Travels

Optional mussels: Belgian cuisine beyond stereotypes

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When you travel to Belgium you will eat mussels and french fries because they will have told you that it is typical, and they will be right but only to the extent that, for example, the typical thing in Asturias is to eat fabada. Asturians eat many more dishes than fabada and, naturally, Belgians don't just eat mussels and chips.

I will tell you my experience in five restaurants in Brussels where I didn't try the mussels or the potatoes that, when there were them, were an accompaniment to the main course. Of course, beer was not lacking (especially during the Tour de Geuze) because that is an essential drink in the Belgian culture and what kind of traveler would I be if I did not try to integrate into it?

Pistolet Original

A pistolet it will sound like a French gun, but in reality the name says it comes from a coin. It is assumed that a gun it was the currency with which you could buy this bread roll, tender inside, crispy in its outer layer and with a small longitudinal slit in the center of the upper part.

Pistolet Original Restaurant Brussels

I say "supposed" because the value of a gun when it came to buying other items it was higher than what the bread roll cost, so it is just one possible explanation. Do not take it to the letter but for now it is as good as another for the Belgians.

Under the chef's gastronomic direction Yves Guns (the last name was a predestination), in Pistolet Original they reinvented the bun causing him to return to his simple origins, which many Belgians are reminded of guns They were brought home on Sunday mornings.

Pistolet Original Restaurant Brussels

Although they offer home delivery and pick-up service, the best is try the pistolets in any of its two premises in the Belgian capital, in Schuman or in the Sablon. It was in this last establishment where I ate not one, but two.

The first, cold, beef tartare with watercress sounded better in French (Américain cressonnette) but it wasn't what I was looking for. Maybe I would have appreciated more its freshness on a summer day but what my stomach was really asking for is what came next, a winning combination of soft white sausage and stewed onion (Boudin Blanc, Oignons Fondants) that I recommend.

Pistolet Original Restaurant Brussels

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