I finally decided to get myself over to Place Brugmann to check out the various brunch spots suggested in the book “Un an de brunchs a Bruxelles” that I covered in a previous post. After doing an initial reconaissance tour of the square, I went to Le Rustique – it looked cozier, more charming and overall more interesting than the rest and as it turns out, it was definitely a good choice! (Le Balmoral was more happening, but my brunch buddy was put off by the decor: “too pink”.)
Le Rustique has about a dozen tables (seating between 2 and 4) divided into three sections: one right at the entrance of the shop, which serves as a boulangerie-pattiserie; another one in the middle, which resembles a living room/library; and another one in the back with views to a charming little garden.
The owner will welcome you with a big smile and will do everything possible to make sure you have a nice meal and enjoy your visit to her establishment. The ambiance is quiet and agreeable – a lot of the people in there are regulars.
And the food? Very generous portions at extremely reasonable prices. If you are a light eater, you can have just a croissant for about EUR 1.50, or if you are hungry, you can go for one of the brunch menus, for 4, 7 or 14 Euros. The most expensive item, the “Brunch” is a great deal at EUR 14. Included in that menu is bread (or croissants), a coffee or tea, an orange juice, ham, parma ham, cheese, salad, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs (… a lot of food!) As a bonus gift, the owner adds a seasonal specialty or whatever she feels like (below, a mini onion soup in the tajine and a generous portion of home-made foie gras with its onion jam). Here it is:
It’s a lot of food, so if you’re not a huge eater, you might want to split the brunch menu, and get something else on top of that… But Le Rustique is definitely a place to check out!