Sunday, November 27, 2016

Chez Leon

For our last dinner on our European trip, we planned to go out for moules frites (mussels and fries). Chez Leon was the only place we had picked out in advance for a meal during our Brussels stay (other than trying to get a waffle from the yellow vans), so we headed straight for it after dropping by the Grand Place one last time. When we got there, we were greeted by a sign on the door announcing that they had unlimited mussels every Sunday after 6. We hadn't known anything about the special, but it was a nice surprise.

We got there pretty early for dinner since we had an early flight the next day and had to get back to the hotel to pack. It wasn't very crowded, but it had filled up a lot by the time we left. It was a nice, brightly lit, friendly restaurant, and we were really excited about getting unlimited mussels. Pretty much everyone we saw that night was eating mussels. At least, we didn't notice anything else on any tables near us.

For our drinks, A got Grimbergen Brune, and I got a Mort Subite framboise. I think I wanted to mix it up a little bit since I had gotten kriek at the last 2 meals, and since I like raspberries, but I clearly hadn't realized how difficult it would be to get good, affordable kriek once we left Brussels. The framboise was fine, but I definitely regret not getting kriek one last time.

We started off with some bread as usual, and then our mussels arrived in big pots with small tins of fries on the side. Everything smelled amazing, and the mussels were piled high in the pots. This wasn't someplace where they were going to skimp on the number of mussels and try to fill you with fries because of the unlimited special, which we appreciated.

There were 6 types of mussels on the menu at the time. I ordered the moules spéciales (celery, onion, butter) and A ordered the moules méridionales (tomatoes, sweet peppers, garlic). We did, of course, try some of each other's preparations, but I don't think we were allowed to switch up mid-meal and order different variations for our refill pots. Both were very tasty.

All the mussels were plump, and we remember there were not very many closed shells, if any at all. We quickly polished off our first pots of mussels, and ordered refills, which also came with more fries. The fries were good, but the mussels were the stars of dinner. So much flavor, so many mussels, and all you could eat!

We really enjoyed our meal at Chez Leon. Brussels was our least favorite of the 3 cities we visited on that trip for many reasons, but the mussels were not one of them. Going out for our moules frites dinner was one of our highlights of this segment of the trip, and we still remember it fondly. Chez Leon was the perfect conclusion to our adventure.

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