I just love Moules and, to be honest, I could have them every single day (or at least a couple of times a week). However, my funds don’t stretch that far – unfortunately. Moules Frites is more a treat, a special and something to look forward to. Last time I had Moules was before Christmas. I wrote about our lovely experience at La Boussole back in December. Now I have found a new favourite place: Au Vieux Bruxelles.
You might have seen the place just on the corner of Place Boniface. It has an oldfashioned – some might call it “kitschy” – facade. The interieur is heavy, dark wood; a brasserie type ambience. Until recently I had been reluctant to go, the prices for Moules seemed a bit steep (starting at 23 Euro) and all in all I thought it would be a touristy, rip-off typ of place. However, in the end I had to give in to my curiosity. And: I was surprised!
The place was cosy and had an authentic touch to it. We sat by the window – to call the bench comfy would be an exaggeration. But the smell of food, the view out onto the cobble-stone street made us feel at home. The waiter came straight away, we ordered two Chimay blue (at 5 Euro each!) and then had to decide between all the different sorts of sauces served with the Moules. As I was drinking beer, I didn’t want a white wine sauce. So I went for the spicy sauce – I think they called it Diabolo. If you like it hot: Go for this dish! I loooovveed it! (The large portion was worth every penny, even though the price was 26 Euro.)
Philipp didn’t go for the Moules: He went for a traditional Belgian dish: Sausages and Stoemp. The price here was a lot more reasonable (14,90Euro), the portion was ok, not overly big. But the nice thing was, that the Belgian equivalent to bangers and mash came nicely presented – with a bit of salad garnish. The stoemp wasn’t just mashed potatoe. It had leek and onion and butter with it. He cleared his plate up. And some of my frites, too.
It’s a nice place if you want to take visitors for a typically Belgian meal. Note: Do get there early. You can’t reserve a table and once the restaurant fills up, food can take a while. We got there at 7:15 pm and were served instantly. When we left at 8:30 people were looking a bit grumpy. Our neighbours had been waiting for over half an hour for their food.
Oh, and one last thing: Take cash! No credit cards!
Au Vieux Bruxelles, Rue Saint-Boniface 35, Brussels // www.auvieuxbruxelles.com