After sampling a few brews at Otaru Brewery we walked back to the JR Station. Just to the right of that station stands a rather nondescript street and a very discreet doorway. Behind that door is Sankaku Market. It really doesn't look like much from the outside, but walk thru that door and you'll enter a bustling little market.
Full of some of the most wonderful seafood I've ever had a chance to see.
Opposite the stands are restaurants....more like stalls with tables. One of them had a crazy line of people waiting to eat. I looked at the menu and saw that it was the cheapest place in the market.
Right before that stood another shop, this one was also busy, but we decided to just take a chance. The woman in charge gave us a paper with a number and we stood off to the side to wait.
I went for a walk to the loo....which is how I noticed that the crowds here gather around the area where the restaurants were.
After about 15 minutes, the woman in charge found us and we were seated and a little bowl of ika; which looked like it was colored with squid ink was placed before us.
We were given menus and here's where I'm glad I took a photo of the menu since folks here don't believe the prices we paid for lunch.
Not realizing how much rice was in these bowls we ordered three! Later on during the trip, Kat mentioned that we could order half portions of rice. Which we'll do when we return.
We shared the three bowls. The first to arrive was the most expensive one (2000¥) a bit less than $20. Geez Louise, look at all of that sweet crab!
Which I thought was the weakest item in the bowl. The salmon was nice and mild in flavor, fatty, with a wonderful texture. I've had Hokkaido Uni before and thought it to be very briney and intense in flavor, but this was so creamy, slightly sweet, with the wonderful flavor of the ocean. Like you took a bite of the cleanest, sweetest, water of the Pacific. The ikura were perfect, briney, not overly salty, with a wonderful snap to them. For around twenty bucks!
We also ordered this which cost 1300¥. More of that wonderful ikura and those scallops were super sweet.
The ebi were tender, but very mild in flavor and not particularly interesting....but that ikura.
I was curious what a 980¥ (about $9.50) bowl of salmon would look like. Sheeesh......
10 pieces of fresh and delicious salmon. I'm very cautious about getting salmon in restaurants; but the stuff in the market looked so fresh and of good quality. We really didn't need the wasabi as everything tasted clean and fresh, just a bit of soy sauce for the salmon. We did feel bad having so much rice left over, but we'll know what to do in the future.
This was one heck of a meal for under forty bucks....remember, there's no tipping in Japan. I came back and mentioned how good the Hokkaido Uni was to Tommy at Catalina.....which he wasn't too happy about, but what the heck.
Man, we left fat and happy. We managed to get back to Sapporo and squeeze in a nap and a nice walk before dinner, which was to be at the oldest crab specialty restaurant in Sapporo. We sure were eating well!
Our flight from Seoul to New Chitose Airport was perfectly uneventful. The airport is about 30 miles from Sapporo. It might easily be one of my favorite airports....there are a number of shops selling; well, everything! It's not a large airport and easy to maneuver....and good lord, the samples! We ended up buying a load of snacks for my MIL.....so much, that we ended up mailing it Sapporo! As regular readers will know, I'm not much of a snack person, but I was totally taken by this Hokkaido corn snack, which was light, refreshing, and not too sweet. More on that in a later post. After sampling a load of stuff and buying some snacks, we activated our JR Pass and got to Sapporo Station in no time. Our good friend Akiko had made our hotel reservations at the Hotel Monterey Sapporo, telling me that I'm "going to love the breakfast buffet". It was a nice choice, just a five minute walk from the station.
After checking in, freshening up, and relaxing for a bit, we headed out. First stop; the ATM at 7-11, the easiest, most convenient ATMs in Japan. Be it 7-11, Lawson, or whatever; the snack selection and prepared food at these shops are something to be reckoned with.
In spite of it being close to Thanksgiving, it wasn't too cold....yet! So of course the Missus wanted to walk to our lunch destination. Which wasn't so bad after putting in all those miles walking in Seoul. That's the Sapporo TV Tower located in Odori Park.
