The question, "Hey, are you here for the waffle party," isn't something you hear every day inside the muraled walls of Little Haiti vinyl provider Sweat Records. But this past Saturday afternoon, the quirky record store/ venue/vegan coffee shop hosted a vegan waffle party. Yes, a vegan waffle party.
The Sweat Records party was one of many worldwide. All were part of the 2010 Global Vegan Waffle Party. The initiative behind the event began in 2007 when a group of vegans in Pittsburgh hosted a waffle party to help spread vegan awareness. The idea was to make people realize they can still enjoy all of their favorite foods without having to eat animal products. The concept has expanded and in the past couple of years, vegans worldwide have been hosting parties on or near May 29 in efforts to extend the knowledge. Last year, 17 cities were involved in the global vegan waffle push. This year organizers noted on their website that they hoped to reach more than 80 cities.
Sweat Records owner Lauren Reskin, AKA "Lolo," who practices veganism herself, found out about the event online. She said she thought the party would be fitting for her store which already sells vegan cupcakes that have become widely popular.
"We're a vegan coffee shop, we love throwing parties and everyone loves waffles, so it seemed like a win win win," said Reskin.
Lolo said she had to register her party with the group in order to receive a password-protected PDF vegan waffle recipe list. Then she decided on a recipe for "naked vegan waffles." She, along with friend and fellow vegan Vanessa Locastro, added in their own ingredients like cinnamon and chocolate while preparing and serving "less guilty waffles" for their party attendees.
"You don't need animal products to make delicious bakes goods," Locastro said.
The scene of the three-hour long event was that of a hip and modern last supper. Trendy partiers came out in small groups and sat around a white table in the center of the room that was topped with toppings. Freshly cut strawberries, soy whipped cream and homemade banana foster decorated the table top. And empty spaces were quickly occupied by plates of waffles. Attendees either brought a topping of their choice or paid $5 to eat as many waffles and drink as much coffee as they desired.
While the event was attended by some local vegans, others just came to hang at their favorite record store.
"Sweat brings a lot of culture to Miami and there's always something to do here," said regular Stephanie Cortes.
And the waffle party might have even converted some meat eaters. Luis Ruiz heard about the event via Twitter and showed up to give both Sweat and vegan waffles a chance.
"They were amazing," he said of the waffles. "And this place is pretty awesome."
Added Lolo: "We will definitely do it again next year, hell, we might even do it next weekend."