Taste of Belgium is a group of Belgian inspired restaurants and eateries founded by Jean-François Flechet in 2007. Today there are two Taste of Belgian restaurants, one located in the Clifton neighborhood of Cincinnati, the other in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, and three market locations at Findlay Market in Cincinnati, Friendly Market in Florence, Kentucky and the North Market in Columbus. The menu at Taste of Belgium features creative riffs on traditional Belgian cuisine like the Banana & Nutella Waffle or the Waffle N’Chicken. In addition to waffles, the menu also features sweet and savory crepes, omelets, sandwiches, frites (fries) and a full espresso and beer/wine/cocktails bar.
My sister, Brittney, and her boyfriend, Cam, took Kenneth and I to Taste of Belgium on our first weekend in the Cincinnati area after our move. We visited the Over-the-Rhine location. Kenneth and I recognized the bags of waffles lining the counter in the restaurant from the North Market location. Unfortunately we never looked at the menu then, for we could have been enjoying their delicious gluten-free crepes during our four years in Columbus. I first tried crepes at C’est Si Bon Cafe in Bexley earlier this year, and was excited to have them again!
We arrived at Taste of Belgium fairly early Sunday morning for brunch. While Cam put our name in I inspected the dessert case, immediately noticing the adorably teeny, tiny macarons! We were lucky and only had about a thirty minute wait for a table. It wasn’t too warm that day, so we waited outside. I tried not to stare too hungrily at the plates of those who had arrived earlier than us.
I thought the waffle-inspired decor inside of the restaurant was cool, but I loved the gnomes! I spotted four different gnomes (five if you count the gnome on the label La Chouffe bottle). Gnomes are awesome!
Gallery: the Gnomes of Taste of Belgium – OTR
It took us a while to decide what to order – there are so many good choices! To start out, Brittney and Cam ordered the Belgian roast coffee and I enjoyed the TOB latte (a mocha with candied orange). I sampled my sister’s coffee – delicious! Not as good as my lovely mocha, but I’ve always preferred espresso to plain coffee. Coffee is delicious on its own, but lattes usually come with latte art and in my book, art + coffee = win!
Brittney ended up ordering the smoked salmon baguette which looked amazing and came with goat cheese, capers and a fresh lemon slice. She also enjoyed a side order of fruit
Cam chose a the Banana & Nutella Waffle and a side of scrambled eggs and bacon. Everything looked delicious! Check out all of the chocolate-y Nutella goodness!
Kenneth ordered the Goetta Hash which comes with frites (fries), goetta, peppers, onions and a fried egg on top. Kenneth had never had goetta before, which is a Cincinnati specialty. Goetta is sausage made with ground beef or pork (or both) spices and pin-head oats. Goetta is thought to have been created by German settlers who emigrated to Cincinnati in the 1800s. Kenneth thought the Goetta Hash was delicious and very filling.
I ordered the traditional savory crêpe. The savory crêpes are made with buckwheat flour at Taste of Belgium, which despite having “wheat” in its name, is a gluten-free, wheat-free grain. The traditional crêpe came with eggs, Gruyère cheese and ham. It was amazing! I always pictured crêpes as a very light food and something that would not be very filling. I was wrong, this crêpe was delicious and very filling! Per Brittney’s recommendation, I also ordered a side of Belgian frites – they were so good! The sauce they were served with was also fantastic! I also ordered a trio of macarons to go, I couldn’t resist the tiny little almond-meringue cookies. I tried vanilla, strawberry and cassis.
This post has actually been sitting in my drafts folder for a while now, because I wasn’t ready to write about how good my meal was, for fear of the hunger pangs it might cause. Everything was delicious! I can’t wait to go back!
Taste of Belgium – Over-the-Rhine
Address: 1133 Vine St Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Phone Number: 513-381-4607
Hours: Monday 7am – 3pm. Tuesday – Thursday 7am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm. Friday 7am – 3pm, 5pm – 11pm. Saturday 7am – 11pm. Sunday 9am – 3pm.
Taste of Belgium has two full restaurant locations and is a vendor at Findlay Market, Friendly Market and North Market.