We arrived in Mons in the late afternoon, still starving after being unable to find food on our trip down from Antwerp. Consequently, our first agenda, after locating a hotel, was to find a place to eat. Alas, the custom of no food being served between two and six persisted in Mons.
However, we did manage to find a bar and proceeded to have two excellent beers each, accompanied by bar snacks. I wish I had written down the name of the bar/pub. Their menu was really funky and there are some photos of it below.
All I wrote in my journal is ‘nice pub on square with dogs; beers in front of them’. I’m not entirely sure what that means. This is what happens when you have a couple of beers on an empty stomach.
This is an overview of the pub. The lads were both texting each other on their smart phones while I ran around photographing everything.
I made better notes on the beers. Maes Pil: light, easy to drink, a pleasant sweetness.
Chimay Blanche: A cloudy blonde with lots of flavour but a very bitter end. Orval. Epervescent, bitter dark blonde. I find it has a bitter edge at the end; Al said ‘sour’. And there was some rare Belgian sunlight casting a golden glow over our beers, us, and our cheese and peanut luncheon.
I love the design of their menus.
For our evening meal we decided to walk over to the Micro-Brasserie le Brasse-Temps. It was a fairly long walk to the new part of town. The brasserie is in a mall, half under construction from the outside. Inside it is modern and not very Belgian, full of young people drinking pricey beer.
These were our tasters:
- Cuvée des Trolls 7%. Their description ‘très ronde et douce’; Al’s ‘bland, light.’
- L’Ambrasse-Temps 5.5%. Al ‘s ‘bland, ordinary’; Mikey’s, ‘didn’t rock my boat.’
- Bush Blonde 10%. Mine ‘nice’; Al’s ‘boozy, not much behind it.’
- Bush Ambrée, 12%. Their description ‘subtle aromas’; Mine ‘very boozy, nutty’; Mikey’s ‘Holy Mother of Jesus, you can taste the alcohol in that – it’s like drinking cognac or something.’
The lighting in this micro-brasserie was that unappetizing yellowy brown that does nothing for food photos. We ordered a few classic Belgian dishes. For me there was a Waterzooï de Volaille à la Blanche de Set Waudru. This was a great wad of chicken in a cream sauce with slabs of mash, and desperately needed something more, leeks? asparagus? Al ordered the Carbonnades de Boeuf à l’Ambrasse-Temps et Frites, a rich beef stew with hints of beer and cloves, and tasty. Mikey’s choice was Potjevlees à la Bush Blonde, a terrine of rabbit, chicken and pork, served cold, and also tasty. This is part of our three-week trip more or less along the Belgian Beer Route.