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.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friterie Tabora

Back with my parents for a few days, I catch my Dad with bemused eyes taking in my waistline.  He asks, all innocent-like, if I have been doing much café reviewing lately.

Yes, I say, mortified that the beer drinking has so quickly and obviously made its way to my belly.  I resolve to start running again, properly.  I pantingly manage five laps and twenty minutes of the local park, but I am a long way from my 20km fitness of last year. 

And then there are the frites.  The latest offerings here are from Friterie Tabora, which promises non frozen specimens, although the meat stacks under the counter appear barely defrosted.  The housemates and I are hungry.  Very hungry.  We're about to try Scottish dancing, some of us for the first time.

Monstrous!  These were NOT mine
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you this wonderful carb-tastic Belgian creation: the mitraillette (sub-machine gun)!   Fried burger (or some form of meat-like substance), a dollop of mayonnaise, some additional sauce like andalouse, cocktail or pickels, and a generous two handfuls of chips, encased in a hefty, doughy, white demi-baguette.  Crikey.  I can just imagine it sitting in my stomach like a log.

It's too much for the first of my housemates.  We enjoy the standing in the queue talking to the friendly chip man, and advising giggly American girls on saucy options.  I choose my usual cornet of frites with the distinctly unsaucy, non-piquant Provençale, but in extra large this time.   

It's rather hard to judge your frites, unless you're willing to sample several cornets of an evening.  And my waistline might suggest otherwise, but I don't eat chips very often, and fear mitraillettes would provoke chronic indigestion: a kind of  punch-up between stomach acid, potato and beef fat, with some egg and spice to make it twice as nice.  I like these chips, but perhaps chips vary a bit like the weather: you get a good batch; you get a bad batch.  People move on, and so the reputations of different frietkots move with the people who run them.  They're a lovely golden colour and deliciously tasty.  They are better than Maison Antoine (where last time I was stung by their mediocrity, for a place so famed!)  Those at FritFlagey are more misshapen and not so uniform in colour, which is a good thing.   I think they still win out over Tabora and Fritland, but it is difficult to say.  And probably it doesn't matter.  Tabora's are really pretty good.

"So what do you think of these chips then?"  I ask, to nobody in particular.  With eyes glazed, and cheeks rosy, my friends are chewing away at their mitraillette determinedly and placidly.  Nobody says a word. 

rue de Tabora 2
(staggering distance from Bourse, the Grand Place - and Fritland - and always there for the really, really hungry)

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