Damien’s Belgian Waffles
2-3891 Chatham Street, Steveston
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.