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Bel 50 Gives Waffles Their Due

By Melissa Wiley in Food on Dec 7, 2012 5:00PM

Waffles don’t get enough play. Yes, so-called waffle houses, aka hangover havens, aren’t exactly in short supply, but they only reinforce the fact that waffles have been sorely typecast. Syrup, after all, is so blasé. Fortunately Belgian waffles are finally getting their due as some serious sandwich material at River North’s newest lunch spot, Bel 50, a chic and airy waffle house for the stone-cold sober.

For around $7, you can enjoy more than Aunt Jemima inside your golden waffle squares. We tried the burrata with prosciutto, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh mozzarella. It proved so tasty that we purchased the prosciutto, brie, caramelized onion, and fig jam sandwich to go. Needless to say, we like our prosciutto, and if it comes on a lightly sweetened waffle so much the better. But that’s only the beginning of the options. The savory side of the menu includes fixings as varied as bbq pulled pork with avocado salsa, wild mushroom and fontina, and buttermilk fried chicken with honey-mustard glaze and apple slaw.

Afraid that a waffle sandwich is nothing less than a sadomasochistic endeavor, a gateway drug to a diurnal dinner of Cinnabuns and steak? Not at all. Bel 50 waffles are more like wafflettes in consistency, making for a lighter than average lunch that easily allows to you entertain the idea of some tempting sides, including spiced maple-glazed sweet potato fries and parmesan truffle tater tots. This sandwich shop also has a sweet side, with its signature light waffles playing a supporting role to dolce like organic baked apple compote and crème brulee with berries.

Bel 50 is located at 738 N. Clark.