Strangely, we didn't come across too many people during our walk....perhaps it was a bit cold? Or perhaps folks were just a lot smarter than us and used the subway, which ran just a block from our hotel.
I'd read about Nijo Market before our trip and it was along the way to our destination so we decided to take a look around.
Seeing all that seafood and knowing we'd be around here for a couple of days really got the Missus excited.
The prices were no joke!
But it did get my heart beating a little faster since I knew we'd be looking for some crab for the Missus.......
The Missus had declared this to be a "discovery of ramen and yakitori" trip. Our last stop before leaving Narita for Seoul was for some Seabura (pork backfat) Ramen at Miyamoto. So it only made sense that we'd try some ramen here in Sapporo. It only made sense that we visit a place famous for what I heard called their "flame torched chashu", Ramen Zero, which, being in the Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade was really easy to find.
We entered......and of course came across the ramen ticket machine!
As with most places in Japan, the folks here were really nice......most of the labels didn't have kanji characters, but a young lady came out and we made it through punching the right buttons with a combination of really bad Japanese...at least I know what we wanted and could order it in Japanese......it was a matter of finding the right buttons.
We were in Sapporo; so it was only right that we get a Sapporo Classic "Only in Hokkaido". A light Pilsner, easy to drink, great head, with a sweet finish.
So, like I said, Ramen Zero is known for this......
Will you look at that piece of pork belly. This obviously wasn't one of those one thin slice of chashu places. I really liked the pork, which was tender, but not falling to pieces, smoky, with a nice pork flavor. The Missus thought they put too much black pepper on the beast. She also got a nicely soft boiled egg and some rice, which was just perfect.
Since this was Sapporo, I got the Miso Ramen....with the pork of course!
Man, that pork...plus the bowl was about $11 US and totally worth it. The noodles were nice, of the thicker variety,, curly, and firm. The broth was the most un-miso, miso broth I've ever had. It was very mild, slightly thick, with a touch of sweetness, and we made out what seemed like a rather strong ginger flavor. In other words, everything took a back seat to that pork.
As you can tell, we didn't leave hungry. It seems we lucked out as I heard the place often sells out of items early in the evening.
Sapporo Noodle Zero Minami 2 Jōnishi Chūō-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaidō, Japan
Due to the season, night was falling like a curtain as we left. Still, we had a bit of exploring to do before heading back for the evening.
Our time in Seoul, and Korea, for that matter was coming to an end. The Missus and I discussed the possibilities for a last meal and we decided to give KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) another shot. This time at a place that was more highly recommended. I had a place on my list....which one of my coworkers called a "Hof"??? A Hof? Like "Hofbrau"? Well, she wasn't sure.....the term "hof" is used for various places that serve beer/drinks with food and to my relief had nothing to do with "The Hoff". So it was off to the "hof".
The shop was located in the Gyeongbokgung area, west of the Palace. The Gwanghwamun Gate of Gyeongbokgung looked especially striking on this clear evening.
Finding Mirak Chicken wasn't too difficult; especially with pocket wifi, called an "egg" in Korea, and a photo of the exterior.
Mirak Chicken's popularity is in part due to being shown on a very popular Korean Food Show named Tasty Road, which is how we found out about the place after having two people mention Mirak and the show to me.
The interior has a dark and kind of pub-like feel.
As is typical with these places, there's the all-you-can eat popcorn....which I found a bit odd. You obviously need a beverage of choice; we went with some Hite, which seemed a bit sweeter, but very light, and not as bitter as the versions here in the states. Perhaps it was being on holiday....... After ordering, some shredded cabbage dressed with a somewhat fruity mayo and the standard condiment of KFC, the water kimchi arrived.
Mirak is known for their Garlic Chicken, which of course had to order.
