Day One, Brussels: Dinner, Moeder Lambic

After leaving Delirium Café we decided to head to Moeder Lambic (Mother Lambic) on Rue Savoie in the Sint-Gilles section of Brussels. To get there we had to figure out the Subway/Tram system. There are no actual turnstiles, and you never have to swipe your card. The entire public transportation system seems to be built on the honor system. Getting caught without a ticket will net you a 55 € fine, but we never saw any enforcement, nor did we see many people swiping. Someone helped us find the stop we wanted, David interacted with him primarily, so I don't remember much about this.

We stopped for dinner at a neighborhood Lebanese restaurant called Snack Pita Royal. The restaurant was narrow with a single row of seating that opened up towards the rear. The walls were heavily decorated with various trinkets and knick-knacks. The owner pointed out a fake dollar bill with a picture of Bill Clinton that said "Make love, not war" in French. The proprietor was dressed in a white t-shirt with a Lebanses flag inside of a heart and a Lebanese flag cap. The service was a little high pressure, but friendly. I, Thomas Carlile, ordered port with lemonade and fresh ginger. Surprisingly, it was better than it sounds, and though David agreed, he still insists that the concept itself is a crime against port. We had "Lebanese Nachos" as an appetizer. They were essentially lightly spiced pita chips with a spiced dipping sauce that I can only guess, based on our other culinary experiences in Belgium, was mayonnaise based. Then we each had the chili shawarma sandwich (wrap), which was quite tasty. The proprietor was surprised that we knew what shawarma was, and insisted his was the best anywhere.

After dinner we continued on to Moeder Lambic. The bar is a small single, dimly lit room with seating at the bar and at several tables. The bar has some of the dinginess of a nice dive, with a solid layer of dust on most of the empty bottles that line the walls. The place was packed when we arrived, so we grabbed the two empty seats at the bar. We had a nice conversation with the bartender who was pretty knowledgeable about beer. We had two rounds here before heading back to the hostel.

502. Fantôme Saison

We split a 750 mL of this.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brasserie Fantôme
Alcohol: 8.00%
Serving: Bottle, 750 mL
Style: Saison, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a hazy golden, with a fluffy white head that clings to the side of the glass as it fades.

Smell (4.5): Fruity and citric aromas with nice notes of aged hops.

Taste (4.5): Sweet and fruity upfront, especially sour apples and citrus. These fade into a lightly spicy finish with a mellow hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel (4.5): High carbonation, low to medium-bodied, dry finish.

Drinkability (4.5): Crisp and refreshing. Balanced well.

Overall (4.4)

503. Boon Oude Geuze Mariage Parfait

This was our last round at Moeder Lambic. The bottle wasn't quite a 750, but it was larger than a 330.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij Boon
Alcohol: 8.00%
Serving: Bottle
Style: Gueuze, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours a lightly hazy golden, with a thick white head that thins to a patchy film, leaving heavy lace.

Smell (4.5): Sour and acidic with hints of lemon and apple. There's also some nice grassy earthy funkiness.

Taste (4.5): Sour and acidic tartness upfront. The center is fruity, but only lightly sweet. Like the smell this fruitiness is reminiscent of lemon and apple. The finish has a light, aged-hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Light-bodied, high carbonation, very dry finish.

Drinkability (5.0): Crisp and refreshing, very drinkable despite or perhaps because of the sourness.

Overall (4.55)

Looking back over what we drank for the day it doesn't seem like much, perhaps it was the lack of quality sleep on the overnight flight to Brussels, but we were both fairly drunk. We walked back to the Tram and got on. David found a package of tobacco and rolling papers and attempted to roll some cigarettes, but failed. By this time we were being stared at by two teenagers who were playing Francophone hip-hop loudly on their cell-phones. David ended up stuffing 12 rolling papers in his mouth and laughing hysterically. When we got off the Tram our Lonely Planet guide must have fallen out of the pocket of my jacket, so we had to wing it on the way back to the hostel.

The hostel had a bar so we each had an Orval and played foosball, on which I won a few bucks. Back in the room David plugged my alarm clock in using an adapter that I'd borrowed from a Spanish post-doc in my lab. I didn't realize that it didn't convert the voltage, so my alarm clock got fried. We opened the drapes and decided to let the light wake us up in the morning.

Labels: , , ,