Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Posts Tagged ‘Ixelles’

Cellars and lofts in Ixelles

Posted by rachelinbxl on February 11, 2012

My Christmas present to myself this year was 2 books on Belgian beer. The first – Best of Belgian beers and where to drink them in Belgium… the second, 100 Belgian Beers to Try Before You Die!!
A rather dramatic title.. but gives the highlights in each category of beer, and doesn’t just focus on Westvleteren 12 (tried it, it’s good.. but so is Watou, St Bernadus and others from the area with similar recipes 😉
BUT.. as usual.. these ‘best beers’ are not on tap (or even in bottle) at most of the bars in Brussels. Moeder Lambic and Delirium are well known, and rightly so.. but rather popular.. and one needs a change now and again. So, when a friend suggested we test L’Atlier in Ixelles which has 150 beers on the menu, I was all for it! It’s near the Roffian tram stop, so easy enough to get to (and home from, as most of the Beers To Try Be4 you Die are strong enough to kick a few years off your life, certainly if you try to cycle home in the snowy February weather we are having)…. so off we went. It happened to be a Thursday, and in Ixelles near the university, this means lots of students. This meant the bar was busy.. but be warned that it still LOOKS closed. In fact, you could walk past without really realising there is a bar in Rue Elise. It’s got a sign out, but the door looks like a garage door, and the friend I was meeting actually called to say it was closed and was surprised when I said I was inside! Just push!
The permanent beer list is sorted by category and alphabetically. There are also black boards with specials. The service is fairly slow on a busy night, and the beers do not all come in their own special glass (somewhat sacriligeous in Belgium), but the choice is wide and I could tick two more of the list of 100 I must try (now up to 31 of them). The bar is cosy enough, in the typical hard wooden stool and table Belgian style; the toilets are down some steep stairs. Worth a try for the beer lover in Ixelles. Beer makes you hungry, however… and just round the corner we found a pleasant resto to test.
L’Atelier
Elizastraat 77, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium
Beer: A
Atmosphere: B
Service: B
Price: B+
Languages: French, English

Le Grenier d’Elvire has a very French feel to it – the curtains to keep the cold out, the menu, wine by the glass. The prices are a bit above normal for Brussels, but fair given the portions. My companion took the cheeseburger and fries. Apologies for the quality of the image – I only had my mobile phone with me, not the real camera.
Cheeseburger and fries
This was polished off in double quick time, so I didn’t get to test.. but the meat was not overcooked, but not bloody, and there was a good portion of fries.
Goats Cheese Salad
My goats cheese salad was a little light on the actual green leaves, but very tasty with the lardons, honey vinagrette and the toasted cheese on bread. The service was fast and friendly. When we arrived, it was empty, but by the time we had finished it was definitely filling up – clearly a popular address in the area. Maybe I should pop back and see if they make a good tartiflette. It was on the menu.. but I couldn’t quite face it after 2 beers!
Le Grenier d’Elvire
Chaussée de Boondael 339/A, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium
Food: B
Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Price: B
Languages: French, English

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Les super filles du tram

Posted by rachelinbxl on July 29, 2011

So after all that ‘chic’ eating during the Resto Days, it was about time to go Back to Basics. I realise that burgers are not the most basic food item, especially in Brussels, but fries are included in this meal!!
Les super filles du tram near Place Flagey is by no means like McDonalds, but it is a burger joint.  I’m not sure where the name comes from, but the walls are decorated with super-hero images, on the Brussels landscape. It’s kind of funky, but not the comfiest of seats, and the tables are fairly tightly packed. I had heard the service was slow, but we had a very swift experience at 7pm on a Friday! The restaurant was fairly empty.

Big Joe

Big Joe

They do have things on the menu that are NOT burgers, and they do have vegetarian options (the veggie burger sounded really good), but we stuck to traditional and had a burger each. Next time I might have to try one of the fish burgers… I had Big Joe, because it had bacon as well as the burger, and cheese! It was a good burger (well cooked, but not overdone – the ‘medium’ that I asked for really). The bacon was not as good as in the UK, but one cannot expect that. There wasn’t a lot of salad, and they had not overdone the sauce (ketchup and mayo are available). I was especially impressed with the fries – which were really really good (and the level is high in Belgium!). I liked the flower pot method of serving them too!

