Note: For a little more than two years now we’ve been trying to find the best Fries in Brussels. We’ve tried numerous Friteries, most of them more than once (especially if we were not convinced the first time). Now it’s time for our (very subjective) ranking of The Best Fries in Brussels. For this ranking we focused mainly on the taste of the fries themselves and compared them with other equally tasty fries. Then we added things like atmosphere, price, etc. and decided who should be ranked higher.
Chez Fernand is #4 in our ranking – you can find the full list with all the reviews here.
If you are not really into fries and the hype that surrounds them in Belgium, you might wonder: What could be so special about one friterie or another that people travel across town just to have their fries there instead of someplace else?
Well, as an aspiring fries-expert-to-be, I can tell you that in fact there are big differences, and not only taste-wise, but to the whole frites-experience.
That’s why, one sunny day in February, I decided not to go to my favourite (and nearest) fritkot, Maison Antoine, but to try Chez Fernand in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert.
It’s only a 15 minute bus-ride from Place Jourdan, where Antoine is, but the two places are from different fast-food worlds.
While at Antoine’s you often find yourself waiting for up to 90 minutes at lunchtime or on weekends (yes, it’s worth the wait, trust me), at Fernand I was, at 12.30, the only customer inside – with a couple of schoolkids eating their fries at the tables outside.
That’s the second big difference: Fernand has tables in front of the shop – and they have a shop that you can enter, while Antoine is just a little hut/kiosk on the market square. And while Antoine has an authentic kind of beat-up style, Fernand’s is a shiny new Snack-Shop, where you can read the menu from three huge flat-screen TVs (they even have a promo video on their website – something I would never expect from Antoine).
The plus with Antoine: You can take your fries to one of the many cafes/bars around Place Jourdan, buy a drink and enjoy your meal on proper tables – even inside, if it’s raining. That’s not possible at Fernand, but: If the weather is nice, you can take your fries to a park bench in the Park Meudon, which is just across the street. All in all, the atmosphere is much more peaceful around Fernand – not so many people waiting, not a bustling place around the friterie.
Alright, but what about the fries themselves?, you ask. Well, they were good. Really good. Not too soft, not too hard, the large portion (2,20 €) big enough for lunchtime. For my tastebuds, they were almost-but-not-quite as good as Antoine’s – though I am sure others would disagree as it is a close call. One thing I noticed: The fries seemed to be smaller than at Antoine’s (or other fritkotes), which some people might prefer; I don’t.
My verdict: Antoine will continue to serve as my regular fritkot – but if the sun is shining or the queue at Place Jourdan gets too long, I will definitely pay another visit to Fernand.
Go and see for yourself – even if you can’t taste the difference, you will enjoy the nearby park on a sunny day!
Chez Fernand, Avenue Georges Henri 187, Brussels // Website