Date of Visit: Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 1:00 p.m.
IMPRESSIONS: “Oh, here we go a-waffling…” As usual, I’m finally now getting around to visiting Taste of Belgium, despite it opening months ago in North Market.
Taste of Belgium was a great addition to North Market’s already-diverse crowd of food stalls. I was excited to hear of it’s arrival, and shame on me that it’s taken so long to get here.
ATMOSPHERE: As one of the many stalls in North Market, Taste of Belgium is busy and open. They just recently moved to the northwest corner of the market, in the stall formerly occupied by Lac Viet. This is a great location – high visibility, with lots more space.
Standing at their stall, you get a good look at the operations, including the waffle iron right up front…
…and rows of delicious waffles just tempting you.
FOOD: Their signature piece is the Authentic/Plain waffle (a super deal at $3.75). This waffle is made from a family recipe belonging to Jean-Francois Flechet, the owner, who grew up near Liege, Belgium. I knew that I had to try one of the waffles, because it’s a staple of the breakfast carb arena.
I don’t know about you, but when I thought of getting waffles, I expected a hand-held version of the standard breakfast Eggo waffle: thin, dry, crispy, and desperately in need of some syrup. Those of you who have had a Taste of Belgium waffle know already that that’s exactly the opposite of what you’ll get. These waffles are thick, rich, heavy, and sweet. They’re made with a thick dough (just watch them dab it onto the waffle iron), with Belgian beet sugar mixed into the batter. The sugar carmelizes in the iron, giving it a rich, sweet texture, almost like the syrup is infused in the waffle. And sweet heavens, these waffles are good.
I also nabbed a Banana and Nutella crepe. Here’s the play-by-play of it being made:
The crepe was warm, thick, and delicious as well. I love the folded layers, how each bite is a discovery. The Nutella melts nicely in the warm crepe.
Taste of Belgium serves other waffles, too, including ones with fruit, cream, and chocolate. They also have savory crepes (plus other sweet ones), salads, and coffee.
SERVICE: Nice and friendly. I asked the folks there if I could take pictures, and they seemed to appreciate me asking first.
It was fun to watch them work – there’s something interesting about seeing waffles and crepes being made.
OVERALL: All I can really say is that my wife and I have found a new addiction in town. From now on, every time one of us stops by North Market, we have to pick up a couple waffles. Their portability is dangerous, the taste tempting. This is a lethal combination, one to which we will gladly the submit in the future.
Quick side note: they also have locations in Cincinnati’s Findlay Market and
now at Easton Town Center (in the small shack by the fountain, just outside Bon Vie). I’ve been told they only sell the waffles at the Easton location.