Wafles and Dinges Will Turn You Waffle Crazy

Did you know that I love waffles?  Well, I do.  Everything from crappy Eggos to decadent Belgian waffles at a hotel brunch, I love them all. I crave the crisp edges with the fluffy innards – and, of course, the toppings.  Syrup, ice cream, fried chicken, and everything in between.   Yep, waffles are pretty amazing.

So, naturally, I love the  Wafels and Dinges cart.

 Wafles and Dinges means waffles and toppings in Flemish, Belgian’s national language.  They specialize in the Belgian waffles known as liege waffles. Liege waffles are special because they are incredibly light, a little chewy, and filled with large, crunchy grains of vanilla-scented sugar.

Each waffle is made to order and topped with everything from pulled pork to whipped cream to…

Spekuloos 

Spekuloos (often known as cookie butter or Biscoff spread) may be the most addictive substance since reality tv. It tastes like gingerbread and graham crackers with the consistency of peanut butter. It is sweet, gently spicy, fragrant, indulgent, and nutty all at once – just fantastic stuff!

The waffle itself is outstanding. Yeasty, fluffy, just barely chewy, with those big hunks of caramelized sugar pearls.  Lacquered with that sweet spread, it is an absolutely perfect snack.

Head here post haste. Wafles and Dinges is well priced, unique, and delicious.  And by the way…you can by a jar of the spekuloos to take home – that isn’t particularly cheap but it is TOTALLY worth it.

This truck will turn you into a waffle fanatic, too.

Resto – Fantastic Belgian Gastropub in Flatiron

Resto is a Belgian influenced gastropub in Flatiron that is known for its extensive beer selection, full-beast feasts, and delicious, meat-centric menu. 
As a meat-centric kinda gal, hitting this restaurant up for lunch was a no brainer.

The restaurant is small, but has plenty of room between tables. The dining room is casual but from the well dressed clientele to the small floral arrangements on the tables, this place screams understated upscale. And it also screams serious foodie.

Bitterballen

These fried meatballs were nothing short of revelatory – small, tender balls of rich beef and melty, stretchy cheese encased in a crunchy shell. The sharp mustard aioli cut through the fattiness of the meatball, and the counter-play between crunchy and soft, rich and bracing, warm and cool was absolutely miraculous.

If that doesn’t make your mouth water, I don’t think I can help you.

Olive Oil Poached Wild King Salmon with Gribiche and Chives

If you have ever had salmon salad…this is nothing like it. That would be like comparing a Pinto to a Ducati. The salmon, gently poached until JUST cooked through, was broken into large, delicate flakes before being mixed with an herbed mayonnaise. Tarragon and dill were definitely in there, plus a few more I couldn’t place. The salmon spread was almost like rillettes – almost silken in texture and rich in taste. It contrasted with the hearty, sour rye bread on which it was placed.

Cripsy Pig’s Ear Salad with Frisee, Lardons, and a Poached Egg

This was a Salade Lyonnaise on steroids. Crunchy, curly, slightly bitter frisee paired with crispy, meaty hunks of salty bacon and a perfectly poached egg, with creamy whites and a velvety, buttery yolk. The bright vinaigrette cut straight through all the animal fats of the dish, and the pig’s ears were quite good – crisp on the edges and slightly chewy within, with the hearty, deep, almost primal taste of pork.

This was a fatty, bright, texture filled dish and one that I would not hesitate to order again.

Grilled Cheese with Vermont Cheddar, Gruyere, Bacon, and Pork Belly

This was fat on bread. No other way to put it. Sharp cheddar, nutty Gruyere, salty bacon, and luscious, melty, tender pork belly. If any of those things sound bad to you, just stop reading my blog. You aren’t going to like it. This sandwich, served on airy slices of pullman bread, was very rich, but also well balanced by the use of the sharp cheddar and serving it with a lightly dressed salad.

This is enough food to put you into a pork-induced coma, so be aware that this isn’t a great choice for lunch if you have to go to work later.

Frites with All Sauces

Piping hot, lightly salted, with crispy golden outsides and fluffy-creamy interiors.

Served with a myriad of dipping sauces, they were all delicious, from the curry tinged Lime Pickle to the sweet onion topped Aioli to the spicy Sriracha mayonnaise…this was only $7, and was enough for 3 people, easily. These fries are unmissable, and so are the dipping sauces!

Be prepared that if there is a large party there, like there was when we lunched, you will need to order quickly and in full. Otherwise the waitstaff can get a little frenzied and you may have to flag someone down by shooting off a flare.

Besides that very minor detail, lunch at Resto was perfect – really. The prices are extremely reasonable, the atmosphere is great for a casual lunch or dinner, and the food is just fantastic. The menu looks so simple, but everything is produced with incredible talent and attention to detail. From the ethereal but hearty bitterballen to the porky goodness of the pig’s ear salad to the truly awesome frites, this meal was spot on. 

Next up: Who wants to join me at Resto for a whole roasted lamb?!
Resto on Urbanspoon

West Side Stories: B Cafe and Miyako Sushi

This is just what it sounds like – a couple of quickie reviews of UWS restaurants. Both are reasonably priced, with relaxed atmospheres and good service. So, how do they fare?:
B Cafe is a small Belgian restaurant that is casual, quiet, and perfect for having a beer with a friend or a relaxed night out. 
 Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Mache, Walnuts and Olive Oil
Such a simple salad, but a perfect one. Tender, herbaceous mache, grassy, creamy goat cheese, meaty walnuts, licoricy fennel and a bracing, mustard dressing that cut through the richness of the cheese and the sweetness of the beets. Oh, those beets. Miniature sized, yellow and purple, so sweet and delicious that my dining partner who “hates” beets promptly ate them all. 
Yeah, I was pretty pissed off about that.
 Macaroni and Cheese
Bad blogger that I am (that was a test, you should disagree with me now), I did not write down the types of cheese used here. But they were extremely strong – pungent, sharp, woodsy, with underlying levels of funkiness similar to a blue cheese. I love strong cheese, and at first bite, it was a bit strong even for me. However, as I kept eating the flavors mellowed out and I enjoyed the stringy sauce, crunchy cheese on top, and al dente noodles. A large portion and well priced. 
Miyako is one of those sushi restaurants you don’ really frequent – if you want the food, you order it in. There is nothing wrong with the small, clean restaurant, it just isn’t a destination -not for a date, not for dinner with the folks, and if you are taking yourself out alone, you might as well go somewhere fancy and eat at the bar, right? Regardless of all that, Miyako is a reliable spot for some fresh, tasty sushi. 
 Gyoza
Um, no. I love me a good fried dumpling and this ain’t the real stuff. Greasy, limp, chewy skin surrounded flaccid vegetable filling. Not bad so much as…a waste of stomach space. And since dumplings are next to Godliness, this is really a sin. 
Yellowtail Jalepeno Roll
Just want chili heads like myself crave. Fresh, silky yellowtail atop still-warm sticky rice, spicy yellowtail and avocado. Topped with a razor-thin slice of jalapeno, the taste is at first mild and slightly salty, followed by the creaminess of the avocado and finishing with the lip-prickling heat of the jalapeno. Fresh, clean, spicy and delicious. 
So, there you have it – 2 very good restaurants. Not destination worthy, but I would be pleased to have them down in my neck of the woods.
B. Cafe (west) on Urbanspoon