GOWANUS — A new tour lets visitors peek under the hood of one of the city's most popular food trucks.
Belgian waffle purveyor Wafels & Dinges is throwing open the doors of its Gowanus commissary for one-hour tours this fall. The company likes to call its Butler Street facility the "Royal Dinges Factory," but the tour highlights some of the less-glamorous realities of running a food truck, said tour captain Paul Doble.
"They’ll see a lot of nitty gritty stuff," Doble said. "It's a functioning commissary. When they come in here, it’s not going to be Willy Wonka. There's going to be flour and people in hair nets and people hacking at the dough."
The waffle makers plan to display photos of "horror stories" showing "when waffling goes wrong," Doble said. Examples include carts lost in traffic accidents, and epic lines in front of trucks that are running low on supplies.
Visitors to the 6,000 square-foot commissary will see towering silos loaded with "pearl sugar," which gives the waffles their distinctive caramelized coating. In the kitchen they'll glimpse mounds of dough that are sometimes taller than the workers.
Foodies who may have dreamed of running their own food truck business will get a close-up look at how businesses like Wafels & Dinges comply with city codes. There's an area in the commissary where the trucks and carts are serviced following city regulations, and there's also a "clean room" with high-powered water hoses where all the equipment is sanitized.
The one-hour tours will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturdays, when Wafels & Dinges is whipping up the 1,200 pounds of dough that will be carefully poured onto waffle irons across the city over the coming week. The Vendy Award-winning company operates two trucks, four carts, and a catering business. It recently opened a cafe in the East Village, and is gearing up to open kiosk in Herald Square.
Tours start Nov. 16 and will be held once or twice a month. Tickets are $15.
"If you're going to have a Brooklyn adventure, this is a nice place to start, because each person who buys a ticket gets premium coffee and a Liège waffle," Doble said.