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Table of Contents
- 0.1 Traditional Flemish and French Modern Design
- 0.2 Grand Place in Brussels
- 0.3 Reminded us of Christmas
- 0.4 Flemish Beef Carbonnade (beef and ale) Stew
- 0.5 Here is the Dish Our Town recipe of that Belgian Beef and Beer Stew.
- 0.6 Where to Find Carbonnade Flamande, a Flemish Beef and Beer Stew in New York
- 0.7 Where to find Carbonnade Flamande, a Flemish Beef and Beer Stew in Brussels
- 1 Where to Stay in Brussels:
Traditional Flemish and French Modern Design
The strength of the January sun penetrated through the large floor to ceiling window in the Airbnb we had rented for the weekend while in Brussels. My wife, daughter and I were so happy to have finally arrived, and the location and apartment itself did not disappoint, with tasteful traditional Flemish and French modern design. Finding the place, however, was no walk in the park, as Brussels is one of the tougher cities to navigate as a foreigner behind the wheel. It was winter after all, and before we can even begin to settle, the sun with all its strength subsided to the bitter chill of the night.
Grand Place in Brussels
I had been to Brussels a few times in the past, but this was the first for both my wife and daughter. I knew we were located right at the corner of one of the openings that led to the beautiful Grand Place, Belgium’s centerpiece and main square. Before taking the right which led us there, I prepared the two of them by telling them that it was one of my favorite plazas in all of Europe, and when they entered, the look on their faces were akin to those I see when people experience Rockefeller Center in New York City for the first time during Christmas Season. Cheeks red from the cold, big smiles, and eyes filled with wonderment.
Reminded us of Christmas
To me, no matter what time of year I visit the Grand Place, the evenings always seem to conjure up sentiments of Christmas. Maybe it’s the floodlit buildings, daily light show, and bustle. In this case, it was January and there were still remnants of the Holiday, but we knew we had missed the true fanfare. This made us think of returning in the future to experience the place during the heart of the season. The gilded architecture, large cobblestone square, and quaint side streets that hinge at its corners can bring anyone back to a romantic time of unapologetic opulence. Not that this is what Christmas is all about, but it is awesome and beautiful and can only add to the splendor of the season.
Flemish Beef Carbonnade (beef and ale) Stew
If truth be said, however. It’s a humble Belgian Beef and Ale Stew that we had in a nondescript eatery that most reminded us of the warmth that the Holidays bring. Christmas had passed and we were in the early days of the New Year and we were 3,500 miles away from home. So on a cold January day, while missing home, Carbonnade Flamande, a Flemish Beef, and Ale Stew, filled our bellies as many comforting meals do, and made our hearts light.
Here is the Dish Our Town recipe of that Belgian Beef and Beer Stew.
- Chop onions, carrots, and celery
- Thinly slice garlic
- Dry meat of all moisture and slice in cubes
- Season meat with salt, pepper, and dry mustard powder
- In a Dutch Oven or Large Pot, drizzle olive oil and bring fire on stovetop to high
- Once hot, brown all cubed meat, then remove and put to the side
- Lower heat to medium and add garlic to lightly brown
- Then add onions and cook until translucent
- Add carrots and celery
- Season with salt and pepper
- Return meat on top of vegetables
- Add red wine to the pot until meat is covered.
- Cover for 1 hour
- After an hour, stir and add beer. Bring fire to low and cover for another hour.
- Remove cover and add butter. Stir and cook over low to medium heat uncovered for another 15 minutes.
- Remove Meat.
- Take the vegetables and reduction and put in a blender. Blend to a puree consistency. Put both meat and puree together and serve.
Suggested Sides for Carbonnade Flamande, Beef, and Beer Stew
Suggested Pairing for Carbonnade Flamande, Beef, and Beer Stew
Cranberry Lambic Ale
Where to Find Carbonnade Flamande, a Flemish Beef and Beer Stew in New York
Petite Abeille in New York City
If you are visiting our town, one of the best places in which to find this dish is “Petite Abeille“. On the menu it is called, “Flemish Style Beef Stew”. The staff is always friendly and the restaurant clean and welcoming. An homage is paid to their most famous export (outside of Stella Artois beer) Tintin in every corner of the establishment (which puts a smile on many children’s faces). There is a residential vibe to the place and you won’t see much in the way of tourists here. Which in many ways is what makes it special.
Where to find Carbonnade Flamande, a Flemish Beef and Beer Stew in Brussels
Fin de siècle in Brussels, Belgium
If preparing and eating the dish itself hasn’t transported you to Belgium, then maybe a formal trip is best. It’s a fairly short flight from New York to Brussels at 7 hours. Everyone speaks English there, along with French, German, and Flemish. Plenty to eat in Brussels, including their famous mussels, frites, waffles, and chocolate. For the carbonnade, our suggested destination in which to have this is, ‘Fin de siècle”, located on Rue des Chartreux 9, in Brussels. You can’t get more down-home than this place. They display the day’s menu on a blackboard, and when they run out of a dish, they run out. Get there fast, because the list seemed to have been getting erased at a quick rate when we were there. Cozy on a cold day as well. This is where I first tried this stew and it stayed with me since.
Where to Stay in Brussels:
Our Home while in Brussels:
Andrew’s review on Airbnb: Upon arrival, it was very hard to get into the town with our car, but Bruno and Iren went out of their way and made sure that we were able to get situated. They are not only great hosts but also very authentic and very good people. The apartment is the most beautiful we have stayed in during our full-time travels. Impeccable taste and clean. They welcomed us with chocolates, drinks in the fridge and great Nespresso coffee. And the building was at the foot of the beautiful Grand Place. It is near everything you need. When we were leaving, Iren, again went out of her way to make sure to direct us and our car safely out of Brussels by leading us through the streets via bike and negotiating the traffic. Excellent, Excellent, Excellent. We will definitely stay here again.
Want to read more about Brussels? Here’s some related posts: https://www.dishourtown.com/family-travel-road-trip-reims-brussels/
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