Garage-à-Manger Restaurant (Brussels)

© Garage-à-Manger

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This XXL space with a double entrance (via Rue Washington or via the Pêle-Mêle bookstore, Chaussée de Waterloo) and a ‘50s-‘60s flea market style (there’s a caravan on one side, the kitchen on the other, plus sofas and armchairs) is part parent-run crèche with comics available for the kids (crowds on Wednesdays), part coworking space, depending on the hours. Back in 2013, Joël Geismar (El Camion food truck) had the clever idea of taking over this old garage to create this hybrid place, now managed by Clémence Friedmann (ex-Selecto) since he left in 2019. As for the grub, all of which is made from local seasonal produce, you’ve got Cédric Castus to thank: mushroom-chervil soup of the day, Ardennes white sausage seasoned with mustard served cold; crispy croque-monsieur made on country bread with jambon de Paris and Comté (with the option to make it vegetarian); herby meatballs with lemon zest and sage polenta; potato and mushroom croquettes, tonkatsu sauce, shiitakes and Chinese cabbage; and From Comptoir cheese. And a slice of the pretty lemon poppyseed cake, or a scoop of Gaston salted caramel ice cream so you can pretend you’re six years old again. // Ringo de Balmalon

FEELING THIRSTY? : Homemade lemonade and elderflower iced tea (€3.80), flat white (€4.50), beers from Dupont, DrinkDrink! and Illegaal (€3 to €4.50 a bottle), and a few honest wines – Le Petit Buisson, a white Loire Sauvignon from Puzelat, or Apache, a Languedoc red from Vin des Potes (€32 a bottle).

PRICE: : Snacks €5.50 to €9.50, dishes €17, desserts €2.50 to €8, kids’ menu €12.

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