Beyrouth Restaurant (Brussels)

© Christine Doublet

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On the glistening cobblestones of Chaussée de Mons, where a whiff of spices and grilled meat fills the air, the hotspot to be only has one name: Beyrouth. The smell of freshly baked bread wafts right up your nose starting at eight in the morning and the queue (which is a little discouraging) is the benediction of pleasure-seeking semioticians: this is where it’s at! The whole neighborhood seems to scramble into this tiny canteen-cum-bakehouse (which is certainly far from chic, with its run-of-the-mill tiling, nondescript chairs and faded walls), in the hopes of getting their hands on some of the mighty fine manousheh – a sort of round flatbread which is the pride of the Levant, and Lebanon most of all. And we’re drooling over the various different versions: topped with za’atar, with ground meat and pepper, with halloumi, with spinach, or even with spicy sausage. Here’s an insider’s tip: ask for a half-and-half manousheh, so you can try two toppings at once! On the tables adorned with paper placemats, we chat while tearing off chunks of bread, paired with tea and a small salad that is almost a little too chilled. In short, you can’t help but momentarily take a seat in its welcoming glow, before setting off again to wander around the drizzly gray skies of Brussels. // Toni Negroni

FEELING THIRSTY? Regular sodas and bottled water, at low prices (€1.50). As for the tea, it’s free!

PRICE: Pizzas €7, manousheh €2.50 to €7, sandwiches €3-5, side salad €1.

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