Archive for the ‘Belgian’ Category

Mussel Bar – Bethesda, MD

Last week, I went with some friends to Mussel Bar in Bethesda. This was my second visit. Having recently tried Brassiere Beck, I was interested to see how they compare.

We went on a Thursday night and the place was pretty crowded. However, we were seated right away. Unlike Brassiere Beck, they do not bring you any bread and butter to snack on while you decide what to eat.

We ordered the sweet potato fries to hold us over. The fries are delicious and come with three different types of mayonnaise.

For beer, I tried the Kasteel Tripel and the Chimay Blue. Both very strong and delicious beers. The Kasteel Tripel was on draft. Smooth beer but be wary of the %11 ABV. The Chimay Blue was excellent and had an aftertaste of coffee.

For food, I ordered the mussels with chorizo and goat cheese with a side of frites. This was delicious! The portion is huge and I really loved the flavors. We asked for bread to dip in the sauce, and they eventually brought us out two basket’s worth. We wanted to take the sauce to-go but they said we are unable to do so because of the health risk.

This was another great meal at Mussel Bar.

Mussel Bar on Urbanspoon


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Last Friday night, my girlfriend and I went on a date to Brasserie Beck in Washington, D.C. We were extremely excited to try it out because we love to eat mussels. I placed a reservation online, and the whole process was very easy. The restaurant is a short walk from Metro Center.

We really liked the layout of the place. It felt very open, and we were quickly seated at our table by the window. The only downside is we were seated next to the server station.

The atmosphere was casual, with people talking at a normal volume. We liked this because we didn’t have to talk in a hushed voice. We were not crazy about our waiter, but the service was quick. For starters, they brought out bread and butter which we really enjoyed.

The beer menu was amazing. We tried the Antigoon, St. Feuillien Blonde, Kwak, and another beer I can’t remember the name of.

My favorite was the Antigoon, which is the house beer brewed for Brassiere Beck by Brouwerij de Musketiers. This is a Belgian double blond, with a 6.5% ABV.

The St. Feuillien Blonde was a abbey ale with a %7.5 ABV. We also really enjoyed this one.

The Kwak came out in a crazy glass with a holder.

It’s a 25 centimeter tube that tips over if you don’t put it in its holder. According to Kwak’s website, “In Napoleon’s time, Pauwel Kwak was a brewer and the owner of the De Hoorn inn (near Brussels). Mail coaches stopped there every day, but at that time coachmen were not allowed to leave their coach and horses,” “As a result, the inventive innkeeper had a special Kwak glass blown that could be hung on the coach. In this way, the coachman had his Kwak beer safely at hand.”

For starters, we ordered the crispy veal sweetbread with path valley squash risotto and sage butter. This was delicious! I have never had sweetbread before.

I am getting hungry just thinking about it. The combination of the sweetbread and risotto reminded me of turkey and gravy. We ate every last bit of this dish.

For our main course, we ordered a full order of mussels with bacon and frites. The mussels were fantastic. They were huge and we loved the sauce, which was also good for dipping your fries in.

We loved the frites. They came with a trio of mayonnaise based dipping sauces.

In addition, we ordered the beef carbonnade, which is a beef stew enhanced with Kasteel Bruin beer. This dish was also delicious. The beef was tender and we really liked the flavor.

Overall, we had a great time and really enjoyed the food. The meal was not cheap, but also did not break the bank. The only part of the experience that was not great was our waiter, who seemed disinterested in us. I don’t know if it’s because we were young compared to others in the restaurant and he thought we wouldn’t tip well. With that small complaint aside, everything else was great. I highly recommend this place.

Brasserie Beck on Urbanspoon

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