Taste of Belgium (in the Freedom Center)

Holy smokes!

On the hunt for something new, I suggested we hit Taste of Belgium for lunch. I've had crêpes and the like from Taste of Belgium in Findlay Market, but in January they opened a new branch inside the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, right on the river.

What a fantastic call that turned out to be.

When we first walked in, we were a little turned around-- you can take your order to go (as many of the construction workers for the Banks have been doing), but the restaurant is actually full-service. We were kindly led to a table and talked through the menu.

So much sounded great, but I decided on the "waffle sandwich" (exactly what you'd imagine) with turkey, and my coworker had the shrimp and grits waffle. He didn't take much convincing.

You have to understand that a Taste of Belgium waffle is unlike any other waffle you've ever had. It's sweet but not saccharine, and thoroughly delicious. Slap some turkey in there and it's lunch, apparently.

My coworker loved his shrimp and grits, and was actually just as impressed with the side salad served with it. The lemon poppyseed dressing was apparently a great complement to his lunch.

This location is a little odd because they aren't fully situated yet-- there were four laminated menus, three salt shakers and a handful of ketchup packets to share among the patrons-- but they're working toward a remodel and other upgrades (flatware?). I think they're doing exactly the right thing: getting the food right first. There's time to keep moving toward perfect so long as you keep cranking out freaking delicious lunches like these!

One other small weird thing: they seemed caught off-guard when a group of 40 Mennonites paraded in after a tour of the Freedom Center. As a museum café, I'd think you'd be expecting these kinds of onslaughts! The waitstaff handled it quickly and politely, so no harm done, but I hope they're able to scale in the way they'll need to when this Taste of Belgium location picks up the popularity it deserves.

Taste of Belgium's website: http://authenticwaffle.com/
Freedom Center's website: http://www.freedomcenter.org/
This location on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/taste-of-belgium-cincinnati-2


Kate said...

Holyshrimpgritswafflesnom I need to go here.

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