Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

L’Ultime Atome: redux

Posted by pieguybxl on December 15, 2008

Every time I go to L’Ultime Atome at St. Boniface, I hear and have reason for mixed reviews of the place. But as the consistent crowds of patrons suggest, I must keep on going over and over to form a final conclusion. What is its charm? What draws us expatriates and foreigners there by the throngs, young and old, single and attached, to mingle among the Belgians?

Perhaps it’s the large and friendly atmosphere, with sun through all the windows in place of walls during the day and bright warm lighting at night. It could be the mixed crowd, itself, made of professionals, families, locals, and harried waitstaff. I’d say it’s their consistently tasty desserts, myself. I’m partial to their apple pie and ice cream, even though that is such the safe choice here in Brussels.

As good as the atmosphere, crowd, and desserts are, however, I wonder how to excuse other issues. Their main dishes are good but not great. Service often is classically Belgian – slow and frequently involving irritated servers – even on weekend mornings when crowds start thin. We go there group after group, but I can’t help but question if social pressure is really causing this.

Is there more to the place than that? I would go there again to think about it, likely over a rich mug of hot milk blessed with spoonfuls of chocolate chips.

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