Nero Belgian Waffle Bar -
Even though I drive by the stretch of Robson where Nero Belgian Waffle Bar is located on a daily basis, I did not notice its existence until my meal at Jang Mo Jib a few doors down recently. I was actually on my way to the McDees next door for an ice cream cone after lunch at Jang Mo Jib when I noticed this tiny hole-in-the-wall of a waffle bar. Since I was going to get dessert anyways, I decided to get a waffle for my dessert instead of an ice cream cone.
I didn’t know I could get waffles in so many different ways until I walked into the place. There were plain waffles, sweet ones, savory ones, ones with fruit, ones with chocolate, and ones with cream. I also didn’t know the difference between a Liege waffle and a Brussels waffle until I walked into the place. The rounder Liege waffle is the softer variety and they came pre-baked while the more angular Brussels waffle is crispier and made-to-order. Since I’ve been eating (what I have since discovered to be) Liege waffles that I bought from Costo on a daily basis as my breakfast, I opted for an order of the more-widely-known Brussels waffle. I went the conservative route and got the waffles with strawberries and cream, which I thought would be failsafe for my first visit to the place.
The waffle felt lighter than the North American version that I was used to eating. The batter seemed to be not as thick and not as solid. There was more air in the batter, and the resulting hot air bubbles within the waffle seemed to allow the it to retain heat for a longer period of time. Of course, more hot and potentially moist air means that crispiness will be compromised, and the waffle I got was definitely one of the least crispy waffles that I’ve had in a while. The waffle was also not as sweet as your regular sweetened and “syruped” North American waffle. The waffle itself was mild, with the sweetness only coming from the powered sugar dusted on top. Even though it looked like there was a lot of powdered sugar on top of the the waffle in the pictures, there actually was not enough of it to even make the waffle semi-sweet. Surprisingly, the whipped cream on top was also rather devoid of sweetness. The whipped cream was fresh, light, and lightly creamy. But it was not very sweet; it was only mildly so. I thought that the lack of sweetness in the cream made it a very good match with the also-not-sweet waffles. The sweetness of the entire order of waffles came from the strawberries. Yes, the strawberries! Whereas even the sweetest of regular strawberries would not provide enough sweetness to become the dominant sweet component in any dessert dish, the strawberries that came with my waffles were totally the sweetest component of the order of Brussels waffles. They worked amazingly well with the mild cream and the mild waffles, and they even tasted really good on their own. I felt that they were the component that made the waffles enjoyable. Without them, I don’t think I would have liked the mild-tasting waffles at all – especially not as a dessert item.
I thought that the Brussels waffles with strawberries and cream that I ordered was only a smidgen more enjoyable than a generic made-to-order waffle. I think that I should’ve ordered something more dessert-like to serve as my dessert. I should’ve ordered the waffles with more dessert-like toppings such as chocolate, ice cream, and other even sweeter components. Actually, that is precisely what I’ll do on my next visit to Nero. I will get my waffles with the sweetest components that they have to offer…I’ll probably also switch to Liege waffles to see what they taste like as a dessert item.