City wanderings - and a pilgrimage to some of the best eating and drinking spots in Brussels. Or maybe not eating or drinking - ah, oh well.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Café Comptoir

Back at work.  Just as some of my colleagues depart on their second holidays, and a new set of shopkeepers post their "Congés annuels" notices.  Only I am left battling the shredder!

Walking home many places seem to be shut up, including both bakeries on Place Jourdan.  Not so the kitsch, brash interior of the sunbed shop, where a defiantly orange, bleached, taloned lady is staying open.  Says it all really!  And two weeks of holiday haven't changed my colours: I'm still pale-ish, perhaps a little rested and rounder than before.  The temperature gauge above the pharmacy reads 27 degrees.  I can't quite believe it.

But Brussels in August is a good place to be.  Finding restaurants or cafés to write about may be trickier than usual, but at this time of year I want to try.  And so do the tourists.  Foolish restaurateurs, why not flee in gusty, frigid February, rather than mellow August?  There are fewer people, fewer cars, less tooting and parking-incited rage, and the people who are left seem benign and chilled.  Yes the road home has been dug up again but I pick my way dreamily past holes and trip hazards.  Later, I sit among sad little plants on the terrace: too much water, not too little!  The sky is threatening rain again.  But the papyrus likes it, and the mint is taking over.

I wonder if Café Comptoir is one of those staying open.  I like this little place on the corner of the Place Saint-Boniface.  There are cooler, busier, fancier offerings elsewhere on the square, but here they serve up a mean burger!  You'll have to take my word for it, because I don't seem to be able to find my photos....

As well as the regular selection of burgers, they also have special ones listed on a blackboard.  I like "Le Comptoir": a juicy burger with herbs, sundried tomatoes, comté and nice bacon, served in a floury bun with straw fries and a little salad.  Good stuff for a Sunday evening with Dire Straits on the radio.  And there is a large selection of pittas - with a twist.  I try one with dried raisins, banana and pineapple, which is good, but not as substantial as the burgers.  After the main courses the desserts are a little bit disappointing, if only for their size.  The mains are good value, but I'd like the desserts to be bigger!

This isn't a restaurant, it's a café, but for burgers it'll give some other restaurants I've tried a run for their money.... 8/10 says my friend.

Café Comptoir
rue de la Paix 22
1050 Ixelles


  1. Hi Bec,

    You don't know me from Adam, but I hope it's ok if I leave a comment. I came across your site via a link from the Guardian. I moved here a year ago but I still feel like I have yet to discover the city, so thank you for all the tips.

  2. Hi Audrey,
    No, thanks for commenting! It's good to know my posts are useful. From one blogger to another: I can do no more than sew a button on, so your blog could help me too....