Cousteau’s Waffle and Milkshake Bar shot to sudden fame in St Augustine with their diverse menu of Belgian Leige waffles and decadent milk shakes filled with ingredients that should be illegal they’re so rich. What is a Belgian Leige waffle you ask? We didn’t know either, so after some research we found out that this is actually a sweeter version of the traditional Brussels Belgian waffle. They are delicious served hot or cold and are meant to be a dessert waffle versus a breakfast waffle. After months of hype about Cousteau’s, we ventured out to see for ourselves what it was about.
Address: 15 Hypolita Street
Phone: (904) 342-5627
Cousteau’s is a tiny little space located on Hypolita Street with a semi-hidden side entrance. Walking into the restaurant is pretty dangerous. It doesn’t matter if you’re hungry or not the enticing waffle scent floating around in the air makes for instant mouth watering. There are 10 waffles and 9 milkshakes to choose from on-menu but the off menu combinations are mathematically endless. A plethora of add-on toppings are available for an extra charge (.50 cents to $2) for more variety. We asked about the most popular options, and ironically we were already eyeing what the girls working recommended for us. We opted for the “Plimpton” ($7.95), the “Hennessey” ($7.95), and a “Stevesie” milkshake ($5.49) to round off our dessert.
It’s notable that the customer service is excellent in Cousteau’s. The two employees working were welcoming and casual. They joked with us, explained the menu, and were abundantly friendly. As soon as we decided on our order one of the employees immediately went to the kitchen to begin preparing it for us. By the time we paid and sat down we only had about a minute wait for our food. In fact, it was prepared so fast both of us panicked that the waffles were premade. This was an unfounded worry, both waffles arrived hot and smothered in fresh toppings. Cousteau’s does not skimp on the toppings for the waffles, so don’t panic over the $8 price for a waffle. Realistically they’re large enough and heavy enough with the extras that two people could share one and still be content.
The “Plimpton” arrived drenched in blueberry compote and large dollops of whipped cream all the way down the center of the waffle. Hidden beneath the layer of compote and whipped cream is a copious amount of local honey. This waffle is SWEET. If you want a decadent amount of sugar this is the right choice. I missed “compote” when I was ordering and was prepared for fruit so the sweetness level caught me off guard. The local honey added a vibrant floral flavor to the waffle that I loved.
The “Hennessey” stole the show over the “Plimpton”. I’m not saying the “Plimpton” didn’t meet our expectations, but the “Hennessey” is just spectacular. The “Hennessey” is a s’mores waffle topped with chocolate sauce, marshmallow fluff and graham cracker crumbles. The chocolate sauce is rich and abundant. There wasn’t a lot of marshmallow fluff, but there was definitely enough to recreate the childhood flavor of s’mores. Confession: we had some leftovers of this waffle that I unashamedly ate for breakfast the next morning. It is equally as divine the next day. Both waffles were dense and chewy and only mildly sweet which was needed to balance out the rich toppings. I appreciated too the texture of the waffles simply because they held up to the toppings, nothing soaked through to ruin the texture of the waffle by itself.
Our milkshake arrived shortly after our two waffles and was thoughtfully divided into two cups since we were sharing. I liked this touch, some places will charge you extra for this. The “Stevesie” milkshake has a vanilla ice cream base and is mixed with homemade cookie dough ganache. We were completely blown away by this milkshake. Talk about rich, this is the most luxurious milkshake we’ve had in recent memory. The ice cream is thick and heavily vanilla flavored and the cookie dough ganache is blended throughout so that almost every bite (sip?) of milkshake is flavored with cookie dough. We even had a few larger chunks of cookie dough throughout the milkshake to eat.
Our visit to Cousteau’s exceeded our expectations. The employees were wonderful to interact with from start to finish (and from woman to woman, props on keeping that red lipstick applied as part of your uniform all day!). The waffles were over the top and whimsical. And the milkshake…oh the milkshake…we’ll be dreaming about that for awhile. Cousteau’s tag line is “One great waffle can change the world…” It definitely changed ours.