The chicken came with a ton of glazed whole garlic cloves, which of course I loved, but made me socially unpresentable for most of the evening. As with other glazed/sweet/spicy chicken of this type, the glaze was very sticky and way too sweet for me. They really had the batter and the cooking process down as the crust was thin and light, and the chicken very moist. It was just hard to get over the sweetness, for which I was thankful for the radish.
Hedging our bets, we also ordered the regular fried chicken which was quite good.
Crisp, light, and moist. But again, for some reason we both found the seasoning to be on the very mild side. They sure had the cooking process down though.
We were glad to have been able to try a couple of Korean Fried Chicken places.
Mirak Chicken (미락치킨) 17-1 Jahamun-ro Seoul, South Korea
After dinner, we decided to take a walk around the area. We hadn't been around this part of Seoul so this made for an interesting walk. We came across a shopping arcade and decided to do some exploring.
There were quite a few food stalls......
One stall was especially popular.
It made tteokbokki, not my favorite food item in the world, but this looked different. Bright red, stir fried in oil, so I had to try some.....
The was quite good....nice chew, a slight crunch, a good amount of spice, not very greasy.....I really liked it. It changed my opinion of tteokbokki.
After returning home, I tried to find out the name of this place and learned that it is Tongin Market, which was originally set-up by the Japanese in 1941 during the occupation. I also learned that one of the most popular stalls in the market makes Gireum tteokbokki, basically a fried in oil version.......lines rarely lie, right?
Walking back was a pleasure.....we really enjoy Seoul at night.
Before heading back to the apartment, we decided to head on over to the Cheonggyecheon Stream area. A few nights earlier we'd come across the Seoul Lantern Festival. I'm guessing this night must be something special, because folks were really enjoying the sights.
The theme this year was an "Illuminated Tour of Seoul", which was very cool. We saw lanterns of many of the sights we'd seen during the previous days.
Under the bridge folks were gathered, putting together lanterns to be released in the stream.
People were having a great time. It was a nice way to end our stay in Seoul.
As we walked back to the apartment along the alleyway parallel to the main street. Apparently, the huge building we were staying at was built over the Pimatgol, parallel to the main street of Jongno. Because the lower class residents were required to bow down to the nobles everytime they came across them, this parallel alley; the "alley to avoid horses", was created. There's a couple of very nice stories to be found here.
And while there are quite a few anecdotes I haven't told about Seoul; like the Missus complaining about not seeing a branch of Cocohodo, when there was one on the other side of the building. Just like Japan, it seems like there was a story around every corner.
We dozed of easily on this evening. We'd be rising early, then heading off to the airport, via Seoul Station. Next stop; Sapporo!
Things were much more busy on this morning as there was a line waiting for baguette.
This was soon remedied as a batch was made ready....the young woman cradled the steaming hot bread in her arms until reaching the baskets, then tossed the red hot baguettes into the basket....they sure were hot!
Fournil des Capucins 62 Cours de la Marne Bordeaux, France
That task done, we headed across the street to the Marche des Capucins.....where things were really buzzing. Apparently, a round of France's version of Top Chef Amateur - Championnate de France de Cuisine Amateur was taking place.
The ingredient mystere was duck breast and the contestants were hard at work. It was quite fun and we got drawn in.
This was our favorite:
He was quite friendly and jovial.
And while it was busy; things weren't overly crowded. This market is mostly for locals, but folks actually waved us in and wanted us to sample and vote!
And while the screen shows Alain in the lead, he actually had the audacity to vote for himself! Igor won - with the dish above; "Cappuccino asparagus, herb pesto, breast skewer and grilled ravioli Saint Jean".
It was great fun!
Marché des Capucins Place des Capucins Bordeaux, France
So much fun, that we realized as we passed the Fleche Saint Michel, we'd forgotten to get some cheese! Not a big deal as we headed on over to Marche des Grands Hommes, since we needed to stop by the Carrefour Market in lower level to pick up that white wine the Missus loved.
Along with the market, there were several vendors, selling everything from produce, to meat and cheese.
Even, ahem...sushi and Asian fast food.....
