Choosing my lunch was easy enough: I had discovered Flagrants Delices while doing some research about finding decent pastrami in Brussels; so, of course, I went for the pastrami sandwich.
Let’s split this review in two parts.
First, the meat: The pastrami tasted very good. Although it’s not quite up there, I’d say it probably would still do quite well if compared directly to original New York pastrami. To me, its taste wasn’t quite as intense and it was also a tiny bit more chewy/dry than the pastrami I had in the states.
Second, the sandwich: Here is where it gets tricky. Since I haven’t (yet) had any other pastrami sandwiches in Brussels, I don’t know how it ranks compared to the local competition and it might well be that it’s the best pastrami sandwich in town.
Still, I was disappointed.
I was introduced to pastrami sandwiches in New York as being huge portions of meat barely being held together by two soft slices of rye bread. At Flagrants Delices you get two (three, if you order XL) little sandwiches, which hold a lot less meat – and I mean a lot less. Now, that’s not the worst thing that can happen, since NY-style sandwiches tend to be too big.
What was a problem for me, though, was the bread. It seemed to be standard white bread, which was toasted or grilled, and it was a) too small and b) too hard. How hard? The outer parts I could hardly bite, the softer, inner parts, were too dry and also too hard for my taste.
Another point of critique: Although the meat seemed to be hot when they started making the sandwich(es), it was only lukewarm when I had my first bite and rather cold by the time I was halfway through.
My verdict: It was nice to get some pastrami in Brussels and I will definitely visit Flagrants Delices again – the meat itself is really good. But I am considering buying just the meat and making the sandwich myself at home.
Flagrants Délices, Brussels // www.flagrantsdelices.be