Brussels… mussels, waffles, beer, chocolate and fries. On our weekend trip there my friend and I indulged in some of these things. We wolfed down a waffle with melted Speculoos near the Grand Place and visited the Cantillon Brewery, over a century old, for a taste of authentic Lambic. We also passed by tons of friteries, stalls or small shops that serve up French fries and other fried stuff, including sausages, hot dogs, hamburgers, frikandels, spring rolls, and some weird and unsavory looking Dutch fast food items… Bamiblok, kroket, sitostick, pikanto, nasibal, smulrol. Go ahead and google any of those… Bizarre..
We chose Fritland, right alongside the Grand Place in the center, a very busy and popular joint founded in 1978. The place is constantly overflowing with hungry locals and visitors, almost all under 30 years old. Fritland specializes in an ungodly looking sandwich called a mitraillette – a half baguette with some sort of fried meat (hamburger, hot dog, mexicano, kebab, or sausage) and a huge pile of French fries with plenty of sauce, fried onion and optional raw veggies. This monster was a tad intimidating, so we opted for a regular serving of fries with a variety of sauces.
The twice-fried French fries were wonderfully crunchy on the outside, firm yet tender on the interior and seasoned with just the right amount of salt. We shared three types of sauce: the piquant samurai sauce (made with mayonnaise, tomatoes, bell peppers, Tunisian chili and spices), creamy tartar sauce and spicy curry ketchup. I recommend trying all three.
French fries in Brussels. A cheap and delicious snack and something that actually did seem authentically popular, not just among tourists but many of the students of the city.