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.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cool Bun

I don't normally eat burgers at lunch time.  Especially when I only have an hour or so to spare and cannot sink into a carb-induced slumber in the afternoon.  But who could resist the allure of Cool Bun, newly opened in the Schuman area, especially after reading praise from fellow bloggers about its sister restaurant?  Well you know me well enough by now: I couldn't!

We haven't reserved, but this is no problem for the waitress: we're met with a smile rather than a pained frown.  Hurrah!

The menu offers burgers as varied in flavours as they are in price - from regular with cheese to gourmet, sexy burgers at 24 or 26 euro each.  Prices match what you'd pay for a very good steak, so these burgers had better be good!  Now, should we opt for the richesse of a foie gras burger with girolles mushrooms, as suggested by the blackboard?  Or one with roquefort, or chanterelle mushrooms?  I've finally finished a translation of a gourmet French food products website, and am aware of all the exciting mushrooms out there!  I only hope I will do them all justice....

Mushrooms aside, today is not the day to spend 80 euro on a hurried lunch, and so I - we- resist.  We decide on a apple jack burger (15 euro) nd I order a mini trio (19 euro) to test a few (with sea bass, apple jack and onglet).  So back comes the smiling waitress to take our order:

What cuisson for our burger?  Mild or spicy sauce for the apple jack?  And what type of cheese?  A few minutes later she scurries back, having forgotten to ask if we'd like a special spicy mayonnaise in place of regular ketchup.

"C'est beaucoup de choix pour un burger," observes my companion.

When they arrive the burgers are visually impressive.  The presentation and cuisson are all right, and we get our ketchup.  It is the apple jack burger that looks the best: a tower of textures and colours with enormous, obviously home made onion rings perched precariously on top, all golden and misshapen and glorious.  Ah, those onion rings are delicious!  Crispy and golden with beery batter.  I admit to craving a fast food burger about once a year, but after tasting these, will I ever be able to order fast food onion rings again?  How could I?  The chips are delicious too, all golden and different shapes and sizes and mine in a separate cone.  I think these are the best chips I've eaten in my burger contest so far.  Cool Bun, you're doing very well and we're only at the carbohydrate analysis stage...

My burgers are three mini burgers in a row.  Each tiny specimen is beautifully presented and unique.  Sundried tomato peeks out of one, and I wonder how everything stays together.  I feel slightly envious of the proper fat burger sitting opposite me, but eating this is fiddly and different and I'm obliged to use knife and fork.  I have my own cone of chips and a side plate of well-dressed salad.  The meat is cooked perfectly.  It is only the slightly precarious position of the burgers on my thin boat-bottomed plate that stops me eating everything too fast.  A good thing, for these burgers are made to be savoured, and if I apply pressure in the wrong place then I fear the plate will propel everything into my lap, like a seesaw.  Tellingly when we've finished, it is only my side of the table that has been dirtied.

I stay happy and full until well into the evening.  And after we slip out, the waitress sticks her head round the door to say thank you and goodbye. 

Becinbrussels tried mini burgers for a change, but don't let her try and convince you that this is a lighter choice.  For now, Cool Bun, you are one of her favourite burger choices. She certainly adores your chips and the precise cooking of your burgers.  But how to compare a burger that costs 24 euro with one that costs 10 or 15?   In Brussels the humble burger is going places.  This is going to require some careful thought....
rue Stevin 168
1000 Brussels


  1. Where is the one in schuman? I can only find the Berckman one or am I being thick?

  2. Hi Jonny,

    No, you're not being thick at all! In fact you've reminded me that I really ought to put addresses on here again! It's on rue Stevin, just behind the Berlaymont (orangey Commission building)... So 5 minutes from Schuman metro. Will put address up....

  3. Great thanks very much! I'm definitely going to try this place. I work in Schuman and find the choice of decent lunch places a bit pants.