Happy first day of Spring!
It’s apparently a year of new beginnings. I, for one, am proud of myself. I’ve been reaching out, feeling more like myself again after a long six months, and have been actively nurturing friendships, new and old. I’m enjoying being in my own skin again, even though the pain was greater than I thought I could bear sometimes.
But, with the help and love and support of friends and family, we’ve traveled forward, together. I am forever grateful for everyone, and in particular, my flatmate who let me cry and vent and stress and who never once judged me, and two lovely ladies here in Brussels who watched me go through this and were there … every day.
I’m even going to the first ever BFF (Brussels Food Friends) Bloggers Meetup later this month. There will be a post on that, promise. I’ve been enjoying spreading my wings a bit.
Before we go any further, here’s a fun video about falling up.
Now, onward to food!
Don’t you love it when you see a neighborhood haunt with the sign “new management”? I don’t always, but then again, change can be good, can’t it?
So, let me preface this with the fact that my new lunching companion thought it was a good idea to tell me how disappointed she was in the meal at this joint last week (and by that, I mean, she detailed the cons for me in a way that made you go, huh?). BUT, she polished it off with, “but everyone deserves a second chance, right?” 🙂 Agreeing, we set off on an adventure. (Arriving to those balloons up there was kind of freaky. I almost thought a clown would jump out. Thank goodness it didn’t.)
So, apparently it’s not just under new management, but new ownership … the new guy is a Swede (perhaps? Aunt GS, correct me here, please) and the menu has changed. I’ve only been here to discuss academic matters over an adult beverage, but the previous menu always looked a little bare. At least now, it’s spruced up a bit with some new additions.
After some thought (okay, a lot of thought), I ordered the Grilled Chicken. First, let me say this: it was really quite pretty and the seasonings were very nice. Lemon, Provence with the right touch of grill. It was a perfectly healthy, Wednesday lunch choice.
Now, unfortunately, let me tell you something I did not like: the chicken. I know, I know, but I feel this way about any bulky protein that has seen the flat end of a meat mallet. Sure, meat mallets are good for tenderizing meat that could use some tenderizing, and yes, it helps it cook faster and more evenly, but I just don’t like the texture. It’s a personal preference. (Besides, there are other ways to tenderize meat.) I don’t like flat meat … unless you’re a skirt steak from La Boca. (BTW — if you haven’t heard yet, my favorite Chef, Adolfo Garcia, and his partners have moved La Boca over to the old a Mano space.)
And, not to be Negative Ned here, but I don’t particularly care for hot meat on cold salad. In fact, I prefer my salads crispy cold, and on a separate plate, but at least this salad was fresh. I was expecting some fresh veggies, though. It would have been nice to have some steamed carrots and maybe some winter snap peas. C’est la vie.
My lunching companion said that last week the “salad” was shredded lettuce, so this salad was a huge improvement. She was very happy with hers. The chicken was still tender, and slightly juicy in some bites, and mostly good, but flat. I just don’t like flat. 🙂
The meal did, however, come with these wonderfully crisp frites. A little more salt next time and we’re good to go; they really hit the spot. Of course, they’re not on the same level as French Fries “La Boca” (oh man, now I am getting hungry again), but they accompanied the chicken just fine.
My lunching companion had the QG House Burger with cheese. She did not eat her pickles (shocker!) but she ate everything else in a heartbeat. She was very happy. We noticed that there was another burger option on the menu, the “Homemade USA Burger.” We didn’t ask the difference (or not that I recall, at least), but perhaps that’s an expat thing.
The server was super nice (Alex, I think, was his name) but we realized that he did not ask her how she wanted her burger cooked. So, we wondered: is this only an American thing … to ask? It came out well-done, but even well-done, though, it looked good and it was devoured in a few short minutes. I think that means she gave it at least one thumbs-up. She mentioned that it was not a burger she would crave again, or make a special trip for, but that it was solid in its own way: comfort food. I was surprised by the real hamburger bun, too. Sesame seeds and all!
The new owners did a little remodeling. Maybe at night it looks different, but with the sun shining in, it looked like a normal bar during the day. Not a New Orleans bar … a normal bar.
RestoDays are coming up soon and I have reservations with a friend to go to a Michelin-rated restaurant. I am really looking forward to slow dining and a nice meal. It’s not New Orleans, or Adolfo, but it’s as close as I can get right now, so I’ll take it.
Have a great weekend, everyone.
PS — Would you be willing to share this post for me, and take the poll below, too? I am thinking about venturing out onto a little ledge …