Monday, November 16, 2009

Lunch At The Broken Spoke Cafe

We finally made it to the Broke Spoken Cafe this weekend. I've been wanting to go ever since it was announced that Catherine Duwez would start serving up her mussels there after Cafe Montrose closed. We had originally planned for dinner, but found ourselves in the area at lunch time after running various errands. Fortunately, I recently read on their website that their entire menu is available for lunch, including the mussels. Its certainly not hard to find on Washington Ave with the Belgian flag hanging on the outside. The inside is small but quaint and the bicycle theme is broken up with Belgian flags and beer signs and a small Manneken Pis fountain sculpture. It actually reminded me of various cafes I visited while in Belgium.

There was about 4 tables occupied when we arrived and we were told to sit wherever we liked. The staff were friendly and our waitress was able to list the available Belgian beers. I started with a Stella Artois, which was served in the proper glass, while we reviewed the menus. My wife is not a big fan of mussels, so she ordered the veggie omelette off the bunch menu but I order La Complet Belge which includes La Moule Marinière (Mussels steamed with butter, celery, onion, and white wine), Frites (Belgian fries) and a Stella Artois for only $24. I moved on to a Blanche de Bruxelles as we waited for our order and reminisced about eating mussels and frites in Bruges.

Our food arrived quickly and the mussels were served in the traditional pot and the frites came with a side of mayo (homemade?). Our waitress suggested a Kwak when I indicated I'd like a darker Belgian beer and it also arrived in it's traditional glass with the wooden stand (cool!). The mussels were all large and meaty with a smooth texture. The broth was light but flavorful which I soaked up with the crusty french bread. I tried my best to finish them all, but I finally called it quits with about 3 or 4 mussels left in the pot. The bowl of frites was empty. I will also mention that my wife's omelette and homemade potatos was great. The caramelized onions gave it a wonderful sweet rich flavour.

After my original post about the Broken Spoke Cafe back in July, Roy de la Garza, the owner of the Broken Spoken Cafe, has added a couple of comments regarding the Belgian beer they offer. I asked if Roy was available after our lunch and was able to thank him for his comments and let him know how much we enjoyed the food. He said the place can get pretty packed on Friday and Saturday nights (glad we ended up coming for lunch) and also let us know that they have live music on Tuesdays. They also plan to buy another kegerator so they can offer even more Belgian beers. Our conversation was interrupted by our waitress asking him to get a couple of beers that were just ordered. That's when we found out our waitress is his daughter and since she's too young to get beer for customers, Dad would have to serve them. Its great to see his family is involved and we wish them great success. We'll definitely be back, I'd love to try the Carbonade à la Gantoise (Flemish beef stew) and the Crêpes for dessert, but it will be hard to not order those delicious mussels every time.

1 comment:

Roy said...

Thanks for the great comments, Steve. Hope to see you guys back again soon!