T.G.I.F! For some reason this week seemed to go by extremely s-l-o-w-l-y, so I’m looking forward to the weekend more than usual. And I equate the weekend of course with food. So I guess I should say T.G.I.F.F! (the second F being for food :))
One of my favorite weekend lunch places in Brussels is Mamy Louise. This restaurant has grown to four locations around town, but I know the one just off Avenue Louise best (others are in Woluwe, Uccle and Boitsfort). The scene during the week is very much “ladies who lunch” but the clientele on the weekend is a bit more mixed. I’ve also eaten dinner in the Boitsfort location a couple of times, which is nice for a relaxed, low-key evening.
The décor is modern New England inspired – painted beadboard paneling, dark wood chairs and tables, and giant black and white photos of the New York City skyline on the walls. The Belgians seem to love this beige, beachy look, so it might be one reason why this place continues to be so popular.
For a trendy sort of place, the food here is surprisingly good. Mamy Louise is actually included in the Michelin Bib Gourmand list, which means the restaurant is ranked as a favorite for good value (€36 or less for three courses). The service is friendly but not the speediest (something that anyone who’s been in Brussels for more than a week should be used to). Don’t worry, they always have some olives and good crusty bread with salty butter on the table so you have something to nibble on until the food arrives.
This time of year I’d recommend their tomato soup, which comes with loads of yummy Gouda cheese and croutons to sprinkle on top. The chicken Caesar salad is another favorite. Although it’s not quite the same as the real thing back in the US, it comes pretty close (anchovies and all). They also make good tartines (open-faced sandwiches) and other classic dishes like steak et frites.
The Louise location can be very busy at lunch time, so I strongly suggest making a reservation. The counter seats also make a good stop for a coffee mid-shop. All four locations have the same menu that you can check out online. This place is a bit of a splurge for lunch, but overall the prices are reasonable for the quality of food (starters are around €15 and mains around €20).
Mamy Louise Louise
12 Rue Jean Stas, 1060 Saint-Gilles
Tel: +32 2 534 2502
Wishing you all a nice, relaxing weekend!
Images via Convivoo and Mamy Louise.