Sunday, April 22, 2012

Review: Taste of Belgium

Today’s choice off the Breakfast Menu was


I woke up a little more independent than usual with my wife off getting her hair braided. I had been reading Game of Thrones all morning awaiting her return. When it appeared that she would not be back any time soon I decided that I would strike out on my own for a bite to eat. I checked the CityBeat.com for the editor's picks for best Brunch in the city and they ID'd Taste of Belgium as the place to be. So I saddled up with my Canon and my Kindle and headed into OTR for a taste off their brunch menu.



Taste of Belgium is a trendy little spot in what I would call the gentrified portion of Over the Rhine. It is right next to the Ensemble Theater. As I was walking past there was the cutest young girl laughing with gusto as she was photographed with her mother and father doting at the photographer's back. The bistro was alive with noise as I entered. People were milling near the entrance waiting on tables. I would advise that if you were interested in dining there for brunch you plan on a wait. I was by myself so I was able to sit at the bar.




The patrons were young and hip people with cool clothes and hats and small rimmed glasses. The low roar of conversation was bold enough to be heard but not enough to be distinguished. I sat across from the cappuccino machine and watched as the older, white haired bartender with a purple bow tie steamed caffeinated drinks.

The bartender handed me a menu and told me of the omelet du jour was ham, Swiss, mushrooms and caramelized onions. The brunch menu is brief and tidy, made up of omelets, savory crepes and waffle dishes. Taste of Belgium is lauded for their waffles, so I knew I had to try one, but I also was allured by the omelet. Readers of this blog should know how much I consider eggs to be an essential part of any breakfast.


The place smelled of baked goods and I was scarecly through writing down my notes about the ambiance before my food was before me. The omelet looked a bit small for $10 but it was laid next to a bed of "frites" which is their word for fries. The waffle was cute, but I should have asked for syrup, as I am a fond of a good syrupy waffle.

The food was delectable. the omelet had its flaws. There were too many onions, and they were cooked, but not near caramelized. The ham was in small square chunks, and I would have preferred it not to be that way. That is the type of ham they use at Perkins or other greasy spoon restaurants. I prefer a heartier chunks of ham. The egg was seasoned well and I enjoyed the mushrooms that were inside. The Swiss was melted atop the omelet, which meant it did not mingle with the other flavors and made it a little difficult to cut with a fork. Beyond those small quibbles the omelet was satisfactory.



The fries were delicious. They were salty and crispy and put most other fries to shame. I asked for ketchup, which only enhanced the flavor but the seasoning on the fries meant that I did not have to rely on the condiment. I was glad to eat the dish without.

The waffle was a peculiar dish. Adorned with creme it was sweet and rich. There was a fluffy density to the waffle that I was unaccustomed to. Typically when I have waffles they have a lightness to them. I do not typically order the dish but this place may convert me. Were it any other restaurant I would be saddened by their lack of French Toast on the menu but the waffle really stood on its own. The waffle had a creamy vanilla flavor that seemed to stand out with each bite. somehow the last bite was almost as good as the first, if not better, which would typically be unusual. I savored each taste of the waffle and it left me with very positive feelings.

The service at Taste of Belgium was great. My waiter forgot to check on me a few times but later he seemed to notice when I needed my glass refilled. Although I got there near closing the place was still packed. I sat reading a chapter of Clash of Kings, ( I can never walk away when Arya Stark's chapters) and the waiter was helpful and patient. As I left I thought I might return with the misses, if she were so inclined to try it out. I believe Taste of Belgium has catered one of her events, so I would not be introducing it to her so much as reminding her why she liked the place.

Overall Experience:
Service:                      4
Ambiance:                  4
Menu:                        4
Food taste/Quality:     4

I give the whole experience 4 out of 5 broken eggs:

The food was great. The waffles everyone raves about were truly top notch. I would like to try another dish or two here sometime. It was a pretty positive dining experience. I can imagine pointing the place out to others looking for good food and some of the best waffles in town. 

For more about The Taste Of Belgium Bistro: 


1135 Vine St 

CincinnatiOH 45202

Hours: 

Monday 7am-3pm

Tuesday-Thursday 7am-3pm ; 5pm-10pm

Friday-Saturday 7am-3pm ; 5pm-11pm

Sunday 9am-2pm





Taste of Belgium Bistro on Urbanspoon

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