Saturday, August 04, 2007

A line from Lonely Planet's view of Brussels had me terrified:
"vegans will starve" - such a lie, such a lie:

The veggies are a' plenty and the service has been fantastic!

Perhaps this is due to the excellent translation services I have had over the course of the last 24 hours (thanks to Leif), but whatever the reasons, and despite the looks of "what the fuck is a vegan" erupting from the faces of the waiters, the attempts to appease my picky palette have been much appreciated.

After a walk through the weaving streets and through Eteerbeek's French Fry square...where the restaurants and pubs allow the frites of other proprietors to be enjoyed on their patios (I love it), I found myself in Grand Place, where we ended up dining at La Rose Blanche, which is a restaurant that is encased (and the girth of these buildings can be described as doing little more than encasing the shops and restaurants that call them home) by a historic guild house. The restaurant is inside Grand Place, which, is, well, grand. It is unreal actually. I caught myself staring at these big blocks of stone for many minutes with my mouth gapping open (nice...looking ever so the tourist I was).

I suppose I would relate the way I was awed by these buildings is to remember the way I had felt last summer when Keith and I were driving through Northern Ontario. He had always talked about its beauty and his desire to return here - but, I wasn't prepared for my own response to the majesty of Lake Superior. In a simlar way, I have been reading about the Grand Place and the square itself, but it wasn't until I was standing, gazing, that I found myself feeling the buildings make their own (and my own) 'beauty mark' on me.

I was avoiding the camera for the most part of last night, so I admit to not having any photos of the buildings or the great salad I had. The waiter went out of his way to understand what he most certainly viewed as 'my malade' and managed to rearrange some menu options to be able to serve me a great salad. The fresh mixed greens were tossed with a simple house dressing. The simplicity was refreshing after the plane ride and exhausting day of travel.

I did however manage to get in a photo which I took while walking directly behind the square. Some children were milling around a window, and when I caught a glimpse of the carefully laid out and sumptuously tempting display of belgian waffles I had no choice but to snap a photo - even if only for asesthetic purposes (we all know these aren't vegan - but I will give them a whirl of my own designs once settled in).

I am also happy to report that my first trip to the grocery shop proved yet another travel warning wrong. I had heard that veggies were expensive - and perhaps in other areas of the city they are (yet, my new friend sarah, found veg quite cheap as well).
I managed to procure a beautiful head of lettuce, two tomatoes, 6 carrots, soya milk, 6 apples, a cucumber, mushrooms, a toothbrush (yes mom, that purple one on the counter is MINE) and chickpeas for only 8 Euros -not bad. That also bought me a reusable bag for my next shopping installment.

I wanted to include some other not-so-food related images, including one of a great church behind my place, a photo of my new and not as of yet gentrified street and the SHITTY air-meal I wrestled my way through somewhere over the bloody ocean. Damn US Airways - though, Sarah and I were entertained by the character of my new book - this man, had on these amazing pink glasses, a head band and was killing us with tales of how horrid US Airways is to its customers - but this was only hilarious because he was our steward for the night.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Auntie Sheliah is pretty darn cool. I remember around '95 I left a huge unopened bottle of booze at Anne's ... the next day Jay & I stopped by to reclaim it (we were still students) and K said Auntie Sheliah & Anne drank it.
I believed him!!!! lol