I always overestimate how far Nero is from our apartment – sometimes Robson Street feels a lot longer than what it actually is. Guess what? I Google mapped the distance from our apartment to Nero waffles and it was 260 metres. Upon that realisation, I insisted that Andy and I head there that evening: let’s just ignore the fact that we have now lived here for almost a year and even before we had arrived in Vancouver I had identified it as somewhere I wanted to go.
It’s only small; I think the OG store is in downtown Vancouver. This assumption is entirely made on the basis that the downtown location is heaps bigger, but I could be wrong and actually they chose to expand into the city. Fortunately the timing of our visit (Friday 6pm) meant that when we arrived we were the only ones there, allowing us to take our time choosing and occupying one of the three socially distanced tables.
Because we had dinner waiting at home, I didn’t want to order anything that would entirely diminish our appetites so we avoided ordering from the main menu and picked from the cabinet instead. The cabinet was full of mini Liege waffles, in a whole bunch of different flavours. We lost a bit of restraint here: I wanted to try them all! We ended up ordering a vanilla custard, an almond and chocolate, a speculoos and a chocolate orange as well as two Belgian hot chocolates: one dark and one milk.
The hot chocolates were yummy, but certainly not as rich as what I had been expecting. My previous experience of Begian hot chocolates is that they taste a lot like melted chocolate and if I ever order anything larger than a small, I always end up feeling sick! These were a lot more milky; kind of between a Belgian hot chocolate and just a regular one: the dark hot choccie struck the perfect balance for me. Aside from the mildly annoying factor of being immediately cool enough to drink, these were one of my favourite hot chocolates I’ve had so far in Vancouver.
The real stars of the show were unsurprisingly the donuts, but perhaps not in the order I expected. I added the speculoos donut at the last minute because I thought it looked the coolest, not because it’s a flavour I would typically go for. It ended up being the best, followed by the orange chocolate, the vanilla custard and then the almond and chocolate. Although the last two were still good, the custard wasn’t quite sweet enough for me, and the almond and chocolate one tasted not quite like a croissant of the same flavour. I’m a huge fan of the ol’ almond croissant, so I’d just rather nothing messed with it. Eating four mini donuts and two hot chocolates meant that we ended up having a very late dinner that night, as it was a while until we were hungry again.
At some point I would like to order something from the main menu, which is certainly far more indulgent. The first decision would be to choose between Brussels waffles and Liege waffles. The former are lighter, crunchy and unsweetened whereas the Liege waffles are soft, sweet and chewy. The next decision would be deciding whether to go sweet or savoury and then what particular combination. From berries and nutella to ice cream and nuts, or avocado, cheese and eggs – there are so many options and I definitely plan to go with someone who wants to share a sweet AND a savoury meal with me!