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

My friend had the Mushroom Burger, which is not vegetarian but also the 100% beef patty, but with LOTS of mushroom sauce – almost too much really! They also have Chouffe on tap – which is a bonus! So beer, fries and a burger. Total of 16 euros each, which is more than McDonalds of course, but fair for how full I felt and the quality of the food. Of course a meal for two for less than 30 euros would also be good and that’s the reason this doesn’t get an A-rating.
We didn’t stay for dessert as there are good ice creams nearby, and Cafe Belga for mint tea etc….
Maybe another time. The salads on the table next to us looked tasty too, so perhaps another visit is on the cards.

Les Super Filles du Tram
22, Lesbroussart 1050 Elsene

Food: B
Atmosphere: B
Service: B
Price: B
Languages: French, English

Posted in Feeling Carnivorous?, Frite Off! | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

No troubles brewing at the Brassins

Posted by rachelinbxl on September 13, 2010

I take real delight in the beer restaurants in Brussels. I like beer with my food, and they are a good location to take visiting friends. It’s a good way for each of us to try a different beer, some traditional Belgian food (some cooked with beer) and they are generally not overpriced.
For the visit of a Swedish friend, I tried Les Brassins for the first time. They do not make their own beer, but have a reputation for producing good Belgian fare and have a good choice of beer. They are also near the cinema near Toison d’Or where we hoped to catch a movie.
Firstly, the walk there from Stephanie was an eye-opener. The street is very small and very deserted. I thought I must have taken a wrong turn. I’m not sure I’d want to walk there alone at night!
We were one of the first people there; I had reserved and we could choose our table. Within half an hour though (before 8pm) it was packed. It has a very bar/cafe feeling. It’s cosy, but not chic or overly comfy. We were seated on wooden chairs. The fixed menu is basic, but the suggestions of the day were extensive. We stuck to the basics to check the quality!
1 order of stoofvlees/carbonnade/beef stewed in beer, one Brassins Burger, 1 serving of fries and 1 serving of stoemp (belgian mashed potato mixed with a vegetable… the special of the day was with peppers – red, yellow and green).


The beef stew was plentiful and in lots of beer sauce. The meat was tender and of high quality. We both agreed that the sauce could have done with a little more ‘kick’. Beer makes a sauce quite sweet, and this was other lacking mustard, pepper, or some spices. I added a bit of pepper, and enjoyed it with the stoemp. The stoemp was excellent. The best version I have ever tried. The fries were also good, and the sizes of both portions were perfect (we finished them and almost regretted it). The burger was a normal burger really. Good for 12 euros.

We tried 2 of their beers of the month (maya and st idesbald). And then my friend had a Breslienne ice cream. The ice cream is artisanal and was very good. They also serve Illy coffee.
Total cost: 46 euros for 2 meals, 4 beers, a dessert and a coffee. A very good price. The service was friendly, prompt, but not overbearing. The place was busy, perhaps even bustling. Not a place to sit for hours, but a good place to enjoy a meal.
The only draw back is that they do not brew their own beer, and the street is slightly daunting alone! They offer cheap lunch menus also. Shame it’s too far from where I work.

Les Brassins
36 Rue Keyenveld
1050 Brussels (Ixelles)

Food: B
Atmosphere: B
Service: B
Price: A
Languages: French, English

Posted in Bang for your Buck, Brew in Bruxelles, Feeling Carnivorous?, Frite Off! | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Going, going, GONG

