Moule-frites is a very simple and classic Belgian dish that’s popular throughout France. In fact, Leon de Bruxelles is actually a large chain restaurant in France. Your thinking, “Overworked Underfed, how could you dine at a chain restaurant??” Dear readers, some chain restaurants are awesome! First off, everything at Lèon de Bruxelles is fresh, never frozen and always made to order. That is saying a lot for affordable seafood. Their menu is quite extensive. Who knew you could make mussels so many different way.
La Plancha de Moules aux Gambas et Calamars des moules, des gambas sauvages, des anneaux de calamar, de la tomate, de l’ail, des herbes de provence
Being grilled as opposed to steamed made the flavors much more concentrated and punchy. One might criticize this as being salty but I liked it. The calamari was extremely tender, while the shrimp was sweet and juicy. They don’t lie about the freshness here.
Les Moules à la Provençale la tomate, l’ail, les herbes de provence, les olives noires, l’huile d’olive, vin blanc, crème fraîche
I opted for this version because I love tomatoes and herbs de Provence. The crème fraîche actually did not overwhelm the dish with creaminess. It was just right.
Triple T dislikes mussels but eats clams. One would think they’re kinda the same, but mussels definitely have bigger innards than clams. Fortunately, the mussels here were of a smaller variety with less organy bits to chew through. Triple T would have found these edible, at the very least.
La Moules à la Marinière le beurre demi-sel, les échalotes finement ciselées, vin blanc, persil
Mussels mariniere is the utmost classic version of steamed mussels. Parisian Friend opted for this one. It’s flavor was much more delicate than either Mama H.o.P’s or my choice.
These were pretty disappointing considering some of the best french fries I have ever eaten were in Paris. They were not crispy and lacked that golden tastiness.
Gaufre Gourmandes de Bruxelles
One thing I love about French dining, even when it’s casual, is there set meal offerings. So even if I didn’t want a dessert, economically speaking, it always seems to make sense to just go for the prix fixe. The waffle was light, crispy, and just the right amount of sweetness. I coulda gone for another one.
Crème Brûlée aux Pommes
I’m usually not a fan of creme brûlée in shallow dishes. I guess it maximizes the brûlée to creme ratio, but I don’t go gaga for the crispy burnt sugar anyways. It’s rather annoying because it usually gets stick in my teeth. However, the creme was well done and not too sweet.
Lèon de Bruxelles was a solid meal. I definitely found that smaller mussels make for better mussels. Fresh beats frozen. And the French do it all pretty darn well. The upside to this place is that you can find them everywhere and its not gonna cost you an arm and a leg. I just wished their fries were better, but maybe keeping things low carb once in a while is better. God only knows how many baguettes I had eaten up to this point in the trip. The French and their bread!