By Mark A. Leon
Step inside this small unassuming shop, on Folly Road in James Island and be greeted by Sergio, Audrey and staff. With authentic Belgian music playing gently all around, black and white photos of the European experience, and the savory smell of the sweet delights of Old Europe, Sweet Belgium is bringing an exciting and scrumptious experience to the people of the Lowcountry.
Sergio and Audrey Tosi arrived in Charleston in 2016 to bring the authentic taste of their homeland to Charleston and they have introduced us to an explosion of culinary delight.
As I sat quietly enjoying my large fresh Belgium Waffle with powdered sugar and coffee, I took in an ambiance of family and traditional European value. A young couple from Russia and Belarus enjoyed a savory breakfast while they beautiful young blonde baby walked curiously over to me and gazed at me with those ambitious eyes. After admiring the music, the couple spoke to Sergio and for a few brief moments, each felt a sense of family. Sergio spoke of his journey with his family and dreams of expanding, while all the customers listened and shared their own experiences.
Soon, a couple came in from church, a local neighbor on his bike ordered a dozen for some house guests and a group of six stopped by before heading to the beach. It was so satisfying to see a mix of patrons that desired this unique and fresh experience.
Sergio and Audrey have created a model that caters to the masses both small and large. Offering a simple menu that allows for specialty or customized creations for one single appetite or a whole party, Sweet Belgium has a bright future.
Their small special varieties include:
- James Island Coconut Style
- Tasty Almond
- Fun Orange
- Lemon and Lime
- Strawberry Love
- Dark Belgian Chocolate Rainbow or Walnuts
- Belgian Black and White Chocolate
I, being a bit of a traditionalist, enjoyed a steaming hot fresh plain Belgium Waffle with powdered sugar and it exceeded all my expectations. I am already eyeing the dark chocolate with sprinkles for my next visit to help complete my frequent diner rewards card.
Charleston is the home for the Annual Spoleto festival, where the entertainment and talents of Europe are brought to our coastal home. So, finding a family owned spot that offers a fresh look at the life and taste of Belgium is a refreshing delight and one that will be many smiles.
We hate to be the spoiler of your excitement if you are eagerly ready to hit this spot first thing in the morning, but they are closed on Mondays. You can make you way Tuesday – Saturday, 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM and Sunday, 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM.
Though this location has only been open for six months, there is already some chatter of expansion to other Lowcountry locations.
Sometimes you find a place that offers exceptional service and fine culinary treats. At Sweet Belgium, you get so much more. You get an opportunity to feel like you are in the small Belgium town of Ghent, street performers are playing classical compositions and the smell of fresh Belgium Waffles are tickling your senses.
Come experience a little of Old Europe right here in Charleston.