Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Pizza at St Job

Posted by rachelinbxl on December 6, 2011

I work in Uccle, and the nearest concentration of restaurants is Place St Job. The cheap, favourite go-to place for a quick lunch is the Cabestan. This reliably serves cheap pasta – especially spaghetti bolognese at in two sizes. The small is usually enough for me, but the men prefer large. The spicy oil makes it seem tastier than it is 😉
However, the Cabestan is small and crowded and, for a change, we tested Pasta Commedia last week. This place looks rather chic from the outside, with a spacious, well lit interior – plenty of natural light, and some lovely bars in the middle of the open space, I would not have picked it had work mates not informed me it was a good alternative. At lunchtime they offer any of the pizzas on their extensive menu for 7.50 euros! This is a great deal as some of them are almost 15 euros in the evening – half price pizza. The half price lunch doesn’t mean they hold back on the service, however. Our large group was seated and immediately hot squares of off-cut pizza dough arrived on the table, with a selection of black and green olives (not outstanding, but good enough) and fresh butter. They do have the annoying habit of pouring the water into glasses, which inevitably means that someone who wasn’t that thirsty has a full glass when someone else wants more and the bottle is empty so you have to order another – but in a smaller group that might be more manageable. So here is my pizza parma – a slightly too thick and chewy pizza base, but well dosed with tangy tomato, cheese, parma ham and fresh rocket (rucola).

Pizza Parma

We didn’t test dessert, but I may just have to pass by here again another time. Maybe to test their fresh pastas – which were not so cheap, and not a special deal at lunchtime. It’s fairly popular, but not packed, so you can just turn up. Their English is passable.
And if you don’t want pizza or pasta, then the frietkot on the square is also a good place for a snack!

Pasta Commedia
Avenue Jean et Pierre Carsoel, 3
1180 Uccle

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

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Positive Pasta Tastings

Posted by Pi on May 3, 2010

Does Le Patty Pâtes suck?  That was the controversy, as I had heard from multiple sources quite different opinions on the food.  Since fresh pasta is hard to come by, especially in Brussels, we finally went there for lunch the other day to add our vote.

First came the homemade “Nina” plate (~15 euros), with basically a bolognese and mozzarella.  This was one of the few dishes without a cream sauce, too, if you care about that.  When I got the plate, I was skeptical, but the relatively simple dish really impressed me.  I loved the meaty and flavorful sauce — although it was slightly saltier than in other places, this perfectly complemented the fresh and filling tagliatelle underneath when mixed together.

Then there was a chicken-and-mushrooms dish over the same type of pasta, with bits of ham.  Although my friend thought it was delicious, in the end he found it a bit heavy from the cream and couldn’t finish everything.  Of course, if it were gluttonous me, I probably would’ve eaten it all.

Apparently the place gets packed by 1pm on most afternoons, and it’s not open for dinner all the time, so getting a place may be difficult.  However, if you get the chance, I recommend trying it, as I enjoyed the meal.  The fresh pasta mainly sells the place, and the dense flavor of my tagliatelle definitely was better than in the average Brussels pasta bar.

However, the contradictory reviews I had heard beforehand suggests that eating here could be a risk, as the experience might not be consistent, and some may find nothing special about it.  Maybe the inconsistency is just a reflection of hand-made food in general?   Pasta fans should go there and find out.

Le Patty Pâtes
10, Rue Ernest Solvay, Ixelles

Food: A
Service: A-
Atmosphere: A
Price: A-
Languages: French, maybe English

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Pasta over pasta-burritos?

Posted by Pi on October 28, 2009

On my large rectangular plate, I had a mass of fettuccine noodles, which were piled on top of another type of pasta underneath, which were something like wide and flat pasta-burritos that encased a robust onion-tomato-zucchini sauce inside.  Around all that, a bright orange tomato-cream sauce with bits of ham lay all over the plate.  Needless to say, it was thick and rich, but it even had a little spiciness that surprised me.  At the corners were large butterflied shrimp, striated in white and orange-red and steaming hot, which tasted great when sopped with the sauce.  Finally, even further in the corners were small blocks of salty feta cheese.  Ground green parsley was sprinkled all over for color.  Interesting and very strongly flavored creation, this “pastabord Zoete Bron” (16.40 euros).

For a midday meal by the water, outside the city, it was excellent.  The sun streamed through the floor-to-ceiling windows, and the waitress was friendly, too.  Even the parrots chirping in their cages at the front door seemed appropriate. By the time I ate my plate down to the flat pasta-burrito things, I liked my food enough that, even when I found the dead gnat baked into one of the pasta sheets, I only paused for a second.  I thought a bit. Then I kept eating and finished it.

Don’t worry. I picked the gnat out.  I figured that I enjoyed it so much so far — why stop now?  So take this anecdote for what you will.  Great flavors and presentation still don’t necessarily rule out an occasional dead bug.  At least it was tiny.

De Zoete Bron
M. Noëstraat 15, Oud-Heverlee

Food: A-
Service: A
Price: B
Atmosphere: A-
Languages: Dutch, French

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Made-to-order mac-and-cheese

Posted by Pi on May 15, 2009


If you’re visiting Manhattan in New York, stop off at tiny S’mac for some unhealthy spectacular goodness.  It focuses just on macaroni and cheese, and I was an instant fan.  This cheddar, mozzarella, ground beef, and brocolli version tasted so rich and bold that I had to take a picture.  At least now my brain can remember it in addition to my arteries.

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Classy Kosmopol

Posted by Pi on February 19, 2009

The average foreigner should discover fairly quickly that pastas and roasted meat dishes ubiquitously populate Belgian restaurants.  What can they do to differentiate them all? Well, for starters, don’t be awful.  Be very good and a little stylish, maybe. Kosmopol in Leuven passes that test.

The Mediterranean pasta (~15 euros) with shrimp, olives, dried tomatoes, a rich sauce earned a very firm rating of… “good”.  Okay, the food is good but possibly a little boring.  However, take into consideration the ambiance as well.  Atmosphere earns this place its points.  The wide spaces, clean bar setting in reds and blacks, and much better than average service adds value to the meal.  Maybe going for a drink might be better than for a meal.

Martelarenplain 10, across from the station, Leuven

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

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