belgian waffles

one summer when i was about 13 or so, my family embarked on what was to be the requisite grand european road trip. part of this trip included a hilarious time in amsterdam where me and my 7 year old brother discovered both marshmallow shish kabobs and dr. mulluers sex world. another part of this trip included my father being so excited and proud to show us the manneken pis in brussels, which, for all of your edification, is basically just a life-size statue of a baby urinating. manneken "pis"- get it? the joke was super lame, but the rest of brussles, especially the food, more than made up for it. i very vividly remember the smell of baking waffles in air and being so so excited to have one, but sadly, i don't actually remember what they tasted like.

so when i found out about a waffle truck making the rounds in NYC, i was understandably excited. and when i learned it was run by real, live, authentic belgians, bringing straight-from-belgium recipes, i was SO THERE. so much there that i even traveled out of my beloved borough to the upper west side on the weekend for them. that's a 45 min. one-way trek, mind you. for all you park-slopers, there is a much easier way to get them, which is to just wait until the first saturday of the month, when they are posted at 7th and Carroll (in front of Key Food) all day.

they serve two kinds of waffles, the straightforward brussles and the more mysterious liege. the brussels is exactly what you'd expect in a high-quality belgian waffle- crisp, light, warm and uncomplicated. the real troublemaker (at least for my thighs) here is the liege, which is described in the menu as being "packed with sugar pearls". this all sounds very intriguing and potentially a little suspect, but honestly after having eaten these, i can't say i can describe it any better. this waffle is chewy, doughy and bursting with vanilla sugar crystals. topped with one of the various dinges like strawberry, dulce de leche, or whipped cream and a generous sprinkle of powdered suger, this is more a dessert than a breakfast food.

one last tip, pertaining to savings: the waffles are $4 each, and the toppings are $1. however, the kind folks who run this have set up a secret password that allows you to get a topping for free if you tell them the name of the sport played by a belgian who in 2001 became the world champion of this sport at the age of 64, 38 years after he won this title for the first time. you should look this up for the sake of it, but i'll tell you right here: three cushion billiards. you're basically MAKING money by reading this blog!

waffles & dinges
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