In order to enjoy Brussels, there is one thing that you have to get used to: steep(er) prices. If not, you might find it tough, to have a fun time in this town – better: in certain districts i.e. the EU-District or also the Sablon-Area. Yes, it did take us a while to get accustomed. That’s why I never would have gone to Claire Fontaine Epicerie a couple of years ago. This is a little gourmet shop in a side street just off Sablon. And to be fair, it probably isn’t any more or less expensive than any other old-fashioned deli in any other town.
Be it my mindset, or my hunger: Now, however, the time came to give this place a try. It was a Saturday and we had been doing quite some walking through town and felt ravenous. Where to? The little Delhaize at the corner wouldn’t do. Neither did we fancy a big meal, i.e. .a burger, at the Comics Café on Grand Sablon. Then we remembered Claire Fontaine Epicerie in Rue Ernest Allard, just off Sablon.
Into the shop we dived – and for a short moment it felt as if we had travelled in time. This quaint little shop is piled with jam jars, bottles, and the counter just about fits in with its vitrine filled with cheeses, hams, pâtés, quiches and even some hot dishes. I was craving Brie with figue-confiture – and I was in luck. The shop girl attended to my needs. Preparing the sandwich exactly how I wanted it. (“Please not too much cheese”, “Well, a little bit more”, “Less jam”, “Do you have salad”)
Obviously one sandwich between the two of us wasn’t enough so we went for a slice of quiche as well: actually it was more of a potato-tart with little chunks of bacon and topped with truffles… how exquisite. I was a bit worried about going to the cash register – but it turned out quite civilized (for Brussels). 12 Euro. Yes, we could have had a cheaper lunch elsewhere. But definitely not a better lunch!
The lovely thing about Claire is that you can either eat it on one of their little tables outside (only when the weather permits). Or you can take you picnic to the Little Sablon, a cute park with lots of benches. Note: Claire unfortunately does not have indoor seating for rainy days.
Claire Fontaine, Rue Ernest Allard 3, Brussels // No Website