After visiting Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, I returned to my room and was ready to get food. I recall picking out a place to eat from my "The Rough Guide to Belgium & Luxembourg" book, but after a thorough search, I concluded the place was closed. In any case, I knew my ultimate goal was to try some more beers and so I looked for a place to eat near the bar I was planning to attend. As such, I found myself navigating towards Houtsiplou.

While waiting, I saw a dish, at the table to my left, which looked delicious. It looked like a steak. In any case, I decided to try a dish that was labeled as a Belgium specialty.* It was called a "JVCD."

*A restaurant in Belgium that marks certain dishes as Belgium specialties is suspicious, but since I came twice and had a good experience both times, I suppose the establishment sees a lot of tourists and can't help but cater to their possible audience.


Menu Description:
le JCVD : boeuf - fromage westmalle - oignons frits - sauce poivre
le JCVD : rundsvlees - westmalle kaas - gefrituurde ajuin - pepersaus
le JCVD : beef - westmalle cheese - fried onions - pepper sauce

Of the burger I wrote: "The burger (14.50€) is delicious. I believe the cheese plays a big role in the flavor of the burger. The fries here are also good. This burger is so tasty, I feel as if I'm enjoying it only because I'm hungry. When I'm hungry, I'll just scarf my food down, which was exactly what I was doing with this burger.* The onion and mushroom layer also contributes heavily to the flavor of the burger. Finally, the pickle, whenever I happen to get a bite of it, is a welcomed contrast to the typical variety of flavors found in every bite."

*When I was younger, I would eat anything I enjoyed quickly. However in recent years, especially since I started my blog, I consciously put more time into enjoying a dish, even those which are delicious.

The burger doesn't come like this, but I cut it in half and placed the fries there for your viewing pleasure.

Fries here come unsalted.

I could say I liked Houtsiplou. It had a welcoming atmosphere and played nice music. In particular, I vaguely recognized one of the songs; it sounded like a song from one of my salsa albums. In any case, the music being played was largely, if not solely, instrumental, quite suitable as background music. To top things off, I found the workers were friendly.


I returned to Houtsiplou and ordered a 33 cl glass of Stella Artois. I also ordered a shrimp starter and steak (medium rare) with mushroom sauce.

sauteed scampi

Menu Description:
poelee de scampi a l'ail 11€/en plat 17€
gebakken scampi met knoflook 11€/als hoofdgerecht 17€
sauteed scampi with garlic 11€/as a main dish 17€

I wrote: "The shrimp smells and looks amazing. In the end, however, shrimp is shrimp and there's nothing special about the shrimp here. In general, I feel like shrimp is easy to prepare and while I haven't personally cooked any dishes with shrimp, my dad often prepares shrimp which tastes delicious.* I will put it on the list of things to do this summer. In any case, the salad is bitter; as far as I could tell, the dressing was just olive oil. This was great for dipping the free bread. Since I don't often eat salads, I was indifferent about the use of olive oil."

*As of 20130713, I've prepared shrimp twice, both with good results. I've also put shrimp on a grill plate several times in my life, if that counts as preparing shrimp.

steak, fries, salad

Menu Description:
steak, frites, salade 14,50€ SAUCE au choix: poivre, champignons, bearnaise, ou bleu
steak, frietjes, sla 14,50€ SAUS naar keuze: peper, champignon bearnaise, of blauw kaas
steak, fries, salad 14,50€ Any SAUCE: pepper, mushrooms bearnaise, or blue cheese

I wrote: "The steak felt chewy and tasted like it was prepared medium-well instead of medium-rare. It might even be cooked well-done. Oh well, the mushroom sauce is good."

I couldn't help but artistically play with my food. In my defense, a place which serves their fries in a pot is just asking for me to use my creativity.



front of Houtsiplou in the evening

Relevant Links:
Houtsiplou Website FR/EN/NL
Houtsiplou (TripAdvisor.com)

Houtsiplou - Centre-Ville - Bruxelles (Yelp.com)

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