And since this is Bordeaux, you could also get a nice glass of wine......
Canelés are a specialty of Bordeaux. Basically a pastry with a custard center. It is shaped in the form of a scalloped cylinder. I'm not much on sweets, but since the Missus was so fascinated with Canelé and this shop, I told Her to give it a shot. I had also done a quick Google search on Baillardran and found that it was a very popular chain that originated in Bordeaux.
The Missus could hardly contain Herself.
This was a bit too dense, somewhat mushy, and too sweet for my taste. Though if you're in France give it a try.
Baillardran Pâtisseries Place des Grands Hommes Bordeaux, France
That was basically it for this leg of our trip, though we'd be back after spending a few days in Dordogne.
A few weeks back, I had to head on up to the City of Industry to take care of some business. Because of the Missus work schedule, this was a rare solo trip....in fact, we haven't found much time to head back up to the LA or even the OC very much in the last couple of years as things have been quite busy for us. After taking care of business, I needed to grab a bite to eat. My first thought was the rather new location of Chengdu Taste in Hong Kong Plaza....but man, there was a line outside the place. So I thought about doing what had been brewing in "mi cabeza" for several years. While we lived in the Rowland/Hacienda Heights area for several years, I had never really taken to the place, that is, I never felt that "this is my home". Honolulu is where I'm from and will always be "home". I now feel that San Diego is my home. For some reason, I never felt "at home" in LA, though I have some fond memories of the place, it's where I met the Missus, (well, not really as it was on a flight, She on Her way back to LA, me headed to Fort Smith Arkansas) where we got married and initially settled down.
Anyway, I decided to head to Puente Hills Mall.
Yes, strange, I know. One of the really funny things was; the first time I passed Puente Hills Mall was at night and I instantly recognized it....it was Lone Pine Mall in Back to the Future...that Robinson's May was still there back then. These days, the mall seems even more run down and seedy than it did then. Especially the Food Court.
The Missus sent me a text asking me where I was eating. When I told Her She replied "WHAT! You can do better than that!" Which is totally true. And yet, there's a story behind this. You see, the first L&L Hawaiian Barbecue outside of Hawaii opened in this mall. No big deal now....but for an ex-pat Kama'aina back in 1999-2000 it meant a lot. Back then, L&L served up a decent plate lunch....... And for a homesick local boy, it was just down the street. So now, all these years later, I decided to see what was going on here.
Back when they first opened here, I knew the owners....I wish I could remember their names, but they really worked hard to keep up the quality. I don't think they own the place anymore. It looks a bit run down....but so does the entire food court. I decided to go with a mini locomoco. This was actually the first one of the year!
There were two things positive about this loco; the egg which was nicely sunny-side up and the mac salad, which wasn't messed with too much; had the perfect amount of mayo and was ice cold. Other than that, this wasn't very good. The gravy was pasty and had no flavor, the rice was dry, some of which was hard. Worse of all was the train wreck called a hamburger patty, which was some leathery substance that I took a bite of, then put to the side. Also....no Tabasco.....
If I recall, in his spiel; Eddie Flores talks about franchisees having to come to Hawaii to learn about food prep and the "Aloha Spirit". Maybe they do....but it looks like it's forgotten about fairly quickly. I don't think there's any quality control, nor standards of service as I was treated like that hamburger patty. In some ways this was good. I now have closure and have no reason ever to return.
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue 1600 S Azusa Avenue City of Industry, CA 91748
This visit had me wondering, what happened to some of those places we always used to visit when we lived here. We know about places like Chicken Box, Hong Kong Fishball House, Donut King, Yi Mei Deli, Shau Mei, and TS Emporium. But there were others I had in mind, so I decided to take a trip to some of the more obscure places. I did notice that the old Albertson's is now 168 Market.....which means that there isn't a "western" supermarket in this strip of Colima Road! Taiwan Deli is still there, but it looks like the menu is some pseudo Taiwanese-Sichuan mash-up?
