training. That’s the power of taste and tradition; the pumpkin waffle reminds me of what my body’s done before, what I can still do in the future, and what keeps me going along the way.
Cover photo courtesy Maura Lammers