One last stop.
On our return trip from Nashville, we were set to pass through Cincinnati around dinner time. I went to my phone to search for a place to stop. A restaurant called The Taste of Belgium caught my eye with its traditional Belgian cuisine.
Right downtown and not far from the freeway, we found public parking and walked a short distance to the restaurant. The retro tile and bistro decor instantly assured me that I had made the right choice. House-infused liquor colorfully lined the bar.
Going for the “go big or go home” school of thought, I ordered the chicken and a Belgian waffle with Ohio maple syrup while Marc ordered a huge pot of mussels with a side of frites. It was incredible! My chicken was crispy on the outside and tender on this inside. Finished with a light drizzle of hot sauce, it added a well-placed spicy and vinegar bite. The waffle was dense, lightly sweetened and unlike any I’d had before. I was incredibly pleased with my choice.
The menu listed four types of mussels and Marc went traditional with the Marinières or white wine, celery, carrot, onion and parsley. Marc removed the lid to reveal an impressive mound of mussels as the steam rapidly escaped. We inhaled all we could. I definitely stole a few mussels and frites. I think The Taste of Belgium beat the amount of mussels we received in Glen Ellen at The Fig Cafe (41!), but I didn’t count this time.
Our energetic waiter urged us to get dessert. I was completely full, but Marc showed a bit of interest and he pounced. He lyrically described their desserts and Marc caved and ordered the Belgian chocolate mousse. We had no idea what a treat we were in for. The creamy mousse was piped into a sugary, pliable bowl (which reminded me a bit of stroopwafel) and was served with raspberry sauce. Even as full as I was, my spoon made its way over to his plate for a few bites. The chewy bowl was almost as amazing as the dark chocolate mousse.
The manager stopped by our table to ask how our food was and I was happy to report that it had all been excellent. She explained that we had come on a great day because during the week they are usually closed mid-day for the kitchen staff to prep for dinner. Always a good sign, I think. She said that everything is made in-house, including the case of incredible pastries we passed on our way in.
It was time to get back in the car and reunite with our home state. Our waiter kindly accommodated Marc with a to-go cup of their excellent coffee. I hope to be hungry in Cincinnati, again, sometime.