Who doesn’t like waking up on Saturday morning to the smell of bacon and waffles? Since prep takes a while, most of us don’t get homemade waffles except on our days off. Thanks to Abe’s Waffles, a food truck in Tumwater, you can have this breakfast favorite anytime you want – in ways you never imagined – including savory as well as sweet.

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Abe’s Waffles is a Family Dream Realized

Michelle and Matt Abriani have cooking in their DNA. Michelle’s mom was a cook. Her Aunt Wilma and Uncle Hubert had a food truck and restaurant she worked in as a teen. Matt’s grandparents owned their own restaurant, Abrianis. “I always enjoyed going there as a kid, says Matt. I was very young but it left an impression on me.”

Add to their shared culinary background Michelle’s own talents in the kitchen, including attending culinary school and past work as a personal chef, manager for a catering company, and then her own cake and catering business, and you have the perfect recipe for a successful food business.

But it’s more than just a love for cooking that spurred them on. They wanted to fulfill Michelle’s mom’s dream too. “My mom was a school cook before I was born and always wanted her own restaurant, but at the time she and my dad were going to purchase one to run, she was diagnosed with cancer so it never happened,” she shares. “I like to think I’m partly helping finish that unrealized dream for her, especially that I am now the same age she was when she passed.”

Michelle (foreground) and Matt Abriani (background) are the proud owners of Abe’s Waffles, a food truck in Tumwater specializing in sweet and savory waffles. Photo courtesy: Michelle Abriani

Food Truck in Tumwater Makes Waffles for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Matt and Michelle purchased a waffle food truck when the current owner wanted to retire in 2022. They reopened the food truck with a new menu to fit their vision and passion on March 16, 2023. The restaurant’s name, Abe’s Waffles, comes from the family’s last name, Abriani. “Abe was the nickname of several family members over the years, starting with Matt’s Nonno/grandpa Clarence,” shares Michelle.

Since it was already set up for waffles, they thought – why not? “They are a good base for both savory and sweet options, so we didn’t really consider it as just a breakfast spot,” shares Michelle. “Since we have brunch, lunch/dinner, and dessert options as well.” She adds that lunch is busiest, and evenings get busy on the nights they are open.

a waffle covered in spices, whipped cream, sprinkles and a butter cookie
The Cookie Butter Bliss waffle is a customer favorite at Abe’s Waffles, a food truck in Tumwater. Photo courtesy: Michelle Abriani

You will find all kinds of waffles on their menu, and Michelle says the savory ones are the most popular with different versions of chicken and waffles being customer favorites, followed by the Breakfast and Local GOAT waffles. For sweet, customers love the strawberry compote and Cookie Butter Bliss waffles. “My personal favorites are the Green Goddess with tomato added, the International as I love pesto, or the BLAT, which is our take on an open-faced BLT with avocado,” shares Michelle.

“My favorite savory option is the Breakfast waffle with bourbon maple syrup on it, and the Dalmatian is my favorite sweet waffle,” adds Matt.

Local Ingredients Make for Fresh Waffles at Tumwater Food Truck

As far as ingredients, they try to use local whenever possible. They currently work with nine local and regional businesses, including Olympia Coffee Roasting, Lost Peacock Creamery, Cosmic Turtle Farm, Mount Olympus Brewing, GroundUpPDX, Finnriver Cidery, Spooner Berry Farms, Ryo’s Wicked Pickles and OlyKraut.

While they can’t accommodate dairy allergens or vegan just yet, they do have gluten-free waffles and gluten-free chicken options, but they do use shared equipment, so not for celiacs, cautions Michelle. They also have vegetarian options. “We are limited by the amount of cooking and storage space on the food truck, but we definitely intend to have more accommodations for dietary needs if we are able to open a full restaurant in the future,” she adds.

The BLAT, an open-faced BLT with avocado, waffle is Matt’s favorite savory waffle at their Thurston County food truck, Abe’s Waffles. Photo courtesy: Michelle Abriani

While starting and running a business has its stresses, they love the community and the customers. “All the unknowns and getting the equipment and truck cleaned up and ready to go was hard,” shares Matt. “But I love seeing the enjoyment our customers have eating our food.

“Managing my anxiety and the fear of failure with knowing people were accustomed to the previous owner’s waffles and how hard change is for so many,” says Michelle on what was hardest for her about starting the food truck. “But, cooking food for others is my love language, so it brings me great joy when people enjoy our food and especially become regulars. Matt and I truly appreciate the customer relationships we’ve developed.”

In addition to Matt and Michelle, you may see their daughter Kay helping on the weekends, as well as a couple of employees. When you are hankering for a sweet or savory waffle, just look for the brightly colored food truck with the happy Sasquatch on it at the Craft District Marketing Building. Indoor and outdoor seating is available and you can order ahead for pick up. Follow Abe’s Waffles on Facebook for up-to-date news and information!

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