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ImageWhere: Brasserie de la Gare, Price for a Filet Américain: €15.50 (€2.50 more than advertised on the website, kom op Jongens, update uw website). You gotta start somewhere even if that somewhere is in the middle of nowhere! In this case Berchem-Sainte-Agathe. I have to be honest I didn’t even know that this commune existed, it’s basically on the way to Gent, but just off to the right before you get to the ring of Brussels. If you are not familiar with Brussels that means nothing to you, but neither do you care probably. In fairness to me, we asked the very Bruxellois staff at the restaurant to help us name the 19 communes (as a plan was hatched toward the end of the meal to try a Brasserie in every commune on a monthly basis), and despite being very forthcoming and assured in their responses, they were not exactly accurate. OK, back to the meat! This was a traditional Américain preparé, meaning no silly egg on top (this is Berchem-Sainte-Agathe not Paris in case you were confused!), no mixing of ingredients to do yourself, you get it like the chef likes it. The meat I have to say was very good, mixed with some of their wonderful homemade mayonnaise, onions and capers were present, but sparingly, the meat and the mayo were allowed to speak for themselves as they should. There was perhaps a small douse of Worcestershire sauce but minimal. I could not taste Tabasco, which is a good thing. I love a bit of Tabasco, but too much Tabasco is hiding something (inferior meat most likely). The frites, not shown, were also very very nice. AP had an entrecôte peppersteak, which I thought was a bit of a shame, given that the meat was excellent, there was no need for it to be so peppery.

Starters – shrimp and cheese croquettes (not together) – and deserts (Turkish oranges with vanilla ice cream) were fine, nothing to write about. When I pay upwards of €8 for a dessert I expect to be impressed.

The service was very friendly, nothing more than some jokey huffing and puffing while some members of our party (you know who you are) changed their orders three times! House wine was more than OK, but not quite good enough to warrant a €22/bottle price tag. They seemed to think that we were Spanish tourists, who knows what impact this had on anything, but it was funny. Would I go back? If I was looking for a restaurant on the other side of Bruxelles and had to book again for nine people late Saturday afternoon, then yes.

Next up: the all important debate continues, what is the difference between an Américain and a Tartare? And I try the sandwich Costaud at BeO.

Not Bad At All