A Bit of Belgium in the Big Apple

"Are we in Brussels?  Nope, it's Manhattan!"

“Are we in Brussels? Nope, it’s Manhattan!”

When it comes to decadent foods that tickle our taste buds, it is hard to beat Belgium.  This tiny European country known for amazing architecture, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Flemish giants, and Tintin is a haven for the finest chocolates, crispest fries, bubbliest beer, and waffles that could put any diner in America to shame!  But you don’t have to fly thousands of miles to this tri-lingual country to sample foods that would frighten any health nut or dietician.  Instead, New York City has got your Belgian fix!  And they’ve got two amazing ways to sample these goodies!

WAFELS & DINGES

Waffles!  Waffles!  Waffles!

Waffles! Waffles! Waffles!

As a kid, one of the biggest mysteries for me was the elusive “Awful Waffle” made famous by Nickelodeon’s sorely missed show, Salute Your Shorts.  Whatever it was, I’m pretty sure they weren’t talking about this place.  I first heard about this on the Travel Channel’s Man v Food.  It is actually a food truck that circles Manhattan, serving up hot, fresh waffles with lots of dinges, which is a Belgian term meaning “whatever you want on top”!  And with the food truck phenomenon sweeping the country in many major cities, offering up unique tastes from such a tiny portable space, it is not hard to comprehend the appeal of this mobile Belgian bakery.  Since the yellow truck never stays in one space, you can search its Twitter page to pinpoint where the truck will be so you can get to it first!

You've heard of the ice-cream truck?  Get ready for the waffle truck!

You’ve heard of the ice-cream truck? Get ready for the waffle truck!

 

At the truck, be sure to order up one of the signature snacks: a waffle topped with pulled pork!  According to the menu, this is where Belgium meets Biloxi!  A malted waffle topped with tender, pulled pork, smothered in a spicy BBQ sauce, then crowned with cool, creamy coleslaw, and then, it is all topped with a “coolickle.”  That’s a pickle that is soaked in a brine mixed with cherry-flavored Kool-Aid.  So basically, you get pickle slices that are red and have a subtle cherry finish.  Welcome to flavor country, indeed!  It is so messy, but SO GOOD!  Good luck trying to eat with your hands without anything dripping!

Belgian Waffle and Southern BBQ: Mmmmmm!

Belgian Waffle and Southern BBQ: Mmmmmm!

And for dessert (if you can save room), try a classic waffle topped with a shmere of spekuloos (Shpeck-cue-loose), a thick, gingerbread-flavored spread that kinda tastes like graham cracker-flavored frosting.  If you can’t get enough of this luscious spread, you can buy a jar of it for a few dollars (I HIGHLY recommend it!).

"Move over, syrup.  Get ready for spekuloos!"

“Move over, syrup. Get ready for spekuloos!”

 

POMMES FRITES

Welcome to Pommes Frites

Welcome to Pommes Frites

Remember back in 2003 when the U.S. Congress decided to change the French fries in the Congressional cafeteria to “Freedom Fries” after France decided not to join the fight in coalition for the Iraq War?  Just another example of your tax dollars at work, America!  Well, someone should have told them that fries originally came from France’s next-door neighbor, Belgium.  And it’s a good thing they didn’t try to ban these beauties!

Belgian Frites and Mayo!

Belgian Frites and Mayo!

Located in New York’s lower east side, Pommes Frites is a hole-in-the-wall that serves up the finest fries this side of Flemish county.  The trick to getting them so good is the fact that they are “twice fried” for texture and tossed in a wok-shaped bowl for optimal salting.  But it doesn’t stop there.  Pommes Frites offers up an entire menu of dips and sauces to accompany their fantastic fries.  And in the tradition of Belgian and Dutch style fries, most of the sauces are mayo-based.  I say to that, “Forget cholesterol, live a little!”  Each order comes with a complimentary side of their signature frites sauce, which is a creamier, slightly sweeter mayo sauce that goes rather well their fries.  I recommend getting an additional side of their pesto mayo or their spicy ketchup.

"So many mayos, so little time!"

“So many mayos, so little time!”

Now if only they could build a Belgian themed restaurant in the shape of the Atomium, complete with expensive chocolates, beer, waffles, fries, cut diamonds, Flemish giants, and poppies…  It would be more exciting and authentic than the Olive Garden or Outback Steakhouse!  BON APPETITE!

wafelsanddinges.com & @waffletruck (Twitter)

Pommes Frites
123 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003

pommesfrites-hub.com
(212) 674-1234 & @PommesFritesNY (Twitter)

 

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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2 Responses to A Bit of Belgium in the Big Apple

  1. Alisoun Brewster says:

    Jared–dang, you get around–these places sound amazing!! I definitely want some of that “spekuloos”–sounds fabulous!!

  2. Paul Condon says:

    Awesome write up Jared, thanks for taking us all on your adventures!

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