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The Hungry Nomad: Belgian Cafe- Fairmout/Art Musuem (Philadelphia, USA)

August 11, 2012

Belgian Cafe- Fairmout/Art Musuem (Philadelphia, USA)

While walking around the Fairmount/Spring Garden area admiring the beautiful homes, and deciding whether we should live in a brownstone with all of it's inconveniences (i.e.- lack of parking space), we stumbled upon the Belgian Cafe. A corner restaurant in the neighborhood, it would be hard to find if we hadn't literally walked into it. We decided to stop in for a beer and would later return for a proper meal. 

We were both happy to see that our favorite Belgian beer was on the menu. Lindeman's Lambic Framboise flavor has got to be the best drink I have ever had. It is quite expensive too. One bottle costing around $16 dollars. But it is so good that whenever it is offered on a menu we never fail to order it. 

We returned on the 4th of July wanting something other than street food stands at the parade on Benjamin Franklin. The restaurant was busy but we were seated right away. The server was very nice and attentive and immediately took our order. 

The Count ordered a tomato and chevre cheese flatbread as an appetizer and the portabello mushroom sandwich as his entree. I ordered the mussels and fries. After all, that is what the Belgians are famous for. 

The flatbread was quite literally a flat piece of bread sprinkled with cheese and tomatoes and drizzled with caramelized onions and balsamic vinaigrette. I didn't like it, nor did the Count. It was too sweet and the flavors did not blend properly. 

My mussels arrived next. A huge portion with a pot covering it to be used for the empty shells. It was served with a side of crispy fries. The broth was what ruined it. It was too salty to the point that I had to drain each shell before taking out the insides. Usually the broth is the best part made to dip your bread into after the mussels are gone. But not this broth. This broth tasted like liquid salt.

The Count craved something on the healthier side. But the sandwich he ordered oozed with oil. The bread was most likely fried in butter. Each bite was oily. After a few bites he gave up. He moved on to the side salad, at least that wasn't covered in oil. 

I expected this place to be a traditional Belgian Cafe serving authentic Belgian food. Besides the mussels and fries most other items on the menu were typical of most continental restaurants (ie. hamburgers, sandwiches and salads). The quality of the food was lower than I expected. 

It seems to be a great place for drinks and snacks since they have a large variety of beers and good greasy snacks. But don't count on having an amazing dining experience. Go here for the beer not the food. 

Belgian Cafe on Urbanspoon

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At August 12, 2012 , Anonymous Some Guy said...

First of all your in Philly not the suburbs. Don't expect a parking spot to be on every corner. Second, what kind of dining experience were you going for anyway? It's a belgian cafe not the Hotel Dupont. Seafood is from the sea, dont expect it to taste like it came out of the ground from your backyard. The only thing I can agree with you on is the beer selection but then again, the fact that you praise a Lambic over an actual beer to begin with is quite disturbing. Try a Delerium or St. Bernardus you might change your mind. I don't mean to bash you but...wait...never mind I do. It seems like you spent a lot of time explaining why you don't like the Belgian Cafe's food online and people reading it will get a false expectation of how it could be for them. I;m just glad I'm the first to comment before you help ruine their business.

Have a nice day. :)

At August 13, 2012 , Blogger Hungry Nomad said...

Dear 'Some Guy',

You may want to read other reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon to learn that many feel the same about the food. Surely, one review won't ruin the restaurant's business if all other reviews are stellar. A wise owner would take the reviews as constructive criticism and make necessary changes! Thank you for your beer recommendations and advice on parking. Duly noted.


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