Belgium: Why Can’t All Waffles be This Good?

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I grew up eating waffles, I thought having a waffle iron in your house was considered standard kitchen equipment, you know right next to your spatulas and tablespoon. Fast forward to present day, there is no waffle iron in my kitchen. Sad face. So when Matt said we could do brunch for Belgium I was overly excited.

Let’s pause here for a minute so I can bring your attention to something that Matt continuously gripes about: brunch. He doesn’t get it. He gets the food and he loves the food. He does not get the timing. He wants to have his brunch and eat it too, just not after 11 am.

So we arrived at Belga Cafe on Barrack’s Row for our 3 pm brunch reservation. No that’s not a typo. I was promised a Belgian waffle, so I was going to have one. Even at 3 pm.

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The weather was pretty nice out on Easter Sunday so we asked if we could sit outside. We had to wait quite a bit past our reservation time to sit. We finally got a table in a sunny spot close enough to the sidewalk for me to people watch. There was one server handling the entire patio and he was, to say the least, over-tasked. He stopped by our table to get our drink order but we didn’t have cocktail menus at that point. Five or so minutes later he came back to take our drink order again despite the fact that he hadn’t dropped off any menus. This became a pretty comical pattern throughout our meal. Ask for something, server returns 3 or 4 more times before requested item returns.

Once we had the drink menu, Matt got to work paging through an impressive beer list. He went with the Grimbergen Optimo Bruno by Brouwerij Alken-Maes. I’ll let you reread that now. I got a North Sea Storm, a cocktail made with ginger beer and house-made citrus genever. It was delicious but not a compliment of the Belgian waffle that was to come.

We wanted to get a variety of Belgian food so we started with the Kazen Kroketten, croquettes made with four cheeses topped a frisée salad. I don’t really recall what they tasted like – we ate them a little fast. But you can’t really go wrong with breaded and deep fried cheese.

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After the croquettes, we ordered biefstuk van beenhouwer, a five pepper-crusted hanger steak in Cognac cream sauce, with roasted vegetables and Belgian frites. And, of course, we ordered a Luiske Belgian waffle (waffle with cinnamon apple slices). Along with the apples, the waffle came with some creme fresh and raspberries.
It was all gobbled up quickly. The steak was not the standout dish of the meal but was still a good choice for an option with more substance. The waffle was crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside and melted in your mouth. Adding a bite of cream and apples only added to its irresistibility.
I might have to sneak a waffle iron into the wedding registry to attempt to recreate this delight. But shhhh don’t tell Matt.
-Bridget
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