Too many options can sometimes lead to food misfortune. Many years ago I was visiting a small town in Finland with my boyfriend and we went to the local pizzeria. After placing my order on the counter I hear my bf (back then a vegetarian) ordering in Finnish which is not his mother tongue.
Fried egg, blue cheese, garlic sauce, barbecue sauce, I heard him listing. It sounded horrible and so was the pizza, where the cheese and egg were swimming in two sauces. My bf was devastated. I asked why the hell had he ordered such a pizza. “I panicked and just listed ingredients I like separately.” We still laugh about that pizza (or at least I do, maybe enough time has passed for him to laugh too).
Rue du Bailli 5 (one of the branches)
I remembered that story in Brussels, when ordering some sushi and almost repeated a vegan version of that unfortunate pizza. I had heard of Makisu sushi chain, where you can create your own sushi rolls. I somehow managed to enter through the back door, which meant I didn’t see the English menus by the main door. I stood in the long line and tried to guess which options on the board were vegan. When my turn came, I just started to list ingredients that were clearly understood as vegan even in French and, yes, that I liked.
When sitting on the table and waiting for the sushi I had no idea what I had ordered. When the rolls came to the table it was a relief that e.g. mango and shiitake seemed to go together very well.
After this I found the English menu and there were actually quite many options vegan and I could have been a bit more creative if I had understand the options. A fun way to design your own dish and quite cheap too. The two rolls (16 pieces) costed less than ten euros.
Rue de Flandre 124
If DIY sushi sounds good, how about a DIY burger? Had to have one of course. The H&K’s is a small restaurant located in a cute neighbourhood. The waiter brought me the samples of the bread to the table and when I asked which ones were vegan, he quickly brought me another tray, all vegan. In the menu there was a separate section for vegan and vegetarian burger bar and I felt almost overwhelmed with all the options. This time I had a bit time to think though so I made choices that turned out to make a really tasty burger.
My choices? A bun with poppy seeds. As a patty I chose Hazelnut with bulgur, parsley and onion. So crispy and nice. Mayonnaise as sauce, smoked vegan cheese, caramelized onion, pickles and grilled mushrooms. There was a big selection of potatoes too, but I went for the traditional fries. The service was super fast and in no time I had my DIY burger in front of me. So cool!
The Judgy Vegan
Rue des Capucins 55
The Judgy Vegan’s Instagram
The DIY burger wasn’t the only burger I ate in my short Brussels visit. The Judgy Vegan has probably the best name ever and I went there straight from the bus station. I selected the burger also based on its name, Potato Love Burger. It was made of potato and spinach patty, curry mayo, grilled tomatoes, cheese, salad, cucumbers and gherkins.
I have to say it was not as good as I had hoped. The entirety was a bit soggy and the patty mushy. I took also some blueberry cheesecake which was much better. The place in itself was nice and I met some really nice people there so a small burger disappointment wasn’t that bad after all.
BrewDog Brussels’ website
Third burger I ate was at BrewDog. The brewery has restaurants in many countries but I have never been to one. They had one vegan burger, Hail Seitan, on their menu and another one vegetarian, Clucky This Time, with option to veganize it. That was my choice.
Sadly the veganizing took pretty much all the sauces away which made the rest of the burger a bit dry. There was avocado, red onion and hummus too, but it wasn’t quite enough. But that patty! I was mesmerized by it. It was called southern fried seitan and was so juicy and meaty. I have never eaten seitan quite like that before.
Rue de Namur 25
TICH’s Facebook page
No burger, but I did have an amazingly tasty avocado toast at TICH. If I would have needed a place to work with my laptop in Brussels, this would have been it. Beautiful, light space with comfy chairs.
Most importantly, the food was amazing. The avocado toast I had was pretty much perfection and a piece of pear pie was just yummy. I also bought as a souvenier some granola and very soon there was only empty bag in our pantry.
I did manage to learn about EU and animal welfare during my stay too, read more here.
Burger count 20 countries, 41 burgers.