Brussels is a Far Cry From Europe

Visited On: February 24, 2011
Gluten Free Menu: No
Server Knowledge: 3-1/2 stars1/2
Server Attitude: 4 stars
Variety of Gluten-Free Options: 3 stars
Overall Gluten-Friendly Rating: 3 stars
Price Range: $10-$20 per person (plus drinks, tax, and tip)

When Mike and I visited Hamachi House last month, we got a coupon for Brussels, a new Hamachi offering on Granville Street. I checked their menu and it seemed like I would be OK. Plus, they had a four-page beer menu (with two gluten-free beers), and a beer pairing for each dish, created by a beer sommelier.

We went over on a Thursday night, as a storm was forecast for Friday. We walked into a cozy room with benches and tables in the front, and a bar with several flat-screen TV’s over it in the back. We weren’t sure where to sit, so we walked over to the wall where a server was standing. There is apparently another side to Brussels, but he asked us to sit in the main room, so we weren’t sure what the second half was all about or why we weren’t allowed in.

We sat down in the corner by the window and were greeted quickly by our waitress. Mike ordered a Sapporo draft while I had a French martini. We also asked about gluten-free options, and our waitress promised to check with the kitchen.

We waited forever for our drinks, and when our waitress returned, she stated that their gluten-free list was stapled to a wall in the kitchen but that she had reviewed it and talked with the chef. Although most sauces contained gluten and many dishes contained beer, the kitchen could alter most dishes to be gluten-free. We were starving by this point, so we ordered Coquille St-Jacques ($10.95) as an appetizer. Mike ordered the special (stuffed haddock with potatoes au gratin – $19.95) and I got the 5 oz. Belga Queen steak with a side of Roquefort butter ($18.95). I also ordered frites although they are prepared in the same fryer as the croquettes. (I love frites and figured that the contamination couldn’t be too bad! The only side option that was gluten-free was a salad with no dressing – yuck.)

We sat and chatted for a while, until conversation began to wear down and we realized that we had been waiting for at least 45 minutes with no sign of an appetizer or our waitress. She finally arrived about 15 minutes later with our main meals, clearly having forgotten all about our appetizer. Luckily, our meals were as ordered. Mine looked good, although I was disappointed that the frites were hand-cut fries rather than the julienne-style potatoes that I had been expecting. Mike’s plate contained two white piles that looked exactly the same – we both identified the potatoes as the fish and vice-versa!

My meal was pretty good, with the Roquefort (served on the side) adding an interesting flavour to the steak. I also enjoyed the fries, which tasted very fresh and not contaminated with batter-y oil. Mike’s meal wasn’t nearly as good. The potatoes au gratin had no cheese and were very dry, and the stuffed haddock had several bones, making it hard to enjoy it without worrying about choking to death.

Since we had a coupon for dessert, we decided to try out the Godiva truffles ($5.95 for two). They were the highlight of the meal, served on a small plate with raspberry and chocolate drizzle. Not sure if I would spend $6 on them, but it was a nice treat!

We left Brussels disappointed with the food and unhappy with how long it took to receive service. We might go back for the beer, but that’s about it.

Brussels Restaurant
1873 Granville Street (Halifax)
902-446-4700
Web Site: http://www.brusselsrestaurant.ca

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  1. #1 by Ahmad on November 2, 2012 - 11:36 pm

    Hi, after reading this remarkable article i am too delighted to share my experience here with friends.

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