Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dairy Delicacies

There is no shortage of restaurants in the area around Place Louise/Place Stephanie, but it can be hard to find one that serves anything remarkable. During the day, however, there is at least one saving grace: La Cremerie de la Vache. Salads, sandwiches, a beautiful collection of tea, and the milkshakes... oh, the milkshakes.

Although I have never found the service to be stellar, I always feel great just walking in the door of La Cremerie. The place has a bright, farmhouse feel about it, with lots of wood panelling and light-colored walls. For a moment, you can imagine you've escaped to the countryside. Or, if the Belgian weather gods indulge us, their outdoor seating area is great for catching a few rays of sun and participating in some enjoyable people-watching.

The menu offers up a wide selection of fresh salads and sandwiches, some pasta dishes, a soup or two, some quiche. It makes for a light but filling lunch, all based on great ingredients and plenty of choice for vegetarians (or just ask them to slightly adapt a salad or sandwich to make it vegetarian friendly).

Their tea selection is outstanding - very fine teas and a wide variety. And they go oh-so-well with the amazing cakes and other desserts that really top off a meal. Their milkshakes are rich and creamy (what do you expect from a place called "La Cremerie"?) and make for a great mid-afternoon tea-time break. And you can do equally well before noon with their breads and pastries.

La Crèmerie de la Vache
Jean Stas 6
1060 Bruxelles
Tel. 02.538.28.18
Closed Sundays & evenings

Thanks to for the cute cow pic!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bagels a la Flanders Today, with a side of pastrami

As some of you may know, when I'm not writing blog entries, I sometimes spend time writing for Flanders Today - a free newsweekly covering Flanders and Brussels. Up to now I've mostly covered arts and some "human interest" pieces, but in today's issue I'm branching out to an area close to your hearts: food!

Flanders Today is featuring a regular column called "bite" which I'll be contributing to. Today's article, written by yours truly, covers bagels in Brussels. I introduce Au Pays Des Merveilles (seen previously on this blog) as well as Sens near Place Chatelain - a must visit. Sens has terrific bagels, vegetarian options, and even kosher meat, as well as pastrami that some say is the best in town (I haven't eaten it, but people's reactions do indicate that it's worthwhile for the carnivores out there). Whatever toppings you take, the bagels will transport you straight back to New York. Read my article here and then go check them out!

Meanwhile, may I recommend that you also subscribe to Flanders Today while you're at it - it's a good read, and did I mention it's free? You can sign up for your weekly copy here:

Happy bageling!

Rue Armand Campenhout 62
1050 Ixelles
Tel. 02 850 66 24
Open Monday to Saturday, 7:30 to 18:30

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Spice Up Your Life at Slurps

This was a lucky find. My friend, Sarah, stumbled upon this Bio-Vegetarian gem by accident, and I was fortunate enough to benefit from her newfound knowledge.

Like other vegetarian restaurants in town, Slurps is a combo shop + resto. They take it a step further by holding cooking classes, but more on that later.

The look is great – lots of clean, crisp lines and very modern. You almost feel healthy just for walking in the door. The service is friendly and helpful. We were off to a good start.

The cuisine here is Ayurvedic. Despite the vast amounts of explanation in the menu, I have to admit that I’m still not sure what that is all about – there’s almost too much information in the menu and we were hungry so the focus was more on the “what” than the “why” or “how.” However the dishes were recognizable – at least by name – as Pan-Asian: miso soup, palak paneer, etc. A good amount of Indian influence.

For starters, we had the aforementioned palak paneer, as well as a mung bean soup (with a poached egg – yum!), and artichoke pakoras. For mains, we moved on to a seitan with hoisin sauce served with risotto; haloumi cheese skewers and rice; couscous with seitan and vegetables; and a green curry with Quorn. The bread was a foccacia-type, with some oil and spices, very light. In short, nothing disappointed. All were beautifully spiced (if sometimes a bit heavy on the salt). We were in veggie heaven.

Slurps is happy to spice up more than your food: the first Thursdays of the month, you can join a “dating cooking” class (among other classes that are offered): cook your own dinner, learn some new recipes, and maybe find yourself a date. The open kitchen used for these classes is at the back of the dining area, meaning the six people signed up that evening became our entertainment. They did seem to be enjoying themselves, and if their food came out anything like what we were served, they were at least guaranteed a good meal.

Rue Dautzenberg #7
1050 Ixelles
Tel. 0477.59.17.68 or 0477.927.411
Open weekday lunches, Wed-Sat evenings