Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Best Waffle in Brussels : Jean Gaston

This is Dandoy's attempt.

Waffle-Land, otherwise known as Belgium is split not only with their culture and language, but also their waffles. You could call it a Tale of Two Waffles, as everyone has their preference as to what is the best waffle. Me, I like the Liege waffle with its caramelized sticky sweet sugar, and I'm far from an expert but in my short time abroad I've had some truly great waffles, and some rather horrible ones too.

The worst of course are the ones in cellophane which I would never ever buy, but people keep trying to give me. It's like candy corns back at home. Everyone gives them out for Halloween, never eats them, and then passes them out the following year to someone else. I'm certain there are remnants of the first candy corn ever made sitting in someone's pantry in the U.S. Which brings us back to the waffles. Why in the world would you ever buy the store bought kind when you can either make them fresh yourself, or buy one almost everywhere in this fine city of Brussels?

This is the best Guafre in Brussels!
But the really good ones are hard to find. There's of course the McDonald's-like chains of of cheap waffle makers, typically in tourist locations like the Grand Place, and the mobile versions in ice-cream trucks. If waffles were crack,  these would be your playground drug dealers selling the drugs to the five year olds. Somewhere in Brussels there is a gathering of lethargic tourists that have grown to fat to leave and sit on a remote park bench twitching every time they hear the ice-cream/waffle truck song rolling down the street. Their eyes glazed over, their mouths foaming for just one more cheap fix to get them high on Pearl sugar and carbs.

Look for the white trailer truck!
Of course when you want the best, and you're not pan-handling for second rate waffles, you're going to pay out the derriere for the centrally located Dandoy most people (even Belgians) recommend for the best waffle in Brussels. Funny enough they're near the tourism black-hole of the Grand Plaza too. (Metro: Gare Centrale) It's a near-200 year old tea room that sells biscuits, cookies, and waffles: both liege and Brussels. A plain "Natural" waffle costs about 3 Euros, and it's out of this world. They also add toppings and you can be served on a plate with a fork too if you're too high and mighty to get your fingers sticky.

1.60 Euro a piece.
But the absolute best in Brussels in my opinion is Jean Gaston's. This, the undefeated champion of waffles in Bruxelles ALWAYS has a huge line around the markets where their mobile waffle truck arrives. So you see, getting the best isn't the easiest. I waited for four month after arriving in Brussels till I could make it to the Stockel Market (Metro: Stockel) to buy deux of the most beautiful waffles I've ever seen in my life. The market is open every Saturday till 3 PM and is one of the best kept secret in town. Jean Gaston's can usually be smelled half a kilometer a way at the Metro as they cook/bake them fresh on the spot with traditional methods. These waffles will change your life! In fact you're doing yourself a de-service if you settle for anything less than these or choose to leave without a Gaston waffle.


4 comments:

  1. Hey after this description I am going to Stockel today

    ReplyDelete
  2. The best waffles!! Just saw a new episode of House Hunters International and the family bought waffles from Sabrina at Jean Gaston!

    ReplyDelete
  3. there is also a Maison Dandoy at Stockel if you want to pick some nice speculoos after the best waffles in Brussels.

    The market is also open tues, thurs, fri and saturday from morning to midday

    enjoy =)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Those are excellent waffles!

    However the information above about the market hours isn't correct.
    Check it out here: http://en.yelp.be/biz/marché-de-stockel-woluwe-saint-pierre-2

    ReplyDelete

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