day 22 // fri feb 2
Took a train from Bonn to Köln to Brussels. It was a pretty short train ride, about 2.5 hrs total. We arrived at the Brussels Main Train Station around 5:30PM. Not going to lie, our first impression of Brussels was not my favorite. We walked to find our Airbnb—this was a task in itself. Once we found our place it was a really cool complex that looked like it could have been an old school turned into lofts or something? Either way, we met our host and he showed us our space. He had a Nespresso maker in our room so I made myself a decaf espresso with a splash of milk.
After freshening up we sorted out the path to the city center. The night life was just getting started, so people were starting to hit the streets. Still not super impressed with the city at the point, but it was definitely improving the further we walked. We found the city center and it started to get more interesting. We walked around for awhile taking in the sights and decided we should get some grub. We couldn't find a place to eat, y'all know the struggle, am I right? We had finally decided on this Noodle Bar, but right as we had finally made up our minds, a group of 12 people walked in the door right before us. Next, please! Literally 4 doors down we saw this place with a very nicely designed logo out front. Honestly, that's the first good sign for me and it's something I gravitate towards, obviously. This place was called Baogo. It was pretty dang stellar. They had a decently small menu with relatively few choices (which i also love) I ordered a Panko Salmon Bao (Crispy Salmon with Avocado, Fennel, Dill and Cucumber Slaw, Coriander, Basil Mayo) and Wade ordered a Pulled Pork Bao (Slow Cooked Pork in Five Spice Marinade with Asian Slaw, Spring Onions, Pickled Cucumber, Crushed Peanuts). We both had fries, one spicy and one regular. They were served with spicy thai mayo and a garlic mayo. I love me some dipping sauce. It was definitely meant to be that we ended up in this restaurant. Probably a major highlight of the city for me, is that lame?
We ended the evening with a warm nutella waffle and headed to our apartment to rest up. Night one was a success!
day 23 // sat feb 3
We had a good night's sleep and headed out for a full day of exploring. We only walked 8.5 miles today, not as many as last weekend. Our first stop was a breakfast pastry, then to find the Comic Book Museum. We spent a good amount of time at the museum and Wade was totally digging it. We also learned that a lot of popular comics were started in Belgium. The Adventures of Tintin was created by a Belgian artist in 1929, so there are a lot cool prints and figurines on display. Then we were on the hunt for a place called Maison Antoine which someone from Brussels told us was THE place to get fries. Little did we know that apparently there is also a lace store on the Grand Place square called 'Maison Antoine'. You could imagine how disappointed to find lace, not fries—haha!
We eventually found the real fry place on the map and it was pretty far from where we were so we decided we would grab something small and keep wondering. We ended at a small sandwich joint, then hopped from chocolate shop to chocolate shop. Ps–check out those chocolate tools below that legitimately look real-life. We unfortunately didn't but those, but did get a variety of other Belgian chocolates including almonds, truffles, espresso beans, and raisins.
At last we found our fries!! Also, the most interesting thing to me is that all of the restaurants/bars surrounding the Maison Antoine place have signs posted outside that say "fries accepted." I guess that's when you know these fries are the jam. They were also served with a side of mayo and ketchup. Boy do I love that they eat fries with mayo. Not sure why that isn't more of a thing in the US.
After we finished our fries we opted for the easier route and took an Uber back to the center. We decided we needed one last waffle before retreating to our airbnb. This time around we got nutella, banana, and whipped cream. SO good. Overall a good day!
Baogo - Rue Grétry 50, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Maison Antoine - Place Jourdan 1, 1040 Etterbeek, Belgium
day 24 // sun feb 4
We had an early train back to Bonn so we didn't do any sightseeing. We enjoyed Brussels, but probably mostly the food-ha! We are traveling to Prague this weekend and will keep you posted!
day 18 – 21 // mon jan 29 – thur feb 1
Photos below are from the past week. Pretty chill week. Wade and I had a date night Monday to dinner and a movie. Tuesday we had a faculty dinner at a very nice Spanish restaurant. AIB provided tapas for the table and it was a good chance to meet some of the other current faculty and professors on staff. See below the sweet latte art from a local Bonn coffee shop. We also found a German "Chipotle" style restaurant this week. It was relatively good, but also had very cool aesthetic and as you know that's a win in my book. I also dressed like I was going to a biker gang meeting and then a funeral, but was actually going to the gym. Gotta keep people guessin'.