Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise
Go ahead, laugh. I spent nine days in Europe, six of those in London, and my best UK food memory came from a little vendor outside the tube stop on Baker Street. The food they were pushing doesn’t qualify as a classic national dish. The appearance of this place screamed chain as much as the Hagen-Daas folks selling crepes in France (though The Belgian Food Company is apparently London based with only two locations). However, when a thrifty afternoon caused my girlfriend and I to opt for street food instead of a real lunch, this is what she craved. She didn’t become a Sherlock Holmes adventurer in her temp neighborhood, but what a discovery.
As stated above, the Belgian Food Company is incredibly easy to find for anyone departing the tube at Baker Street. Reach the street and you’re greeted by what looks like a grey brick ticketing station but serves instead as a main waffle peddling hub. There are strategic posters for it surrounding the tube entrance so that you can’t miss it no matter if coming or going. I’d like to think it’ll travel as well either way.
The Belgian Food Company really should slide “waffle” into their title somehow because that’s all they offer. Sure, you can get coffee or a bottled beverage. Food options however are waffle, waffle with fruit (strawberry, blueberry, cherry), waffle with ice cream or waffle with chocolate. On average they’ll run you up to three pounds ($5 currently US equivalent).
My girlfriend and I both opted for the waffle with chocolate based on her previous experiences. It’s not a perfect mobile food by any means. The chocolate is blissfully warm, which while delicious will inevitably get all over your hands and clothes if you move with it too much (we opted to stand inside the tube terminal). It’s also hard to eat a food that requires a fork if you want to travel simultaneously.
Those are all minor details however. I immediately remarked that this was the best waffle I ever ate and I stand by the statement to this very day (sorry to both Funk N’ Waffles and the Classen Grill). This is the singular item from my Eurotrip that I wake up in the middle of the night craving from time to time. Waffles need to toe the delicate line between softness and crisp and these had it perfect. The edges gave me the crunch I wanted while the middle, likely under the heat from the chocolate, melted in your mouth like the moistest of basked goods. Add the ridiculous rich chocolate topping to the mix and this would’ve become my regular lunch if my girlfriend and I reversed roles (she was studying in London at the time).
It’s easy to focus on the shortcomings of the Belgian Food Company. They’re not remarkably cheap. There isn’t a ton of variety in their offerings. The signature dish has nothing to do with its country (which fair or not, is a characteristic of value for a tourist). All that said, just eat the damn waffle and you will quickly forget about the rest.
The Final Tab
Pros: The food alone merits a much higher score, potentially best waffle I’ll ever eat.
Cons: Not very mobile-friendly, lack of overall options, no local specialties offerred
Three Out Of Five (Basic combo | It’s OK – try it.)