It was nice to see Hacienda Village Meats is still there....we used to stop by for various meats and the Missus loved the variety of Italian drinks/sodas. In the same strip mall is what used to be the Missus favorite dried beef stop, which is still there.
The sun rose early and brightly on our first full day in Bordeaux. Even though we had arrived mid-morning we had still put in quite a few kilometers before deciding to call it a day. We would end up putting in some mileage on this day as well.
I had a destination in mind and we decided to just meander our way to our objective; one of the benefits of independent travel. The sun was shining brightly on Place de la Bourse as we headed off into the district known as Saint-Pierre, considered the birthplace of the city. The narrow streets are lined with structures from the 18th century and lead, one way or another into a square. We quickly walked onto the cobblestone lined Place du Parlement, once the location of the Royal Market.
The centerpiece is a beautiful Neo-Rococo fountain.
Walking to Place Saint Pierre, one can't help but notice the haunting, Gothic styled, Eglise Saint-Pierre (Church of St. Peter), which dates back to the 14th and 15th century.
It really stands out as the square and street is lined with restaurants and cafes, the name of one of them made us laugh......everyone does need a "Plan B", right? Place du Plais leads right up to the Porte Cailhau.
According to what I later read; there was actually a palace located here, the Palais de l'Ombriere the residence of the Dukes of Aquitaine and later housed the Parliament of Bordeaux. I really loved the relief-map sculpture of Bordeaux located right behind the Porte Cailhau. I did a little research and found a blog post about François Didier who created this work.
Near the Porte Cailhau, I noticed this plaque, which started with a few questions before telling us the story of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Bordeaux claims (along with two other cities) to be the birthplace of Eleanor, who would become one of the most powerful women in the Europe and after getting her marriage to Louis VII annulled would marry the Duke of Normandy, eleven years her junior....Henry, the Duke of Normandy would become Henry II.
It took two centuries to build this Basilica; starting in 1350 and finishing sometime in the 16th century. Possibly even more impressive is the bell tower which, like Pey-Berland Tower which stands next to the Cathedral of Saint Andre, stands apart from the church. And in case you're wondering who has bragging rights; Fleche Saint Michel is the tallest tower in Sothern France, standing at 114 meters, Pey-Berland Tower is 50 meters tall. On this bright morning there was a lively flea market going on in the square next to the tower.
This used to be a Benedictine monastery and was built between the late 11th and 12th centuries.
One of the most well known features of this church is the Organ built by famous organ maker and Benedictine Monk, Dom Bédos de Celles, finished in 1748.
This was a major landmark for me, as I knew we had to take a left here and swing around to get to our destination, Marche des Capuchins.
I'd read much about this market before we arrived in Bordeaux, it seemed to be a favorite with locals, and you know how much we love visiting markets when we travel!
The market was established on October 2nd, 1749 at the urging of Marquis de Tourny. If you like to see some old photos and read (a translated) history of the market, you can do that here.
We had a gameplan of sorts, but all revolved around bread. I'd noticed a bakery right across the street from the market.
I could actually smell the wonderful scent of bread baking. I followed my nose and ended up at the back of the bakery. The bakers looked at us, smiled and waved us in.......so our first experience at Fournil des Capucins was walking past the ovens and bakers baking bread to the front of the shop.
This would end up being our favorite bakery......I later found out the place is open 24 hours a day! With a steady stream of fresh baguette. How could we not get a baguette and a couple of croissants?
The smell of good fresh baguette is intoxicating....we'd seen folks walking along carrying bread with a chunk off the end missing. Well, I guess it's instinctive, because as soon as we walked out of the bakery, the Missus just bit a chunk off the end of the bread! It is that good.....
Fournil des Capucins 62 Cours de la Marne Bordeaux, France
The smell of bread had overcome us....we needed something to eat and perhaps some espresso. Right across the back of the bakery, in front of the main entrance to the market is this stand.
