Up close, we realized that it was gas, not real logs, but hey, it gave off heat, so we weren’t complaining.
To warm us up, we were given a white wine and kir aperitif (on the house), and it was a delicious way to warm our insides while the fire took care of our outsides.
No one should visit Brussels without eating some mussels, so this is where we decided to have ours. Mussels in garlic butter as a starter were priced at 14.25 euros.
They were fabulous, tender, garlicky, and full of flavor--a great choice.
They have a very eclectic menu, and we had some very different choices. I had paella. It was a monstrous bowl of prawns, langostinos, clams, calamari, mussels, peas, and peppers. It was not the best I have ever had, but it was good. The fish was all fresh and tasty, but the rice was too bland for my taste. I use more saffron in my own version.
Joe’s Ghent waterzooi,
on the other hand, was fabulous. This is a real Ghent favorite, and I can see why. It is large chunks of white-meat chicken in a creamy soup base with onions, carrots, potatoes, celery, and green beans. Al had beef stroganoff. It was the usual beef served over rice, but it had a reddish color, as if it had paprika in it. He enjoyed it, and it was a large portion.
This is a tourist restaurant on a tourist street, but the portions are large and the food better than average. The prices, though, are a bit steep.
December 7, 2003
From journal Brussels A Grande Adventure