Since we ended up unexpectedly in Brussels for the evening, Sophie decided to take us on another walking tour of part of Brussels, ending up at L’ultime Atome, a nice Brasserie in the southeast part of town (Ixelles). Located a block off of the shopping street of Chaussee d’Ixelles, l’Ultime Atome is basically a neighborhood brasserie, focusing on typical Belgian food and having a rather extensive beer list. The decor of L’ultime Atome also has a bit of the Art Deco look, although more of the 1980s and 1990s “Art Deco Revival” style than true Art Deco, but it’s still a pleasant enough interior, rather spacious as well. If I go back, I’d like to go during the day so I can check out one of the tables outside on the terrace, which has a nice view down to the church down the street. But we were quickly seated in the bustling restaurant and sipping on our beers.
The plan for Belgium started simple: on our second full day in the country, we were going to take the train to Bruges, check out that city, and come back in the evening. That’s when the otherwise spotless good luck I had so far on this trip decided to take a turn for the worse. First, upon going to get breakfast, my brother discovered that he couldn’t get back into the flat with his key. Or the spare key. So we had to wait for someone from the management company to come check it out and summon a locksmith. Then, leaving about an hour late for the train station, we then discovered that the trains were running on a 20 minute delay. Which became a 40 minute delay. And then an hour delay. We decided to go see if things got better after lunch, so we wandered from the train station to the nearby Mont des Arts, where we found Kwint on the terrace, and decided to have lunch there.
Most any time we end up traveling with my brother Dan and his wife Sophie, we usually try to go out for at least one fancy dinner and live it up a bit. When we were in Belgium, we figured this would be a good opportunity to check out Belga Queen, one of the trendy Brussels restaurants that has been a hot spot for several years. Located just down the street from the Royal Theater, Belga Queen is fashioned out of an early 1900s bank, back in the era when banks were pretty much expected to have elaborate, over-the-top, marble interiors. And Belga Queen didn’t disappoint.