Damien’s Belgian Waffles – Richmond, BC

Damien’s Belgian Waffles
2-3891 Chatham Street, Steveston
Richmond, BC
(604) 304-2884

Perhaps one of the most personal (other than through immediate family and personal travels) exposures that I’ve had to international cuisine was during my days as an international college student. For a time, I had the pleasure of having a rotation of roommates in my dormitory flat – a four bedroom space that had a shared kitchen and dining area for our own personal use. I can still vividly remember each one of the fellows I shared my quarters with (will use nicknames here): first there was “D-dog” (from Minnesota, USA), “Dai” (from Osaka, Japan), “Franc” (from Paris, France), “GQ” (from Seoul, South Korea), “Afro” (from Ontario, Canada), “Vocal” (from Massachusetts, USA), and lastly the fellow who was there for my entire stretch of time in that residence, “Gelato” (from Brussels, Belgium).

Through each of them, I was able to learn about their family traditions and meal favorites, as we’d routinely have group chowdowns where we scrambled for cash to come up with grocery money after too many nights out drinking our savings and parents’ money away. But it was French-speaking “Gelato” who probably opened my eyes most to his country’s food culture. In my mind, I had some stereotypical images of what Belgians ate. And lo and behold, this fellow provided a living example in the flesh, as he would regularly be chomping down on bricks of dark chocolate, tartines with cheese, frites, and of course waffles. Some of these he would get sent to him as care packages from his mother in Belgium, and other times he’d venture out and get them at available supermarkets. The dude even had a waffle iron.

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Toronado Pub – San Francisco, CA

Toronado Pub
547 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 863-2276

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to all the American readers on Foodosophy. In honor of US Thanksgiving, I’ve imbibed a tremendous amount of beer. Making this post, well, a lot less verbose than my usual posts.

In honor of the beer I’ve imbibed, I would like to introduce you to Toronado – quite possibly the best pub in North America. I say quite possibly because I haven’t been to every pub in North America. But I have a hard time imagining a better pub from a beer standpoint.

Toronado is not about the decor, or the atmosphere, unless you like quirky, unkempt beer snobs in irreverent t-shirts boasting loudly after one too many, while the strong smell of stale beer wafts over each slightly sticky table. While this doesn’t make up all their patrons – it is a bit of hyperbole, certainly, and there really are a diverse number of people who love the Toronado – it certainly makes up a good percentage that will give you the evil eye when you need to slide by them and actually try and get a beer from the bar.

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