Which made a decent cup of espresso that went nicely with our croissant.
Then we ducked back into the market and bought some cheese. We found the farmers and vendors in Marche des Capuchins quite friendly, even though we stood out from the usual crowd. They seemed to go out of their way to help us. We ended up at this cheese stand.
And got some cheese....
Marché des Capucins Place des Capucins Bordeaux, France
We had fully intended to do a nice picnic and headed back to the apartment after doing a bit of window shopping on Cours de l’Intendance. Where we saw the ultimate way of entertaining a pup while his "dad" did some shopping in the store.
Just get him some rope and cord to keep him occupied!
We cut through Rue Voltaire and stopped at the Carrefour Market in Place des Grand Hommes. The Missus, laden down with bread and cheese gave me a simple directive...."get us some white wine" which was simple enough. What I wasn't ready for was the whole wall of white wines! Like over 50 different bottles...vintages...blends....I went with something rather local, with some reservation since it was 4,9€ - five bucks and change. The Missus was cracking up when I got out of the market....she'd seen the look on my face when I got to the wine department....analysis paralysis.
We headed up to Jardin Public, the large public garden and green space that was two blocks from our apartment. It's quite a lush and welcoming park.
The park was founded in 1746 in style of a French Garden. Napoleon III turned it into more of an English style park during his reign. There's a nice large pond, the Natural History Museum is located here, and there's even a Puppet Theatre.
Nice, but it was getting a bit too hot for us...so we headed back to the apartment and had a really nice "indoor picnic"......with the A/C on.....doesn't get much better than that!
With our cheese, bread, strawberries, and of course the wine....which was excellent, crisp, light, with a touch of sweet, and a balanced acidity.....
In fact, the Missus would have me go back for this very bottle of wine a couple more times during our stay in Bordeaux.
It's not always about eating out when we're travelling......when in Bordeaux, it was the cheese and wine....oh, and don't forget that baguette!
It had started raining fairly hard as left Myeongdong. But we really weren't through eating. We went back to the apartment, had some tea, showered, and headed back out. This time the target was Gwangjang Market; established in 1905, I read that there were over 5000 shops in the market.
It is indeed quite a beast as we entered and immediately got lost....surrounded by textile shops.
After wandering around for quite a while....almost in a dazed state we found the area that sold food products and some of the "alleys".
Of course there are a ton of food stands.....
Serving every part of the animal.
And then there are the congregations of shops that specialize in specific dishes that have their own "food alleys"; gimbap alley and jeon (pancake alley), where you can watch mung beans being ground to make Bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes).
There was one alley I really wanted to visit. I love yukhoe, the Korean version of beef tartare, so I really wanted to try it during my visit to Seoul. We'd had Yukhoe Bibimbap at Gogung, but I really wanted to try it straight up. So we hunted down Yukhoe Alley, a small collection of shops specializing in the raw beef dish, and chose one that I had read about named "Brother's Raw Beef". The only way I found it was by the cow logo as all the signs were in Hangul.
No English spoken, but the gentleman running the place as well as the woman who served us were very friendly.
And really, all you need to do is put up one finger and say "Cass" and then raise that index finger again and say "yukhoe"......
And in case you wondered about how fresh the meat was; there were three women in the back of the restaurant prepping the beef.
The Missus recalls the beef-daikon soup that came with the raw beef was really tasty.....
But all I remember was how very good the Yukhoe was. Just enough Asian Pear to add crunch and some sweetness, some pine nuts adding another dimension of flavor, the egg yolk lending a richness to the whole dish.
A touch of sesame oil....that's all I really needed.
The beef, while lean was surprisingly tender. This was my favorite dish from our time Seoul.
Brother's Raw Beef (형제육회) - In Gwangjang Market 160-8 Jongno 4-ga (near exit 10 of the market) Seoul, South Korea
It was still raining when we left the market and headed back in the direction of our apartment. We took a short look around Tapgol Park.
As we were leaving, the Missus decided we needed to head back to Myeongdong.........
