Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Brussels Bistro, which is not in Brussels

Going to a new restaurant is always a bit intimidating for me.  As a kid, I traveled and lived all over the States and World.  As a picky eater, I quickly learned when my family and I were on trips or living in different places to eat before we went out so I wouldn't be stuck eating odd sounding food.  Thankfully, I've grown up a bit, not too much mind you, since then and am more willing to try new places.  Sunday afternoon, with no plans and nowhere to go, my boyfriend and I decided we would drive down the coast on PCH.  I thought we would start in Laguna Beach and work our way back up the coast, possibly heading to a favorite of ours, Beachwood BBQ.  Instead, we stumbled upon a small Belgian restaurant, Brussels Bistro.  At first I didn't want to even go into the restaurant because it seemed small and crowded.  As our hostess seated us, though, I realized that the restaurant was in fact, bigger on the inside.  I felt like we had traveled overseas in a few moments and had arrived in a neighborhood restaurant in Europe.  Our waiter had a nifty French accent, which made me feel like I should try to bust out some of my unused French, thankfully for my boyfriend, I chose to stick with English.  Since the restaurant is Belgian, they of course had a wide variety of beers on tap as well as available in bottles.  I ordered a Grimbergen Dubbel by Brouwerij Alken-Maes while my boyfriend chose a La Chouffe Golden Ale.  Both of our beers were served in glassware which matched our beers, which is always a nice touch.  

Instead of ordering full meals, we decided to order Belgian fries, which came with three different dipping sauces as well as a charcuterie plate. Our appetizers were accompanied with a bread basket, which tasted as if it were freshly baked, which is always nice. The charcuterie plate also came with a different type of bread along with three types of meats, small pieces of cheese, and pickles.  

We were lucky to arrive prior to dinner, so for most of the time we were in the restaurant only a few other people were in the downstairs area where we were seated. As we were finishing up, the dinner crowded was in full force, I'm glad we arrived when we did since the small restaurant quickly filled up. It was nice to find a hidden restaurant with great food and beer on a whim!

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