An institution. Les Brassins is somewhat of an established Brussels institution. Mind you, of course I ignored that till recently. Although I considered the restaurant as one of my ‘locals’. Seems the whole town is thinking the same, so not that much of a well kept secret anymore. Nevertheless …
The story so far
Les Brassins is what Brussels is all about: back street, restaurant slash brasserie, old fashioned beer commercials on the wall, very little glitz and glam to the rest of the décor. Simply put, a real Belgian place with some local history to it. When or how I first came across it – no idea. It must have been a while. Ever since I am regular.
What you see is what you get. The restaurant is not that big (so reservations are recommended if not necessary for dinner), wooden tables and chairs, some mismatched, and loads of Belgian beer commercials and metal plaques on the walls.
The place is constantly buzzing – lunch, shared between working locals and expats (yours truly), dinner, shared between locals, students, tourists and everyone else. Always a good atmosphere, and a very (very!) laid back feel to both lunch and dinner. From 18 to 60 year olds.
That’s the good part. The food is delicious. Portions are huge. And unlike other local restaurants in the area, Les Brassins specializes in Belgian dishes. The waterzooi (check), mussels (check), americain & frites (check) … you get the picture. All Belgian, all good dishes, all enjoyed on grey, cold, autumn or winter nights. There is also a decent choice of salads. Funny enough I never had a dessert there, but I am guessing they are on offer as well.
A must for a Belgian restaurant, Les Brassins also offers a decent, yet unusual choice of Belgian beers. Many a night were spent trying the different beers out, and trust me worth the effort. Chouffe fans, be warned.
Count 15euro for a lunch (starter and main, including drinks), and about 25euro for dinner (starter and main, no drinks). Note these prices might have gone up in time. And they never have and probably never will take any type of cards, so cash only!
Service with a smile
Well so and so, but given the overall feel of the restaurant service is not something you’ll expect. Service is fast at serving, somewhat slower at paying (a little tip: you can pay at the bar when leaving), but overall no complaints. Just service is not something you’ll look out for at Les Brassins. Or in Belgium in general for that matter. Lived and learned for many years …
Besides the fact it stays one of my favourite locals? If you don’t know it already, go and try it out. You’ll leave not only full, but also having experienced what Brussels is all about.
Les Brassins: website, Rue Keyenweld 36, 1050 Brussels
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