Great things from Belgium: Beer. Chocolate. Dr. Evil. And waffles of course—one of our favorite all-day foods, from cakey Krusteaz hot out the toaster to fluffy pecan Frisbees at Morning Glory to the big Belgians with strawberry compote and whipped cream at Denny’s. Yes, that’s right; we said Denny’s. But there’s no doubt where the best in town come from: Bonté, the homegrown waffle house inspired by owner Brad Messinger’s post-college backpacking trip through Belgium. Although the Bonté gaufré isn’t as old or as storied as the Federal pretzel, the Taconelli pizza or the John’s roast pork sandwich, but we’d argue it’s one of the can’t-miss tastes in our fair city. The scrappy waffles are misshapen, disfigured, scarred in spots where Belgian pearl sugar coating over-caramelized into tacky black patches. They make your fingers a sticky mess and burn the roof of your mouth. But man, are they delicious. Emerging warm from the imported irons, oozing dark chocolate or mashed bananas, the gaufrés make you happy to live here. With Bonté soon to expand into DC, Philly can no longer claim monopoly, but at least we can always say we had it first. Eat your heart out, Capitol Hill.
Photo: Oh Joy!