The sexiness of Brussels lies in its ubiquitous chocolate (those waffles ain’t so bad, either). Chocolatiers are the norm, not the exception. Therefore, one would be remiss for not popping into a few of the chocolate havens to view the offerings. We were able to get up close and personal with this seductive cocoa world, since the lady by my side wouldn’t have had it any other way. Our Easter weekend in choco land had finally arrived.
Here’s a snapshot. Say, “Chocolate!”
The numerous chocolatiers were perfect for window shopping, with the smell, sights, and sounds of chocolate and chocolate lovers not going unnoticed.
In an almost embarrassing Austin Powers-like dance, we skipped along the area of the Grand Palace and to the peeing boy statue, while in hot pursuit of a joyous marching band, then snapped a few photos of the peeing statue exhibition and re-laced our walking shoes for the start of our touristy hike around the city.
Afterwards, we sipped café lattes and ate utterly fantastic, albeit scanty, overpriced waffles at the central square Waffle House, before touring an old chocolate house known as the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate, where we read some cocoa bean historical literature; took a photo of a boat made out of a banana tree; ate a graham cracker dipped in boiling chocolate—I cautioned Kathleen of her overt “glob of chocolate” smile, the aftermath to a melted chocolate experience gone wrong; and observed a French language chocolate demonstration by a man who spreads chocolate-making knowledge and love to all who visit this three floor museum.
Inside an old dome-like church, a drunken Brit did his best snake impression (“hisssss”) right before our eyes, subsequently informing me that the hat I “had on” was “terrible” and that he “hates” me. So, we left, and strolled along the seafood alleyway where many of the restaurants’ outdoor fish displays looked arrogantly appealing. “Come on in,” said each gatekeeper as we passed by. Instead, we defaulted to the el cheapo restaurant with subpar service and undercooked steak. It was a doppelganger dining experience lacking in creativity.
We slugged back Belgian beer and a cocktail at a local tavern with cigarette smoking locals, gazed at the Royal Palace, and strolled through the large public park and past the European Union headquarters, where we took not-so-artsy photos of a serene (possibly artsy) lake.
A savory dinner was the order of the evening at a chic Italian restaurant, an apparent cross between a boutique and a cocktail bar. Chef Rocco was no slouch, though. His meal packed quite the punch in the taste buds department, and the service was equivalent to that of the awe-inspiring American hospitality standards. Coconut ice cream served in a half coconut shell with a cappuccino? It was the perfect solution for two young thrill-seekers recovering from bad steak and a smelly waiter.
Easter Sunday was our official chocolate-seeking adventure day. We damn near hit every chocolatier within a five kilometer radius and were damn proud to have spent far too much bankroll on Brussels’ finest chocolate. ‘Nuff said.