Brussels Pub Journal
Posted by JasonH on 12/14/2003 12:13:23 PM
A few weeks back I mentioned that I would post some of my notes from my trip to Brussels last March. It snowed again here in Baltimore and Iím waiting for the snowplow to dig out my street...so I figured this would be as good a time as any to try to piece together my notes from our Brussels pub crawl.
As first timers doing this, my girlfriend, Lisa, and I were a little disorganized about the journal entry thing. Iíve found pieces of napkins, folded up paper and postcards with scribbles all over them. We were a bit disoriented while ingesting all the ale.... :) Next time weíll be a little bit more together with a proper pad of paper and an agenda! Most of this should be accurate.
Anyway, this is what Iíve found so far (I apologize that the French might be misspelled or out of context):
To follow are our favorite pubs we couldnít seem to pass up on a daily basis. They were within walking distance of our hotel, actually, a little bit of a walk, but a comfortable trek at that. We stayed at the Comfort Inn Art Siru near the northern part of town. Very cool abstract hotel with each room uniquely decorated individually by one artist.
From the napkins (and my memory):
Off of Grand Place. Looks fancy but donít let it intimidate you. Very medieval looking, just like everything else off of Grand Place. Awesome experience. Tall ceilings, very large first floor and they kept bringing cheese to us. First place where we experienced the proper Kwak glasses. Definitely for tourists, but definitely a great place to feel that old world environment.
Le Bon Vieux Temps.
Circa 1695? Very relaxing. This one is off of one of the side streets of Grand Place. First place we had the Westmalle Dubbel on tap. Quiet and friendly. Dark oak tables, very clean too. A subdued place to have good conversation.
A IíImaige Nostre-Dame, Estaminet.
Located on Cadeaux Geschehenken. This was one of our favorites. First place where we had the St. Feuillien Tripel and crazy strong Bush on tap. My notes have ď1679Ē all over the napkin. The place is old, I mean really old. Very small, dimly lit, and very friendly people. Play the bar game near the door!
Lop Lop Cafe Deí Expression.
Thereís a bunch of flags from different countries all over the outside so I immediately loved it. This place is a bit dingy and dirty, has two floors and a decent ale menu. For American visitors, its a pub that youíll find alot of other Americans for some weird reason. In fact, Lisa strikes up a conversation with the bartender Ė apparently they both lived near each other in San Francisco! Small world. It gave us a small taste of home for a few hours. Appropriately experienced half way through the week long trip.
Oh yes. This place is great. It has four (or five) floors, with a staircase winding up the center of the pub. Pretty sure I experienced the fruity dark Charles Quint on draft for the first time there. Drank alot of Mort Subite Gueuze also. This place overlooks Grand Place. Definitely be sure to get a window table if you go. If you donít watch it, you will stay there for hours just taking in the awesome environment. There was a huge concert outside that we got to watch from the pub. Clean, decorated nicely, lots of brick.
So, alot of these were tourist places. But for first-timers to Belgium we absolutely loved them. There were alot of other pubs we went to as well...so...many...pubs....I havenít found the notes from them, but if I do, Iíll post them. Iíve also got a list somewhere of all the ales we experienced also. We basically just wandered Brussels for 6 days aimlessly without a care in the world. We had ideas of taking the train to Brugge or Gent, but ended up just going to pubs! I wouldnít change it for the world. We hope to visit Belgium again in the next year or so. We would really like to check out an ale festival over there sometime Ė experience the really rare ales that the tourist places wonít have, and ales that would never make it to the US. One day, definitely!
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