Brussels burger eatery really is where "quality meats"

Those familiar with the bustling EU Quarter in Brussels may also be familiar with the multitude of places to eat.

Many share one thing in common: the high price, certainly when compared with the variable quality of the food which is served.

Happily, there is one place, located in the shadow of the European Parliament, which ticks two boxes – price and quality.

Burger Republic, soon to celebrate its first anniversary, offers a great range of good quality burgers which are also remarkably well priced.

The catchy motto is “where quality meats” and that’s a good description.

This was the second branch to open in Brussels – a place of the same name and under the same ownership has existed at Place Flagey since 2011.

There is a brisk lunchtime (there’s a €15 burger of the day) and home delivery trade but it’s also open in the evening (except Sunday). The burgers are so tasty because they are all made from prime Irish Angus beef.

Notably, this is cooked to order meaning that the staff will ask you how exactly you want your burger cooked, be it rare, well done or just in between.

This distinguishes it from lots of other such places which rarely bother to ask what is, after all, an important question.

As the Polish-born chef Kamil Michalik says, it can totally wreck the dining experience if you want your meat well cooked and it is served pink.

“We bother to ask people how they want the meat cooked and that is pretty important!”

The French fries are all fresh and not frozen cooked (as is often the case). Again, the emphasis is very much on 100 per cent freshness.

Everything on the menu, which is the same at Flagey, is worth a try but, of the 13 burgers, there are some best sellers, including the bacon mushroom melt and the one with bacon and avocado. Another is called The Monk which is notable for its flavours and comprises Chimay cheese and caramelized onions

It is worth noting that you can substitute chicken for the beef on any of the burgers which is especially popular for those who don’t go for red meat of course.

For those who don’t like either, there is also a veggie burger on the fixed menu.

The chips here a bit special, too. Take, for example, the home made Frites BR which are very tasty and topped with cheddar  cheese and lard. The Frites Alabama is also worth a try. You will find both on the sides menu, along with various other suggestions such as mini croquettes fromage and tomates sechees which are mouth watering.

Don’t forget to sample one of the sauces, all without colorants and conservatives, which are the perfect accompaniment to the burgers.

If salad is more your thing, there are four salads to choose from. Of course, everything goes down well with a good beer or wine and you will find a nice choice of both on the menu.  The kids are not forgotten with some tasty milkshakes available as well.

The restaurant occupies what also used to be a wine bar/restaurant which is where Kamil used to work.

The interior has been changed and features a very pleasant décor which seems to replicate the Manhattan skyline.

It is all very relaxed and laid back and the ideal setting for a nice evening out.

Another great plus is the wonderfully mixed nationality of the staff, including those in the kitchen, who come from Canada, Belgium, Poland and Guinea – almost a mini version of Brussels itself!

The sign outside says “Life’s too short to eat bad burger.” One thing’s for sure: you won’t eat a bad burger here.

Burger Republic

Rue Caroly 37 - 1050 Ixelles; 02.427 07 00

www.burgerrepublic.be

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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