Sounds like some kind of amusement park, huh? Anyway, this one is courtesy of "FOY" (friend of yoso) and frequent commenter "JanFrederick", who was nice enough to send me an email about the place.
Located in Mira Mesa Mall right across from L&L.
8270 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA, 92126
And Crab Hut (Mira Mesa):
Right around the corner is the new location of Crab Hut.
Looks like they'll be ready fairly soon
8280 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA, 92126
Man, the interior of this mall looks kind of depressing.......the Mandarin Garden location stands looking quite alone......
A Quick Visit to the Market Hall:
I was in the East Village area so I did a quick visit to The Market Hall a few weeks ago; a grocery/restaurant concept that originated in Seattle.
Not much in terms of meat, seafood, or produce when I visited.
Decent, but not outstanding selection of cheeses and quite a bit of prepared food. In fact, the friendly folks kept asking me if I'd like to try something.
The place was rather empty, except for the coffee bar which was doing some nice business. and while I really don't see anything that compels me to return.....I get most of what I need in terms of cheese/meat/wine/beer/seafood closer to home, I think this is great for folks who live in the East Village!
The Market Hall 969 Market St San Diego, CA 92101 Hours: Mon - Fri 7am - 10pm Sat - Sun 9am - 10pm
On our return trip to Brussels I booked an apartment in the Saint-Gilles neighborhood. Part artsy, part somewhat run down, quite diverse, urban, we really enjoyed staying in this part of town....it seemed quite "real".
Our flat was quite large as well.
Since we had arrived too early for check-in, we dropped our stuff off and headed out....not quite sure what to do. I had a farmer's market, Marché du Parvis (Parvis Market) de Saint Gilles, marked on my map so we headed off in that direction.
Where there was indeed a farmer's market.
We decided to take advantage of the huge kitchen in the apartment and self cater. Picking up some eggs; charcuterie, vegetables.....and a nice amount of cheese from the fromage-mobile.
Marché du Parvis de Saint Gilles Sint-Gillisvoorplein Hours: Tues - Wed 730am - 1pm Thurs 12pm - 10pm Fri 730am - 1pm Sat - Sun 730am - 2pm
We took a look around for something to eat, but decided to duck into this "brasserie"
I liked the looks of the place......
There was a huge cold case with beer that you could just select yourself and a rather large listing.....
Wanting to just have fun, we selected two beers we'd never heard of before. The Missus a blonde ale; "Den Tseut" from Huisbrouwerij Den Tseut, which was pretty disappointing; very light and "Pilsner" like. I decided to "go big" and went with a Goliath (Gouyasse) Tripel from Brasserie Des Légendes, a nice straight up tripel; very yeasty-bready, slight hops, only 6% ABV, so it really wasn't Goliath like in my book.
I'm not sure the place even serves food....but there was none on this morning. The woman working here was a hoot; she spoke not a word of English.
We opened up the cheese and charcuterie and made eating motions and she nodded in agreement. We then asked for a knife making a sawing motion....in a moment she figured out what we needed and replied to our pantomime with the knife across the throat gesture with sound effects! It was hilarious; and yes, we got our knife. You gotta love it!
Brasserie Egalite Parvis de Saint-Gilles 47 Brussels, Belgium
Instead of heading back to the apartment which I don't think was ready yet, we strolled around and actually found a friterie that I had on my list; Friterie de la Barriere, which is a little frietkot on Avenue du Parc.
It was just past 11am and there was a line. So I took a peek and one of the guys in front of me who was chatting with his friends in Flemish, turned to me and said, "no worries. this place makes the best frites in the area....." Say no more......
So I got the frites, with aioli. I thought these were pretty good, not greasy, crisp exterior, fluffy exterior, but nothing special overall. After having several versions of frites in Belgium; the Missus claimed to not get what the love of frites was all about....and then she'd proceed to attack it.......
