Regular readers of our blog will know: Since in Brussels, we have been searching the best Frites. (You can find our first ranking here.) Now we have decided to track down some more fabulous Fritkots. The Friterie de la Barrière in St. Gilles (on Avenue du Parc) has been on our list for a very long time.
So the other day we followed our cravings and headed to St. Gilles. Although we were there at lunchtime (= 1 pm) the queue wasn’t too bad. (Please remember: We are Maison Antoine fans and are used to being patient, as queues are unavoidable there.) There were only a couple of people in front of us – school kids and some construction workers.
Our first impression was: Charming. An authentic Fritkot that boasts about its history. It has been here for decades. But while waiting, the charm gradually faded. First we realised that they also served Kebab-Sandwiches (not very Belgian.) Then we noticed that the two ladies in there weren’t speaking French but an eastern European language. Don’t get us wrong: I am not saying that you have to be Belgian in order to work at a friterie! But somehow the atmosphere just changed… the ladies weren’t all that friendly, they seemed to get a lot of the orders wrong and they weren’t really preparing the frites with a lot of care. Some frites seemed to stay in the hot, bubbling fat for a long while, while others were literally only dipped in.
We had very high hopes in this friterie, as it comes very high in other Brussels-Frites-Rankings. Maybe we were unlucky or maybe we are just picky. Nevertheless, once we had found ourselves a spot – we sat on the curb, enjoying the last speck of sunshine – we unwrapped our parcel. It was greasier than at other places – and the frites were, well, mainly soggy and mostly broken in half. The crispier ones were just crunchy, greasy bits of potato, that were hard to bite.
Maybe this fritkot is popular as it is one of the few “late night” friteries. It is open until 5 am, sometimes even until 7. At these hours in the morning people probably don’t taste the difference between excellent and mediocre fries.
Fritkot de la Barrière, Avenue du Parc, Brussels // No Website