The Red Velvet Waffle is nothing short of a Masterpiece. A heavenly indulgence, once tasted, its memory is hard to forget. When I began planning the menu for Johnny D’s Waffles, I wanted to create a waffle that would leave a lasting impression. A waffle so indulgent, that when you take that first bite, you feel the urge to put your fork down and savor the experience.
When opening in Myrtle Beach in 2014, we were well received by the local community. Locals and tourist alike were coming in to try the new place. We had been active on social media for months prior to opening, allowing the community to build up anticipation and excitement over which dish they were going to try first. Once open for business, the Red Velvet Waffle and the restaurant were slowly building a reputation. It was not long before our establishment and this waffle caught the interest of Sam Champion and Jim Cantore, from the Weather Channel. Their team was in town to do a vacation segment working with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Their producer asked to have the waffles brought down to the boulevard so the guys could eat them on their live segment. This brought a wave of locals and tourists into the restaurant that day, along with the days and weeks to follow.
Prior to Johnny D's Waffles was even a thought, I was a pretty busy cake maker. I made a fantastic Red Velvet Cake. Traditionally, Red Velvet Cake is a vanilla cake batter with cocoa powder, giving it a light chocolate flavor and red hue, baked and layered with cream cheese icing. When preparing my Red Velvet cake batter, I had found that the perfect combination of chocolate and vanilla cake batters mixed, with a touch of color, creates the perfect Red Velvet Cake. A cake boasting the perfect texture with a light chocolate flavor and crumb that is always moist. Although, I have been retired from the Cake business for many years now, that Red Velvet Cake always stayed on my mind.
When the time came to plan the menu for Johnny D’s, I drew inspiration from those flavors that would bring you back to a core memory. Flavors that are not only satisfying in the moment, but have a way of transporting you back to a memory or experience. The red velvet batter is one of those flavors for me making the creation of the Red Velvet Waffle instinctual. I knew that if prepared correctly, the memory of the Red Velvet Waffle would be forever engraved in each guest’s mind. Developing the recipe for the Red Velvet Waffle, I blended that perfect Vanilla & Chocolate Cake batter ratio with my waffle batter. Creating a waffle that is decadent in every way because each batter brings its own flavor and texture. At first bite, noticing the light chocolate flavor, that blend of the three batters bring a unique crumb and each bite finishes with the taste of that unique waffle flavor. As if this is not enough, each perfect Red Velvet Waffle is accompanied by a light, creamy, cream cheese icing that is drizzled overtop. Our icing is made in house, starting with blending the butter with sugar until smooth, light and fluffy. Tons of cream cheese is then added to the mix, along with some vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Once all the ingredients are blended, they are whipped to the heavens, leaving a soft, perfect for drizzling creation, that is light and perfectly creamy.
The Red Velvet Waffle at Johnny D’s had hit national news. People visiting Myrtle Beach came to eat, looking for the waffle they saw on the Weather Channel. It was truly an exciting time for myself and my family.
Then about 2 years later, Food Network contacted us asking about our Red Velvet Waffle. It seemed that one of the outside marketing companies that work with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce wrote in telling them about my Red Velvet Waffle. A writer for the Food Network’s “50 States, 50 Waffles” article wanted to know more and asked for a few photos.
Naturally, I was thrilled, made sure to give them everything they needed. A little later, I heard back saying we were in! They voted my Red Velvet Waffle #1 in South Carolina. Once word was out that our waffle was voted #1, customers poured in again from near and far to give us a try. The news stations across the Grand Strand reported on it. We couldn’t make the waffle batter fast enough. The guests were loving it. It was truly an awesome experience. To this day, the Red Velvet Waffle remains a smash hit.
Currently we have three locations across the Grand Strand serving up waffles, benedicts and much more. It has truly been an experience watching something I created grow to something our customers love so much that leaves them with cherished memories. My menu at Johnny D’s showcases many "Best Sellers" but the Red Velvet Waffle remains at the top of my list. Visit Johnny D's to check out my full menu and stop by and see us the next time you are in Myrtle Beach.
Follow the link to Food Network to check out their article about our Red Velvet Waffle
Watch the segment to see Jim Cantore & Sam Champion from the Weather Channel