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16 June, 2013

Hungry Aphrodite in Brussels!

Posted in : Food, Travel on by : Reema Tags: , , , , ,

My dear hubby surprised me with a quick getaway to Brussels over the weekend. We had been talking about a Eurostar train trip for quite some time and as much as I LOVE Paris, I was excited to explore a city that I had never been to before. My excitement multiplied after hearing about all the Belgian culinary treats on offer. Chocolate, waffles, fries and other yumminess…I knew from the beginning that this was going to be a delicious trip. And, oh yes, it was!

Here is my foodie guide to Brussels!

Belgian Chocolate

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The best chocolate in the world. Period.

The Belgians invented and perfected the praline. Leonidas, Neuhaus and Godiva are some of the world’s leading gourmet Belgian chocolate brands available in many global cities. In addition, there are over 2000 chocolatiers selling delicious, hand made chocolate in the country!

Mary Chocolatier is ranked as one of the top chocolatiers in Belgium. Founded in 1919, Mary’s chocolates are still hand made to their original recipes, without any artificial colours and preservatives. A visit to the shop at rue de Royale was high on my Belgian chocolate agenda and it was quite an experience.

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Mary Chocolatier

Expensive, yes. But the selection of decadent chocolates we picked up is truly, DIVINE!

Moules (Mussels!)

I never truly appreciated mussels. Until I tried them in Brussels!

The best mussels in Brussels can be found at the very popular Chez Leon on rue de Bouchers. The restaurant is located in a row of touristy restaurants behind Grand Place. We were initially convinced that this was going to be a tourist trap but we were so wrong!

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Chez Leon

Gigantic mussels oven baked in a casserole with a delicate white wine and cream broth. Served hot – WOW!

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Moules (Mussels)

Frites (Fries!)

The fries. OMG the fries.

Belgian fries are traditionally served in a paper cone and topped with your pick of sauces that include mayonnaise, Piri Piri sauce, curry sauce, Tunisian hot sauce amongst many others. A friterie is a restaurant or food joint service quick food like frites (fries!), burgers and sandwiches.

Belgian fries topped with Piri Piri Sauce and Garlic Mayo
Belgian Fries topped with Piri Piri Sauce and Garlic Mayo

Friterie Tabora, located right in the centre of Brussels on rue de Tabor was so brilliant that we greedily went back twice! Yum!

Friterie Tabora
Friterie Tabora

Waffles

Waffles are everywhere in Brussels. Sold warm by street vendors as a takeaway snack, topped with ice cream, chocolate sauce, strawberries, Nutella…..take your pick! I don’t think one can ever go wrong with Belgian waffles! Simply delicious!

Belgian Waffle topped with ice cream and chocolate sauce
Belgian Waffle topped with ice cream and chocolate sauce

Beer

Beer doesn’t usually get me excited but Belgian beer is special.

In Belgium, fruit is often added to the beer brewing process to enhance taste. Kriek (cherry) and Framboise (raspberry) are the most traditional fruit beers but it doesn’t stop there. Lemon, peach, grapefruit, apple and honey beer….there is an enormous variety that must be experienced. We headed to the Delirium Village in central Brussels, a bar that has over 2400 types of beer on offer. Definitely worth a visit, even if you don’t care for beer!

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Grand Place, Brussels

Our trip to Brussels was short but absolutely fabulous. Highly recommend a visit for the delicious food and heavenly chocolate!

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