Posted by rachelinbxl on May 27, 2010

The Gong restaurant next to the Ixelles cemetery was a lucky find on resto.be. I was looking for good, cheap-ish food near a friend in Ixelles and this one had the nicest website. On arrival, I discovered the major roadworks going on in the area. This meant the resto was much emptier than normal. In fact, there were only 3 groups in with us. So service was speedy and attentive. The menu had already looked very interesting online, a mix of Japanese dishes (sushi, sashimi and tempura – with some exotic twists), and more typical Vietnamese dishes. I chose the mixed tempura dish and my friend took the chicken with red curry and coconut. The dishes arrived very quickly. The mixed tempura had 2 mangetout peapods, one baby sweetcorn, one asparagus stick, a piece of pumpkin or sweet potato, an aubergine slice, a scallop, 2 prawns and one unidentified vegetable (yummy). This was served with a weak soy sauce, and horseradish. Each item was perfectly cooked and the tempura batter was crunchy. The only problem is eating fast enough to enjoy all items hot, whilst not feeling sick or not fully appreciating each flavour!
The chicken was grilled, with dried coconut and a piece of lotus root. The curry sauce was served on the side and was not overly spicy (or overly coconutty.. a slight disappointment, but nice to be able to choose the amount). Each was served with a pot of rice (not only plain white).
I forgot my camera, so I hope this is enough of a description.
We enjoyed both dishes and took a long pause before dessert to enjoy our wine. At this point, the owner (a lovely Vietnamese lady) came over to chat with us about how we had found the restaurant (and complain about the roadworks damaging business). Gong has only been open for 6 months bu has built up a name in the neighbourhood… I’d say it was justified. She was determined that we should try a dessert… and even brought the cakes over to show us. My friend chose a sort of pistachio bavarois, while I took omochi, a traditional japanese rice ball filled with red aduki bean paste. We each had these with black sesame ice cream.
At this point my friend remembered she could take a photo with her camera, so we have a picture of the amazing ice cream. it was a very unusual flavour, not overly sweet, but really really good!

Cake with black sesame ice cream

I really liked this restaurant. The decor is very zen -open and airy, tastefully decorated. Let me know what you think!

Restaurant Gong
489 Chaussee de Boondael
Ixelles

Food: A-
Atmosphere: A
Service: A-
Price: B+
Languages: French, English, Probably also Vietnamese!

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My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard (once) but do they come back?

Posted by spacemonkey99 on April 28, 2010

I wrote the below post a week or two ago, and after returning to this place for a Sunday afternoon snack, I have to review it and add some comments.  I mention below that the service could do with some improvement as it never polite to tell customers that they should “hurry up”.  Well, the level of rudeness went up a notch today when the waiter told us we hadn’t ordered much at all (c’est pas grande chose).  I think it took me a moment to register how rude this was, by which time he had already left. Two of us weren’t eating, but had ordered milkshakes. I wasn’t allowed to order a side of fries (which apparently can only be ordered if you order a main dish).  The other waiter who was clearing dishes, insisted we had to order with our own waiter (he couldn’t even pass along the message that we wanted the bill).  Since I work in a customer-oriented industry myself, I can only say this type of treatment is completely inappropriate.  You don’t take out your frustration/tiredness/negative emotions on your customers – who are paying!  I don’t care if this place were a Michelin star, top-notch place (which it isn’t): I WON’T BE GOING BACK.  I regret that I even spent 5 euros on a milkshake there today.

Previous post:

Ah milkshakes and burgers, the classics of the American diner.  And that is exactly what you get at the Balmoral Milk Bar, in Place Brugmann.   With Grease playing in the background (including French subtitles), the cozy diner with the bright pink seats is packed on a Sunday around lunchtime.  Part of the attraction is surely the kids play corner in the back.   The other part must be the yummy chocolate milkshakes (the red berries and yogurt is also excellent).  The country club sandwich (10 euros) and the burgers (11 euros) are good: delicious, hearty and good sized-portions with quality ingredients.  The burgers are served with American-style potato wedges which are a definite crowd-pleaser.  Not recommended are the chilli-con-carne which lacked carne (we also got ours minus the cheese and onions mentioned on the menu and had to ask the waitress about the omission).  The fajitas are also recommended (choice of chicken, beef or mixed meat with sides including delicious, fresh guacamole ~17 euros).  The cheesecake (4 euros) was also very good: light and fluffy.  The only problem was that it tasted more like a lime key pie than a cheesecake.  All in all, I would definitely go back.  The downside of going on a Sunday is that it was so packed that the waitress asked us to hurry up with our dessert order as our table was reserved after us.  It’s never nice to be rushed through a course, even if its only dessert.

Balmoral Milk Bar

Place G. Brugmann 21

1050 Ixelles

Food: A-/B+
Atmosphere: B+

Service: F (downgraded from C/B-)

Price: A
Languages: French, English

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