Tag Archives: burger

Brussels- where to eat….

6 Feb
Shane in a Joyce pod at the Parlamentarium (Visitor center showcasing all the great and good of the EU = A euro-sceptics idea of hell.)

Shane in a Joyce pod at the Parlamentarium (Visitor center showcasing all the great and good of the EU = A euro-sceptics idea of hell.)

In November, I found myself traveling back to Brussels to visit my friend Shane, more commonly known as my accomplice in dining. The trip was arranged only a few days in advance- so Shane unfortunately had to work for most of it. The cheek. This left me to explore Brussels by myself. That’s a nice way of saying I got lost a bit. On the plus I found some nice spots that I think are worth mentioning. You can read my previous Brussels food guide here. And for those of you hoping to visit Bruges, there you go.

Frites. Let’s get this one out there from the off. Here’s a little known fact. Brussels is powered significantly by the leftover oil from the frites making process. That’s a lie, it’s not. Nearly every corner you turn, there are frites stands. Shane, the brave soul that he is, is endeavouring to try out as many as he can. I mentioned a good few in my last post but as the weather was a little cooler, one was less inclined to eat outside. I did try one that was really good. Fritland. Judging by the reviews on that website, other people would agree.

Noordzee on a fresh Sunday afternoon

Noordzee on a fresh Sunday afternoon

We ventured back to Noordzee, which despite the cooler temperature was as busy as we had seen it mid summer. Be mindful of the opening hours, it certainly wasn’t open every time I walked by. Again the food was very tasty and it was still lovely to stand out in the adjoining square with some seafood. Tapas style portions- worth a visit. We also returned to Barbeton– this time for a coffee- lovely cosy spot. These two establishments are quite close to each other.

The first evening, after the frites and the food at Noordzee, we decided ( in our infinite wisdom) to stop and have some tapas before dinner. Infinitely wise.

photo 4-2

We ventured into Como Como. Now one of two things happened to this restaurant. Either it was formerly a sushi joint and they decided to keep the conveyor. Or some bright spark thought it was a novel way to serve tapas. Either way I won’t argue as Shane, his better half and I all enjoyed ourselves. Initially there was quite a limp selection whizzing by, but soon there was a great variety of meat, fish and vegetable tapas all whirling by. They were cranked out at quite a rate- no match for us though! The staff were very friendly too, and made for a very pleasant pre dinner amuse bouche.

Dinner was had in the excellent Les Brassins. I had the Carbonnades flamandes. A stew, slow cooked, with a wonderful sweetness owing to the Belgian beer it was cooked in. What wasn’t excellent? The staff. But thankfully they ignored us once we ignored them. It’s a relaxed enough place so staff/diner interaction isn’t massive.

A wonderful burger was had by all in Les Super Filles du Tram. Cool restaurant, staff were energetic and the burgers were very tasty.

Now all this wandering and eating requires little pick-me-ups from time to time. Exki are your friend in this regard. A nice chain of cafes. They do good food, nice cakes and good coffee. Throw in free wifi and you are onto a winner. Pleasant spots located all over  the city to while away a few minutes or hours.

Another spot for the coffee lovers amongst you is Corica. In brief, long counter, lots of coffees. Apparently 27 different Arabica blends according to their website. They also have Kopi Luwak. I didn’t try it. (Actually if anyone has- please comment below and tell me what it was like?)

 

I have a feeling I will be going back to Brussels again (Take note Shane).

 

Have you any tips or favourite places you like to eat? Where must I try? Any suggestions welcome below.

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Edinburgh food guide

16 May

Last week, I asked you nice people for suggestions for food related places in Edinburgh. I got some great suggestions in terms of places to eat-out in and some interesting shops.

I went over with my better-half to visit some of her nearest and dearest and they brought us to two places I want to talk to you about.

The first was Holyrood 9A. This is a great spot for a few reasons. As you walk in there is an impressive array of interesting beers on draught at a very attractive bar. Crucially  it had one of my favourites Blue Moon. Secondly the menu was interesting, with an array of quirky options. My (adventurous) Cheese burger was served with nice skinny fries and a side of slaw, and presented attractively. Also it was nice to be served a burger that you could actually eat with your hands rather than the towering skyscrapers most places serve. Approving noises were made all around. Others got the steak-sandwich, and the Shroom Italienne, with Piri Piri fries. Service was very friendly and prompt. Also worth noting- this place is child friendly- crucial as we had a little person in tow.

The other place we frequented was The Scottish Cafe. It is located in the National gallery in the Princess Street Gardens. It is an open and airy dining room and was  humming on the Sunday afternoon we visited.  It sources a huge amount of its produce from Scottish producers and the menu reads nicely.

I opted for the cheese sandwich with chips (god I ate mundane options this trip). In truth it was a posh cheese sandwich, with Isle of Mull Cheddar, nice red onion relish, and a barley and beetroot mix. The barley and beetroot mix was different, my only gripe was the cheddar was grated and made the sandwich a little dry. My better half had the rabbit terrine with some bread (more on this in a minute) and she enjoyed the dish. We finished with a rhubarb tart and a portion of set cream. The tart was tasty and different from the typical, it was almondy and moist and I ate every morsel. The better half  and her sister shared a portion of set cream. I managed to sneak a taste or two- and it was one of the most delicious deserts I have tasted in a long time. The consistency was perfect and it had a rich vanilla taste- studded with an abundance of vanilla flecks.

While the food here was good- I am sorry to say the service was not at all in the same league. The side of bread mentioned earlier- ordered with our food, didn’t arrive. After reminding a waitress it still didn’t arrive- and on the third asking finally arrived at the table-  quite some time after the dish it was due to accompany. I asked for a refill of water and it never arrived. There were a lot of staff walking around- but they seemed ambivalent, certainly towards our table.

 

I would like to thank everyone who tweeted, facebooked and left suggestions for this trip- I really appreciate it.  Also I would like to thank the other half’s family for the weekend and for bringing us to these places. I’m looking forward to the next trip already.

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