What I Ordered
- Mais Wafels - a "cornbread waffle, pulled pork, avocado, 2 fried eggs, and crème fraîche."
In Short: This savory waffle brunch on a busy, sunny Sunday was delicious. It inspired my own breakfast recipe at home, and made me vow to go back to Belga Cafe as soon as I can.
You could say I’m obsessed with eggs. I eat two poached eggs for breakfast every day, and I usually make them at home instead of entering the fray that is D.C.’s brunch scene. However, sometimes, on a Sunday morning (okay, afternoon by the time I’m mobile) I’ve exhausted my breakfast cooking creativity and can be convinced to go get eggs made by somebody else. Most recently, my boyfriend and I chose to eat breakfast made by one of D.C.’s nearby brunch spots: Belga Cafe.
I had never been to Belga before, I just knew they specialized in Belgian fare. Which means waffles. So many waffles. Savory, sweet, dessert or dinner – I had perused the menu and knew I wanted to try one. After successfully completing the Hunger Games that is finding a parking spot in the Eastern Market neighborhood during brunch hours on a Sunday, and waiting about 30 minutes outside the restaurant (the first sunny, 70-degree day in D.C. of the year!), we were seated and selecting our meals.
My eye was immediately drawn to the Mais Wafels – a “cornbread waffle, pulled pork, avocado, 2 fried eggs, and crème fraîche.” This combination sounded ideal because 1. how often do you get to eat pulled pork for breakfast, and 2. I’m a mean poacher but I can’t fry eggs successfully at home to save my life. Sean ordered the B&B burger – “grilled, with salade, Parmesan crisp tomato, American cheese, and bacon.” I won’t review his burger since I didn’t taste it (I was very focused on my waffle) but I assure you he enjoyed it.
Back to my waffle. Our coffee and food arrived pretty quickly – or maybe it just seemed that way because it was Oscar Sunday and we spent the waiting time filling out our award brackets (Congrats Leo!). Either way, the quick service was much appreciated because after sleeping in and waiting for a table, hanger was close to setting in.
Once our food arrived, all Oscar talk ceased. The fresh avocado, cornbread waffle, smoky pork, and runny yolk flavors in my mouth complimented each other in a way I didn’t know I needed. I don’t like to cheat on my own #yolkporn, but these eggs rivaled some of my homemade breakfasts, hands down. I’m pretty sure I didn’t talk to Sean for a good 10 minutes while I finished everything on my plate, and vowed to try a version of this meal at home with poached eggs.
Like any mimosa-brunch serving restaurant in the District on a Sunday, Belga was crowded. Bussers weaved between the many patrons waiting at the bar, and many more people waited outside to be seated. Our server seemed distracted at times – it was difficult to get his attention again once we got our food or were ready to leave. But the busy atmosphere didn’t detract from how much we enjoyed our food or my willingness to go back in the future. Clearly we weren’t the only people who liked the place.
In sum – you have to know what you’re getting into when you voluntarily choose to brunch at peak hours in D.C. You might wait a little longer for a table, but if you happen upon cuisine like Belga’s, the food is worth the wait.
Photography credit: Capitol File