Thursday, October 21, 2010

Best Belgian waffles (or I guess just "waffles" over here) EVER!!!

We tried our first Belgian waffle the other day and OH MY! Words do no justice for these Belgian treats, but I'll try...First of all, they were made from dough instead of a batter like I had assumed. The dough was speckled with sugar balls (my descriptor, not there’s). The man who runs the place, then squished the dough onto the grille with the heel of his palm. Next, they were essentially fried in butter on the waffle grille which gave them a nice golden crunchy exterior and a soft chewy center and the “sugar balls” turned to caramel-YUMMY!!! I can’t imagine adding a topping to these perfect treats but at this place you do have the choice of adding chocolate, cream, or chocolate and cream, but I’d stick to the “nature” waffle as it needs no accompaniment.

The waffle joint is housed inside of a fancy looking café called 3.14 or Pi (π) in the Groetenmark. It’s in the front of the building with a window facing the street so you can purchase waffles to take away directly from the waffle man.

Waffle place (waffle window on left)

I went back to the waffle man today to see if I was right about the sugar balls and met Geteen, the “waffle man” mentioned earlier. He was very friendly and kind about answering my questions about his waffles. It turns out I was right about the sugar balls but he calls them “pearl sugar” (much more elegant). I was embarrassed to ask him for a photo but did anyways and he was very compliant and even posed. He dresses in funny old fashioned baker’s outfits and sometimes wears a traditional symbol of gent-a noose around his neck (on May 3rd, 1540, Charles V ordered the disobediant city’s leading citizens to parade through the streets of Gent with nooses around their necks and forced them to kneel and beg for mercy from the Emporer giving them the nickname “noose-wearers”. Some people in Gent still wear the black & white noose as a matter of pride at the city's festivals.)

Geteen the waffle man.  You can see the dough on the right (under Geteen's armpit :)

I’ll certainly give other waffle vendors a chance but I really don’t think this place can be beat, but I’ll let you know…
The real critic:)

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