I had a bit of an attitude when I finally rolled out of bed this morning. Most likely due to the 3 hours of lolling, snoozing & cat-cuddling I did after I woke up at 4:55 am. That just never works out well for me. I always end up feeling like I haven’t slept in days. Ugh. Anyway, roll out of bed I did since I was on a very important mission…a Vietnamese mission with the very lovely Miss Kathy, who had not joined me for a Big Breakfast Adventure for what seemed like forever. We were going to see if Monsoon really do make the Best Gourmet Belgian Waffles in Seattle. It seemed like a rather unlikely pairing – Vietnamese & Belgian Waffles, but hey, my weekend forays into the Seattle brunch scene have been getting stranger as the weeks have gone by, so what the heck.
I still had an attitude by the time I rolled up outside the deserted Monsoon, a little before 9:50 am. I wanted protein. I didn’t want another plate of carbohydrates. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that I just don’t do as well on breakfasts with no protein, but I knew that this breakfast was destined to be another carb-fest. Rats.
Miss Kathy arrived, resplendent in a shocking pink T-shirt & a smile as wide as the ocean. We sat outside for 10 minutes or so waiting for the folks inside to make ready for their weekend Brunchers. I complained about the imminent carb-fest we were about to embark on. Note to self: do not loll in bed for 3 hours after you wake up. It’s just not fair on the world.
Once inside it didn’t start well. If you don’t drink coffee, well, you’re screwed. I don’t drink coffee. Not only that, but Miss Kathy assures me that the coffee was bad. The menu was odd. Not much of it sounded good or even sounded like food. We located the waffles, for which they are famed, but then ummed & ahhed over whether we were really going to eat huge piles of carbohydrates or whether we were going to veer right off the path & just go for protein. I reluctantly decided to go with the plan & have the waffles. But darn it, I was going to have eggs on the side. Determined to get some protein also, Miss Kathy opted for sausage on the side.
The whole day rapidly started to improve once the waffles had been whisked from the kitchen to our table. The waffles were quite wonderful, and although they were of course just carbohydrate, I didn’t have that heavy I’ve-just-had-an-enormous-plate-of-carbs feeling. The strawberry & rhubarb preserve was lovely (is it possible for anything with rhubarb NOT to be lovely?) & while the crème fraîche could have been tarter, the whole thing worked very well. The waffles were light & crisp & buttery…just exactly how Belgian waffles should be. Perfect.
My side of eggs was delightfully presented & they were beautifully cooked. But Miss Kathy’s side of sausage was a complete revelation. Who knew that nem nuong could possibly taste SO good? Turns out that nem nuong is really berkshire pork & shrimp sausage. It was divine. I stole a tiny little piece from Miss Kathy’s plate & determined immediately that once I had polished off my waffles & eggs I was having a side of sausage, and I didn’t care what anyone else thought about that.
What had felt like it was going to be a rather clunky, annoying & disappointing breakfast actually turned out to be amongst my favorites yet. I would go back to Monsoon for that exact same breakfast again. And again after that. We also saw several amazing looking dishes destined for our fellow Brunchers tables that we both agreed we would be heading back to try.
Vietnamese & Belgain waffles are a very, very good pairing. Particularly with nem nuong on the side.