Sometimes, we get a hankering for the food of the Low Countries. Belgium’s pantry is forged from the French (buttery sauces, refinement) and German (sour, pickled, and heavy) traditions, and is best known in the United States for three things: waffles, mussels, and ales. Here are a few spots where you can sample the cuisine:
• Baladoche is the only restaurant in our system to self-identify as Belgian. They make crispy Belgian waffles, the sort you might purchase on the street in Brussels for immediate consumption. Here’s one covered in Nutella:
A Zucker waffle with nutella is $6.43 (why not), or for a penny less you can get one filled with apples and cinnamon.
• If you like your Belgian waffles softer and served for breakfast in a sit-down environment, you could do worse than the strawberry- and whipped cream-topped version at Tre Kronor:
It’s $6.95, and while not super-authentic, at least also hails from Northern Europe.
• Our mussels and beer suggestions are one in the same - Hopleaf is universally recognized for both its moules frites and its Belgian ale and lambic selections. These mussels have been steamed in Wittekerke white ale with sliced shallots, celery, thyme and bay leaves, much to their benefit:
You cannot argue with that, or with the cone of frites served with aioli that you can sort of see on the right ($11 for one, $20 for two).
Best to indulge your Belgian cravings now, as the country could dissolve any minute!