Welcome to Belgium! Wow this country is beautiful. I was fortunate enough to spend two nights in Belgium, and along with the obvious tourist visits, I had the opportunity to take a waffle workshop. Our chef taught us about the two types of waffles of Belgium - the Liege, the sweet waffle, and the Brussels waffle, which had less sweetness from the waffle but was always dressed with powdered sugar and, if you were lucky, sugar crystals in those delicious nooks and crannies.
Apparently, adding some bubbles to your waffle batter is the way to go! I learned you can add beer or sparkling water to give it volume, and to use vanilla sugar to give it just that little hint of sweetness. Then, it was all about the toppings (although I learned that toppings were much of an marketing ploy, as that's where most of the waffle money was being made). I dressed this specific waffle with the classic bananas and Nutella with just a dollop of whipped cream. However, unlimited waffles meant the craziest of combinations. We used speculoos, fruit, honey, everything you could imagine. It was one delicious dinner.
Incredibly, I will be in Dusseldorf for the next few days and then I will be headed back to the States. Here's to a wonderful last few days in one of the most food culture rich continents of the world!
Brandenburg Gate (from left to right): Me, Julia, Sage, Sommer and Cari
But wait! It is actually quite good! And cheap! WHAAAT?
Most lunches costs me around €2 with my student discount, and contain enough food to fill me up for hours of lab work. I have become accustomed to the system - get a hot plate of food from the five serving options (including vegetarian and a la carte options) and pick 2-3 sides including rice, salads, fries and puddings. Here I ate a fried chicken (a schnizel of sorts) that was stuffed with a creamy cheese along with pasta, couscous and a light salad. From my experience of college campus food (which includes University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern and of course Carnegie Mellon), I would have to say this food is most certainly the best bang for your buck, as well as quite tasty (I neglet to comment on the nutrition, as I think all four fall fairly low on that ranking). Overall, however, I'm not all at complaining as these meals are varietable, delicious and easy of the wallet.
Yep, it happened. We went to Amsterdam, and it was beyond beautiful. This city was truly unique, and was one of the most amazing cities to simply walk around in. Being (slightly) obsessed with good food, I did quite an extensive search of restaurants that I wanted to explore while I was in Amsterdam for an extended weekend. Unfortunately, one place I picked out, a cute little breakfast place called The Pancake Bakery, was closed. Being a hungry mass of college students on a Saturday morning, we stopped at the next place we ran into and were kindly rewarded. This small, street restaurant served some special pancakes (below, left) - they were slightly crispy, something I didn't even know I wanted in a pancake until now. Topped with fresh fruit, something I've been severely deprived of in the last few weeks, made this dish a perfect morning start. And of course, we had to check out one of the many cheese shops in the heart of Amsterdam (bottom, right). Samples were passed all around as we were awed at the sheer variety of cheeses available.
You know, there are some cities that can be explained with a good story and a good cook, but I think Amsterdam is one that needs to be experienced. I can talk at you all day, but this city deserves to be explored by you. Go have your own Amsterdam adventure (and try the Pancake Bakery while you're there!).
Falafels? In Paris?? I know, I know. Not the most traditional. But when you're on a cobble stone back road with a plethora of Middle Eastern restaurants with lines out the door, you get curious. The curiosity paid off. These falafels, wrapped in fresh pita bread, were moist, flavorful, filling and just overall YUM. The sides included carrots, cucumbers, cabbage, lettuce, hummus and delicious house Tahini sauce. Perfection. It wrapped up another great day of exploring Paris, with a stop at the Eiffel Tower (when in Paris...) and then we began our transit to Dortmund, a.k.a home base for the summer!
Hi there! Welcome welcome! My name is Maya, I am an avid engineering student with a slight addiction to cooking and cuisine. If you ever find yourself with questions, comments, or would like to chat (I don't bite... at least when I'm not hungry!) please take a leisurely walk over to my "About" or "Contact" page.
Two days until liftoff! I will be off to Paris in just a few short days (French Open anyone?) and then onto my summer home - Dortmund, Germany. The excitement is starting to kick in :D This weekend I received a nice flavor of home; I traveled to Downtown Chicago to visit some family and sample the eclectic taste that Chicago never fails to offer. We went to Crepetown, a cute, small restaurant in Uptown where I ordered a "Triple Treat" - a crepe with fresh strawberries, bananas and blueberries topped with a berry glaze (below, left). A light, fresh and wonderful start to the morning. We also made a trip to Frontera, famously founded by Rick Bayless, an American chef with a focus on Mexican cuisine. We ordered a mix of appetizers and small treats including fresh chips and salsa, chicken in asparagus créma and a delicious, wholesome fresh corn tamale (below, right). Overall, a wonderful weekend trip to top off my stay at home base!