I’m all about the waffles on any given day, so Belgium is on my food and drink bucket list as one of those no-brainer options. I’m so glad Belgians didn’t get a raw deal with their waffles like they did with their pomme frites. The Belgian’s waffles, French fries and Belgian chocolate are quite enough to make this American girl honored to salute them for their huge contribution to my life. And as an American, I’m not going to go embarrassing us overseas looking for maple syrup and butter. My expectations are set to enjoy what Belgium has to offer. I will simply go where the waffle quest takes me. However, I have it on good authority that it will take me to Brussels.
What Americans know as a Belgian waffle, with it’s deeply creviced pockets, is what Belgians would call a Brussels waffle (or gaufres de Bruxelles). But you can also find the Liege waffles in abundance as well. It has a thicker brioche batter and incorporates pearl sugar for crispness. The Liege waffle is also not perfectly rounded but has those kind of edges that you get when you didn’t quite put enough waffle batter on the waffle iron/maker. But it’s all good, we’ll eat those too.
So the Bucklist picks for my waffle experience (Unless the locals give me some other liquid gold recommendation) are BE Waffle and Maison Dandoy. And here’s the great thing about both…location, location, location. They are both situated in the Grand Place, a historic area where you can enjoy the Baroque and gothic architecture. It’s obviously a must-see area. It’s been around in some form or fashion since the 12th century!
Okay, back to the waffles…BE Waffle serves hot-off-the-iron waffles as street food in a market-style area. Go ahead and dig in with your hands. That’s what you’re supposed to do.
You can load up on the available toppings, from chocolate to whipped cream to fruit. Then take it to go as you enjoy just being a tourist in Belgium. Nonetheless, as a tourist, know the culture enough to notice what’s legit and what’s not. I noticed that a review from TripAdvisor, indicated that BE Waffle was selling fresh, hot waffles but that wasn’t always the case with some of the other street vendors. Whether you traveled from another continent or from another nearby neighborhood, you want your food to be right. Be observant and then go get your waffle.
Maison Dandoy is located in a shop in the same district as BE WAFFLE and has been there on Rue au Buerre since 1829. I, for one, love that it’s located on “Butter Street.” It gives me such hope of how good the waffles will be.
Images from Maison Dandoy’s Facebook Page
In all fairness, my anticipation for Maison Dandoy might edge out BE Waffle by just a smidge. It has several locations in Brussels and one of the locations has one of my favorite things…a tea house. The waffle offerings look so lovely and the presentation is awesome in every way. I’m looking forward to topping my Liege or Brussels waffle with powdered sugar, chocolate, whipped cream and/or fruit and enjoy with what looks to be some awesome options for coffee beverages.
Prayerfully, my bucket list will be satisfied sooner rather than later, but until then I’ll keep on slathering on the butter and drizzling on the syrup knowing that Belgium is calling. And when I can’t put off the call anymore, I’ll grab my passport and my pen so I can check Belgium off as “done.”
Try this recipe for Liege waffles on our sister Multi Cultural Cooking Network page.