Welcome to Brussels, where all tourists arrive duty bound to see -and eat- a certain percentage of this beautiful city. Not one to shirk my comestible duty (wait, that sounds bad…) I have assembled a list.
First up: the frîtes. Commonly served as a side to moules, and known in other parts of the world as french fries, they are also widely available mussel-free from windows and counters about town. I bought a paper cone full of them from a shop that had a long line and did the final frying to-order. They were completely delicious… but not the true star of this show. No, the real reason you’re here – the message to the fries’ medium, the coup to their grace, the Abbot to their Costello – is the SAUCE. A dozen varieties each of tartar, ketchup, aioli, teriyaki, and indeterminate ‘other’ base sauces available for your dipping pleasure. Be advised that, despite complaints about American “super sized” culture, a large serving of these frites comprises a full (if unhealthy) meal unto itself.
Next: buy some chocolate. You can’t walk two blocks here without hitting a very expensive chocolate shop. Give in, get the chocolate; if nothing else it’s an edible souvenir for the folks back home. But if you taste it, you’ll probably scarf down the whole box – they’re tasty.
Need a little something sweet to wash that chocolate down? After making an appointment with your endocrinologist, try sating that grade-school passion for sweets with Moulins – butter cookies stamped with a windmill, possibly made with almonds. Also quite tasty.