It was the night of one of my co-worker’s going away party, and he chose BXL. It’s a short walk from our office, and has great Belgian beer, so I was all in. Ok so you all know about my never ending love for food, but I have only just recently discovered a love for beer! I am not kidding, up until about a year ago (coincidentally around the time I moved to NYC), I never drank the stuff. I absolutely hated it! I don’t know what has brought on this recent change, but I’ve heard that over time your tastebuds can change, so maybe that’s it…
Anyway back to BXL, we walk in to this charming Belgian bar around 5:30pm – and this is for all my single ladies out there – it was packed with men! Not a single female was in there except for us. You might want to mark this place down on your “must go” list ladies :). We checked out the extensive beer menu filled with Belgian brews in bottles and a decent list of them on tap too. And all of the ones on tap were very reasonably priced. Back in my non-beer-drinking days, I discovered Lindeman’s Framboise in a bar in Belgium when I was traveling around Europe with some friends from college. Later in life whenever I would order it, my husband would say it did not count as beer because it was way too fruity. He’s right it is deliciously fruity! I saw my old fave on the draft menu, but decided to be adventurous and try something different. I went for the Hoegaarden, which I think I had tried before, but couldn’t really remember. It was a good pick! It was light and refreshing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
After the Hoegaarden, I tried the Leffe blonde which one of my co-worker’s had been drinking and recommended. I’ve noticed that I prefer lighter beers, I’m usually not a big fan of the heavy darker ones. BXL definitely had a nice variety, and something for everyone. They even had a wine list, which some of my colleagues ordered from. Next I decided to go back to my old favorite, but a less commonly found flavor, Lindeman’s Peche. I loved the fruity peach flavor! After a couple drinks everyone was getting pretty hungry, so a few appetizers were ordered for the table.
You can’t go to a Belgian restaurant without getting the pomme frites! And of course they were served with the obligatory side of mayonnaise (not like us silly Americans who use ketchup!). I will tell you, those Belgians really know how to make frites! They were just crispy enough on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. So good!!
And another classic, the Croque Monsieur (or ham and cheese as we Americans like to call it). This sandwich was sooo good, the gruyere was just oozing from the perfectly toasted (and no doubt buttered) bread. The perfect food to eat after a few beers.
Not sure where the Fried Calamari come into play in Belgian cuisine, but they ordered them and I ate them!
Lastly was a sort of Charcuterie platter, filled with salami, prosciutto, patè, a variety of cheeses, nuts, apples, and raisins. This was a great dish for sharing with a group, and coupled well with the hearty bread that was served. As you can see, my co-workers couldn’t even wait for me to take the picture before they started digging in!
The one thing that we didn’t get to try which I’ve heard is their specialty are the mussels. And on Sundays and Mondays they have an All You Can Eat Moules Special. You can bet that I will be back for that!
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ 1/2
BXL | www.bxlcafe.com | 210 E. 51st Street