Bakaffa and Crystal Casey are new to Liberty Hill, but what they’re not new to is good food—particularly waffles. Their new restaurant, Munch Munch Waffles & More, opened last month and brings a European flair to classic and unique waffle dishes.
The Caseys' waffle-loving journey began thanks to Bakaffa’s career in the U.S. Navy, which had them stationed in Italy in 2015.
Bakaffa was given one weekend off per month, and because travel across Europe is affordable, the Caseys would travel to different countries as often as they could, especially France and Belgium. Their favorite place to visit ended up being Belgium. Why? Because the waffles couldn’t be beat.
“We fell in love with their waffles,” Crystal said. “When we got back to the states in 2017, I started working on a recipe for our own waffles.”
When the Caseys returned to the states, they had their daughter, Kennedy, and lived in Seattle, where Crystal worked as a pharmaceutical representative and Bakaffa finished out his military career, retiring in 2020.
“We knew we wanted to start something with our waffles, so we started feeding our neighbors and friends and did pop-ups all around Seattle,” Crystal said. “In June 2019 we purchased a food truck and rolled that out.”
Crystal is originally from California, while Bakaffa is originally from New Jersey. The two have traveled all over the world thanks to Bakaffa’s military career, but decided Texas was the place to put down roots with their daughter so they could be closer to family in the area. The Caseys moved to Liberty Hill in August 2021 and brought their business with them. They started locally with just their food truck, but last month, they opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the new Vista at 29 development on Highway 29.
“We took a few months off when we moved here, but then we started taking our food truck to local breweries and festivals around Liberty Hill,” Crystal said. “That’s also when we found a [brick-and-mortar] location in Liberty Hill. We had done some market research of up-and-coming areas in Austin, and obviously Liberty Hill is up and coming. We live here, too, so it just made sense.”
A lot of thought has gone into every detail of the restaurant, including its name. Munch Munch isn’t just a random term—it’s also their daughter’s nickname.
“We really wanted to have a family legacy—something she is proud of,” Crystal said. “We wanted to show her that you can pivot careers and go into entrepreneurship. You can live your dream no matter how old you are and no matter what your experience is.”
The entire Munch Munch menu is inspired by the Caseys' travels overseas. The two created the menu together by basing the dishes off what they like and adding some European flair. The menu consists of three different types of waffles: liege, cornbread and Brussels. The liege waffles are typically the base for Munch Munch’s breakfasts and sweet treats.
“The number one liege waffle is the O Europe, which includes strawberries or bananas, whipped cream, and chocolate or caramel drizzle,” Crystal said. “We also have one called The Mamba, which has lemon curd on it that we make fresh every day and top with blueberries.”
The cornbread waffles are a great vehicle for Texas-inspired dishes, like the Munchies Rancheros—their version of huevos rancheros; or the Pulled Perfection, which is like an open-faced pulled pork sandwich.
When it comes to the Brussels waffle, savory dishes are most popular, including the Rise and Munch, which is a breakfast combo that includes waffles, home fries, choice of breakfast meat and eggs, and The O.G., which might be Munch Munch’s most ordered dish, Crystal said.
“The O.G. is our version of chicken and waffles,” she said. “The chicken is hand cut and marinated for 24 hours in my secret spice mix. Then we flour it and throw it in the fryer so it gets nice and crispy, and top it off on the waffles with a maple drizzle.”
All the waffles are made in-house fresh daily. The Caseys typically arrive at the restaurant at 4 or 5 a.m. each day to start making their waffle batters.
Currently, Munch Munch is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day but Monday, but Crystal said plans are in the works to expand their hours to offer dinner for take out only within the next month or so. Breakfast is served from 7 to 10:45 a.m. and lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. On the weekends, the restaurant serves a special breakfast-all-day menu.
The Caseys also plan to start what they’re calling “Munchy Hour,” which will take place on weekdays from 3 to 5 p.m.
“This is really going to cater to the younger demographic,” Crystal said. “It will be like a happy hour for the kids, with all of our sweet treats, shakes, floats and waffle sundaes.”
The Caseys still use their food truck from time to time for community and private events. Eventually, they hope to open a second restaurant in the area, and someday would love to go nationwide with their brand.
For more information on Munch Munch Waffles & More, visit www.munchmunchwaffles.com.