Friterie de la Barriere 5 Avenue du Parc Brussels, Belgium
By now it was time to check-in and a nap......
We awoke made a simple dinner with what we had......
Of course the Missus had something from Cantillon, Cuvee Saintt Gilloise, which She loved. The sour-tart tones were balanced out with what I can only describe as an earthy flavor. Very nice and refreshing.
I tend to enjoy tripels, so I went with the Val-Dieu tripel. I really enjoyed this; there seemed to have an apple-honey background, while not being too "bready" or boozy. Man, his was a nice beer. I need to find a bottle of this here in San Diego....though I've found that versions of the Belgian's I've had here don't taste quite the same.
And while I really enjoyed that Val-Dieu, it was the next beer I had that really made my day. I decided to try something named "Hop-Ruiter". Man, this was really good....just enough hops for me; that would be south of an IPA; yet quite floral to the nose. The flavor doesn't quite go into dubbel-tripel territory, yet the honey flavors and some citrus tones are there. We'd return to Moeder Lambic the next night so I could have this again. I did find bottles of this here in San Diego, but the overall aroma and flavor was totally different.
The Missus tried the Caulier 28.
We really enjoyed Moeder Lambic; the folks here were very nice and it seemed less touristy than the Fontainas location.
Moeder Lambic Rue de Savoie 68 Brussels, Belgium
While the Saint-Gilles area seemed a bit more "gritty" than Central Brussels or St Catherine, it seemed to have much more of the local color which we enjoyed.
We got to sleep early, tomorrow was going to be a full day.....
mmm-yoso!!!, the food blog you are reading, has posts alternately written by Kirk, Ed (from Yuma) and Cathy. Kirk wrote most of the posts you read this year, then he went on vacation. Cathy and Ed have been posting in the interim.
A few months ago, Kirk wrote a post about one of the restaurants in the Food Court at Mitsuwa Market. It so happened I had also been to Musashiya that week and had a (blurry) photo of my meal. A few weeks later, I had occasion to return and then a few weeks after that, The Mister and I returned. Each meal was small and I figure if any of you came here with someone else, you don't have to order food at the same place, just like at a Food Court.
Looking forward when walking in, the grocery store is directly in front of you. Directly to your left are Santuoka and Musashiya. (Directly to your right used to be Matcha Love, a great place for tart ice creams, but it is gone). Each has a large display of plastic food replicas, making ordering simplified (or overwhelming in my case); some people point at what they would like to eat, as they do with a Denny's menu. I digress.Musashiya, owned by Mitsuwa, (similar to the way Seafood City owns Grill City locations inside the Food Court areas inside their stores) has several meals which are less than $10. This one is chicken teriyaki. They make the sauce from scratch and it isn't too sweet nor is it salty. Just enough. Everything you see comes with it: the potato salad, sliced cabbage, pickles, miso, rice and in the bottom right corner, a piece of tamagoyaki, a layered omelet made with rice vinegar and sugar, which I consider 'dessert'.Santuoka also has a variety of primarily ramen choices for under $10 (the small and regular sizes; the large is closer to $12)( flavors of broth offered are shio, shoyu, miso and spicy miso) and on this (rainy) day, I chose a small bowl of shoyu ramen. The broth flavor is rich and satisfying and the noodles have a good 'tooth'.Eventually there was a day when The Mister could join me and we stepped inside the Marketplace. On the right side there are prepared boxes of meals, along with a microwave if you plan on eating in the food court after paying. There are also two islands of prepared meals and desserts.There is also this fascinating machine (which wasn't working the last two times I was there) that has push button ease (and toppings on the pans to the right) for some instant miso.Eventually we agreed on the above purchases- chicken karaage, Japanese potato salad, seaweed (all sold by the pound) and a chirashizushi bowl (on top of sushi rice) ($8) and a can of hot tea ($1.29). Heated tea cans, as well as refrigerated ones are inside one beautifully designed appliance, also against that right wall.
All in all, a great place to be able to order what you want.