I rested my head on the seat, imagining where Paige, Vivek and I would be had we missed the tour bus in Bruges. Perhaps another type of adventure would have awaited us?
On the bus, I was feeling the effects of the long day of roaming the streets of Belgium and thought a wonderful meal would be the perfect finish. I peered over at Paige and Vivek. “Interested in getting some dinner?”
Paige agreed readily. Vivek had to contemplate his time line, he needed to catch a connection to Amsterdam by 9 o’clock that evening. He finally agreed noting that we would need to stop by his hotel so he could grab his bags and check out so he could go directly from restaurant to train station. He had booked a room for the day but ended up just storing his luggage there. This was not a problem as his hotel was centrally located in Brussels.
We strolled along the streets and finally decided on a curious place called “Les Chapeliers” which between the whimsical hats, to the worn brick facade, to the loft-like ambiance, seemed the perfect choice to relax and recount the day’s adventures.
The waiter that greeted us was very friendly and sat us near the front window of the restaurant. We quickly ordered wines and beers.
For appetizers, we shared some mussels as this is one of Belgium’s specialties. The mussels were juicy and tender with just the right amount of seasoning. However, it still did not compare to the mussels I had with Clint while driving along the west coast on Hwy 1, stopping by a small shack that sold and prepared mussels that were just caught by local fisherman.
For the main course, we all ordered hearty stews. Vivek and I stayed safe with the chicken stew. Paige, aka. yoga instructor extraordinaire and future prosecutor, was the brave one and choose the rabbit stew by recommendation of the waiter.
With all the hats in decorating this place, no rabbit was pulled.
The meal was not innovative, nor was it comfort food. It arrived in an bowl with unimaginative ingredients such as carrots, potatoes and what could have been a can of Campbell cream soup reduced to a thicker sauce (the latter coming from someone who has pulled this trick in the past). Nor was this dish a classic, comfort food as certain parts of the chicken was a little too dry and overall, very bland by both Vivek and my verdict. Paige’s main course looked unappetizing from the get go.
Fantastic food can usually be judged by the amount of conversation at the table after the meal is served. Silence…and you know that everyone is too busy inhaling their oh so delicious meal. Plenty of chatter and you know the food can’t be that irresistible.
Paige, Vivek and I did have a wonderful time at the restaurant recalling the day and also our plans and dreams when we went our separate ways.
Vivek, I hope you continue to have fabulous adventures around the world.
Paige, may you have a great experience in London teaching yoga and a fantastic career in law!
Les Chapeliers Restaurant
Address: rue des Chapeliers, 1, 1000 Brussels
Loni Says: Great ambiance, bland and uninteresting food in a city full of great restaurants.
Stark Insider Rating: 1/5 Stars