It’s always a good time for waffles, and Andrea Dahlia is proof of this theory. So much so, that she just opened a waffle-based restaurant in Murray Hill called Magnolia’s. If the last name sounds familiar, that’s because she is the owner of Dahlia’s Pour House in Riverside’s King Street District as well. Originally Andrea wanted to do tacos, but she quickly realized that tacos were spoken for here in Jacksonville. Just around the corner you have your Corner Taco, Nacho Taco, Tijuana Flats, etc.
How did this idea start? One Christmas, Andrea got a bread/waffle maker. Soon after, she started testing waffle batters and used her friends as guinea pigs to perfect the recipes. One thing led to another, and eventually I heard about Magnolia’s through @Devouringjax on Instagram and had to see what the hype was about. Magnolia’s is located across from Maple Street Biscuit Co. and in the same plaza as Moon River Pizza. I’m not going to lie; I didn’t have the highest hopes for Magnolia’s. A waffle is a waffle, right? Well, I quickly learned that all waffles are not created equal. She’s doing waffle everything: waffle sandwiches, glazed waffle donuts, chicken in waffle bites, waffle pizza, and waffle grilled cheese, just to name a few.
The glazed waffle donuts are one of my absolute favorites. It’s extremely crispy on the outside but still soft inside. It’s like an amazing churro in waffle form. “How is it so crispy?” you ask. In the last step of the waffle making process, the waffle goes on a slow trip down an oven conveyor belt giving it that finished, crispy outside.
The game changer for me has to be the jalapeno cheddar waffle tots. They just literally blew my mind. It looks likes a waffle and has the nice texture, but then, Bam!, it’s a tater tot in waffle form. Just when you think you’re finished, the jalapeno and cheddar hits you. Needless to say, these are a must order!
Andrea absolutely loves waffles, and I could feel it when I was talking to her. She told us about her stacked ‘smores chocolate chip waffle that she makes when her sweet tooth kicks in. It wasn’t on the menu but after describing this goliath of a waffle we couldn’t leave without it. She literally went to the kitchen and made it herself.
I deeply admire Andrea’s hunger and drive, and it shines through in her restaurant. Magnolia’s is a great addition to the growing, wildfire culinary scene in Jacksonville.