[Brussels, Belgium] La Chaloupe d'Or, La-Grand Place

La Grand-Place (Grote Markt) is the epicentre for visitors to Brussels, a giant market square bordered by an impressive collection of ornate Flemish baroque buildings. A number of these former guildhouses have re-purposed their ground-level space into restaurants offering Belgian cuisine. The al fresco dining areas of these restaurants offer the best vantage points for people-watching, and the dine amidst the gilded facades of Brussels’ historical heart.

One of these restaurants is La Chaloupe d’Or. It’s very touristy, but it’s rather fun. Culinary-wise, don’t expect anything beyond the local favourites sought after by visitors to Brussels.

What we had:

Salade de chèvre chaud (Salad with goat’s cheese on toast)
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Carbonnade de boeuf à la flamande/Vlaamse karbonaden met rundwagen (Flemish-style beef stew)

Moules Marinières

The food tasted good to us, but our Belgian colleagues/friends insisted that these La Grand-Place places are only good for drinks whilst we soak in the atmosphere. Oh well. :joy::joy:

Address
La Chaloupe d’Or
Grote Markt 24
1000 Brussels
Belgium
Tel: +32 2 274 23 32
Opening hours: 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm for meals, daily.
Bar open from 11am-11pm daily.

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Good looking food, Peter.

I visit Belgium quite often, although I’ve never been to Brussels. The city is a bit of an oddity - it’s French speaking in the middle of Dutch speaking Flanders. That may account for the literal translation of the Carbonnade, rather than using the colloquial Dutch or its Flemish dialect - rundsstoofvlees/rundsstoverij.

I usually stay in Ieper where the mussels and chips invariably come with mayo and seafood cocktail sauce.

It’s a rich city, architecturally. My second visit in 4 years, but since my company’s hotel is the Hotel Metropole, we invariably ended up at the always-bustling La Grand-Place in the evenings for drinks, and dinner at one of its restaurants afterwards.

Oh my. :anguished:

yes, i tend to stay away from the central areas of any city when it comes to food but sometimes you just can’t help it. you probably can’t go wrong with your choices. I had the best carbonnade in brussels the last time i was there. mussels - well, of course. and fries. no brainer! there’s also a LOT of chicory/endive and cheese in the salads. but mostly i love the wall art in brussels! (big tintin and other graffiti fan here)

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Oh yes! I simply love the murals in Brussels - these are some which I came across.

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Fun post, great pictures, thanks! Food looks good too, especially the fries!

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Let me recommend making witloof for a lightish dinner.

It uses chicory - the cigar shaped one, not the leafy one. Wrap each cigar in a slice of good ham and place in a baking dish. Make a really tasty cheese sauce and pour over. Bake at about 180. Should take around 20 minutes for the chicory to be soft but still with a hint of “al dente”. I’d eat that with something simple like green beans. You’ll need crusty bread, of course.

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No one, but no one, does French fries as good as the Belgians, not even the French. In fact, pommes frites is one of the few things in the world where the French will freely concede is done better by the Belgians.:joy::joy:

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sounds great for the autumn! we have made cold ‘boats’ of chicory with blue cheese or cambazola and walnuts in each one. handy stuff and often on sale in london. thanks, john.

You have to go to a Dutch speaking part (or the Netherlands) for the “oorlog” (war) version. Cone of chips drizzled with one line of mayo and another with sate sauce and sprinkled with chopped raw onion. I know one place in Ieper that does (or did) extreme oorlog, adding also a line of ketchup. I presume it’s “war” because of the havoc it plays with your digestive system - you do need your choice of indigestion tablets later. But it’s absolutely worth it.

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As this is a Flemish dish, chips might be even better than bread.

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thanks, peter! amazingly, unlike london, some of these must have been there for many years since i recognise a couple of them! it does make for some colourful walks

I was wondering about the significant presence of Indonesians in Brussels - I even saw souvenir shops with Indonesian signages. Then, I realised it’s the Dutch connection, and its long presence in present-day Indonesia since the 17th-century, and its colonial rule from 1800 till the Second World War.
People from the Indonesian archipelago has been settling in the Netherlands since Indonesia proclaimed its independence from the Dutch at the end of World War II. Neighbouring Dutch-speaking areas of Belgium will attract Indonesian visitors as well today.

I need to try that. Thanks, John. :blush::+1:

And the colonists brought back “rijstaffel” (rice table) - the multi course (albeit almost single bite) meal of Indonesian dishes. We ate one at Tempo Doeloe a few years back - an outstandingly fun experience - and actually the main point of our trip to Amsterdam. Can’t recall just how many different dishes there were - certainly more than 20. Helpfully, the restaurant had organised them in a recommended order of eating from mild to ferociously hot. As far as I know, the rijstaffel hasnt caught on in Dutch speaking Belgium.

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I’m currently in Brussels and plan to go here tomorrow, thanks for the tip. Bruges on Thursday if you have any thoughts there! I sure would like to find some good huitres while here.

I never did manage to get beyond the touristy Old Town. There are good brasseries abound, everywhere you look in Bruges. You may want to explore the attractive-looking eateries near the Vismarkt (Fish Market).

But Bruges has some serious fine dining spots (including Michelin-starred ones) which I’d like to explore the next time I go up there:

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Thanks, @kyleoh! We had chocolat chaud and coffees in the Grand Place this morning, lovely. For lunch we went to Le Loft, close to another of our destinations and off the designer store street that I try to avoid in every city! I mean, where can you NOT buy Givenchy and Armani. Ugh. But our non-designer destination took us there and a Google search said Le Loft is one of the top 10 eateries n the city. It was good, but the menu was 90% salads, burgers and steaks, not what I really expected. Apparently there’s often a wait, but not at 1:30 on a Tuesday. I had the fried goat cheese salad (yours on Grand Place looked good too, I just love a creamy warm chevre!) and my SO had a charcuterie plate and we shared frites, because frites.

Tonight we are trying a friend-recommended restaurant that apparently is number 1 on both Yelp and Trip Advisor, though I haven’t looked, friend did. It’s called Fin de Siecle, and has lots of pork (sausage, ribs and pork knuckle) and lamb. Still haven’t been to a place that has moules or oysters! It would be tragic to leave without moules mariniere!

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The mussel season will have only just begun and it may be that places havent got supplies yet.

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I was there in July and mussels were everywhere. The season starts in July in Netherlands, Europe’s biggest mussel producers, and massive amounts are exported to Belgium at the same time. The season is winding down in Netherlands now, supermarkets have sales again this week.

Look around some more. Good luck.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2