sur la place

In spot on January 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm

last weekend he and i decided to try a new belgian restaurant on macarthur boulevard called sur la place.

they opened not long ago, so we were only a little surprised when we were told we could be seated, but “the kitchen was backed up” and we’d have to wait 20 minutes to order. no trouble, we were in no rush, so we chose two seats at the bar and ordered drinks. to my untrained eye, they had a fairly decent-looking selection of belgian beer and some tasty wines.

when they finally appeared, the mussels were almost outstanding – i had “dijonaise” and he had “red devil” – and the fries were even better. however, when i asked for ketchup (apologetically, i might add), i was told haughtily by the bartender that there was no ketchup in the building and that were he to ask the chef for some, he would have something thrown at him.

ok, listen, i get the whole, they-don’t-eat-ketchup-in-belgium thing, and i guess i appreciate authenticity, but this is AMERICA where the customer is ALWAYS RIGHT and if i want freakin’ ketchup with my fries I SHOULD GET KETCHUP!

what made this gesture even more ironic, however, was that the menu was far from strictly authentic. this place is no belga, no et voila (and both will produce ketchup upon request). while i highly enjoyed my mussels cooked in mustard, they are simply not authentic.

and neither were the “red devil” mussels, the jamacian mussels, the “snob” mussels with lobster bisque or the “popeye” with spinach and bacon. so get off your high horse and bring me some ketchup, man!

next time i think i’ll whip a bottle out of my purse just to see if they break out in hives.

next time, you ask? yes. it really was delicious and i’d be happy to go back. especially on a tuesday night when they apparently have a 3-course dinner for $30 a person. i’m just bringing my own condiments.

the final nail in the coffin of hypocrisy was at the end of the meal when we asked the bartender – the same bartender who remarked about how well i had cleaned my plate. so totally uncool – which mussels were his favorite.

he’s never tried mussels, he says, they look weird.

final score
sur la place: A-
the bartender: D

  1. Ketchup should be a human right, but the Belgians know all about trampling all over those!

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