July 5, 2018

Europe 2018 day 6: last lunch in Belgium

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It's our 6th day in Europe, and not only will we be sleeping in the 6th different bed tonight, we're also leaving Belgium and finally getting to France.  We started by taking a local train from Gent Sint-Pieters station to Gare de Bruxelles Midi.  Like Bruges, it's a shame that we hardly got a chance to see Ghent - which some people feel is just as pretty, if not prettier, than Bruges.

We have a few hours to spend in Brussels, so of course I scheduled lunch at a restaurant we wanted to hit.  I had heard about Restaurant Bozar from friends a couple of years ago, and it's inside the beautiful Art Deco-style Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles by Victor Horta.

The reason for visiting here?  Chef Karen Torosyan was declared the "world champion" at the pâtè-encroûte competition in 2015, and I loooooove pâtè-encroûte!

Tart with tapenade of aubergine and cumin

Choux with Parmesan cream - this was so good... as the filling was so rich and satisfying.

Croquette with crevettes grises - with a dab of parsley coulis on top.  This was very, very tasty.

Noble pâté-croûte: Bigorre's black pork, duck and goose foie gras from the south west of France - BABY, THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FOR...  The pâté en croûte which won the "world championship"... that takes 20 hours to prepare and only two of which are available per week.

I gotta admit... when my plate arrived, my first reaction as I stared at the not-so-thick slice in front of me was: "WOW... THIS cost me 46 Euros?! Couldn't they have given me a thicker slice??"

But once I started cutting into it and took the first bite, my happiness level went up immediately.  Yes, this was a very beautiful piece to behold, and it was damn tasty, too!  Given that this was pretty much one solid bloc of meat (and fat, and dense pastry...) it turned out to be more filling than expected.

This was a very pretty "hockey puck" made from ribbons of pickled carrots and other roots.  It packed plenty of nice and refreshing acidity which helped balance out the richness of the meat.

Just in case I needed more acidity, the staff also fished out this schlong pickle from a big jar for me.
Holstein beef tartare: with a knife chopped - mmmm yes, that was exactly the way it was written on the English menu...  Hello Kitty decided to go for tartare, and she couldn't have been happier with her choice.

These potato chips were just about paper-thin.  Soooo delicious.

And the beef was indeed chopped with a knife, with pickles for crunch and acidity.  Very, very nice.

Brussels waffle - Hello Kitty could not believe that, after 5 days in Belgium, we still had not had a single bite of Belgian waffles.  But as luck would have it, they had the Brussels-style waffle on the menu here... so of course we asked for one since it was made to order.  Very light, without much sugar.  Perfect for Hello Kitty.

We were very full, and decided to bring these with us...

...but with madeleines like this one still warm to the touch, I couldn't resist devouring one.

This was such a happy meal for both of us.  It was too bad that we couldn't have the pithivier today, but we'll be sure to pre-order it before we come back next time.

We made our way back to Gare de Bruxelles-Midi and boarded our Thalys train for the 1½-hour journey to Paris.  After 5½ days in Belgium, we are now very much looking forward to spending time in France!

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