Taking a Bite Out of... Belgium

Taking a Bite Out of...  Belgium
Happiness is German engineering, Italian cooking, and Belgian chocolate.
-Author Patricia Briggs

 

WARNING: THE PHOTOS YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE MAY CONTAIN PRODUCTS HIGH IN CALORIES, SUGAR, AND FAT; IMAGES ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR VIEWERS WITH EMPTY STOMACHS

Two weeks in Belgium isn't much time to get to know a country, even when you pack your days with trips to nearby towns and sights like I did.  My time in Belgium has to have been my most active traveling yet, which is a good thing because rich, delicious Belgian food is a great source of calories to fuel my walking.  One of the first things I noticed about Belgium's culinary offerings is their sweet tooth:  Not only is the country famous for its fine chocolates, irresistible waffles, and crunchy speculoos, but each region seems to have its own specialty dessert.  For example, Dinant has the rock-hard, specialty molded coques made from flour and honey and Ghent has those little purple cone-shaped jelly cuberdons that taste like roses and raspberries.  Even my quick sandwich lunches would come with a tiny chocolate or candy, a sweet, fun little detail that always put a smile on my face.  But apart from sweets, Belgium is is also famous for its belly-busting beer and fries (which Belgium invented, not France), so I don't recommend coming to Belgium if you are on a diet. :)

Chicago Cafe in Brussels

Chicago Cafe in Brussels

Traveling throughout Belgium, I tried to seek out local, quirky, vegetarian-friendly restaurants and was never disappointed in the restaurants I found.  My favorite restaurant has to be Chicago Cafe in Brussels, a little local joint I stumbled across when walking through the low-key but fashionable Dansaert neighborhood on the Flemish side of town.  From the outside, the place looks like a hole-in-the-wall and I almost walked into someone's home trying to figure out how to get in (go through the plastic flaps), but the inside looks like a retro public school cafeteria.  The menu had many delicious vegan and vegetarian options, the service was fast, prices were good, and Mango was able to join me.

But without further adieu, enjoy these photos of my mouth's tour throughout Belgium!