Heard you missed me, now I’m back.


Hey, folks! I’m back from Belgium, and let me tell you, I ate a LOT of frites. The deliciously fresh, thick-cut chips were available near-ubiquitously, and scarcely a day went by when we didn’t buy and top them with one of the dozens of inappropriately-named sauces offered by every purveyor. Our absolute favorite was samurai sauce, which actually offers very little to remind one of a Kurosawa epic. Instead, it was similar to a moderately spicy fry sauce (no surprise, then, that it was our favorite). There were plenty of other weird variations available, too. American sauce, for instance, seemed to have an orange peel and basil flavor – almost as if they had mixed A1, bottled Italian dressing, and mayo. Actually, it wasn’t really like that at all. Not one of my favorites, at any rate.

There’s more to Belgian fast food than merely frites, though. Nearly every friteur offered an additional range of meat, chicken, potato, and cheese products in deep-fryable form. Yes, indeed: everything in the picture above could be yours, but it, like the frites, will almost certainly be cooked in hot oil. A dieter’s paradise, Belgium isn’t.

The picture, ably taken by my girlfriend at my favorite friteur of the trip (in Antwerp, at the five-way intersection involving Lange Koepoortstraat and Minderbroedersrui), offers a view of the various delights. We didn’t sample all of them (they seemed to fall into categories of similarity based on ingredients, much like Taco Bell), but my favorite invention by far was a chicken nugget on a popsicle stick shaped like a chicken bone. I suppose it’s for kids, but it seems like the kind of thing that could make McDonald’s a fortune.

Other meals of note included a Congolese dinner in Brussels that offered one of the hottest hot sauces we’d ever tried, an Indonesian dinner that was both inexpensive and delicious, and, at a place called Tom’s Diner (in Bruges) that isn’t anything close to a diner, we had amazing pasta and meatloaf in a presentation and setting that would satisfy hip New Yorkers AND your grandmother.

Of course, then there’s the beer, but I think I’ll save that for another day, perhaps…

Normal coverage to resume very soon. Thanks for your patience!

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4 Comments

Filed under Belgium

4 responses to “Heard you missed me, now I’m back.

  1. Had To Move

    Speaking of McNuggets, I was reading a book review today in Outside magazine of a tome called “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” that says one of the ingredients in the mystery snack is none other than a form of butane lighter fluid. Mmmmmmm….butane. Glad you’re back!

  2. There’s a bunch of sodas that contain some form of butane, too, right? Wasn’t that recently uncovered? Or am I having a hallucination brought on by jet lag? Fascinating.

  3. YER BACK YEY!And..a photo! WHOAA! 😀 I so want frites. Dammit. Straight from Belgium. 😐

  4. Anonymous

    They have all kinds of fried squares and triangles in Holland, too.When I lived there, the best one was marketed under the name “Cheese Krack!” and it was basically breaded and fried cream-cheese in stick form: wretched tasting, but perhaps so addictive that you’d steal from your grandma to buy it.Do a google search for “Cheese Crack+Beckers” and you will see it for yourself. (the url is too long to post)

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