Brussels Day Three- Lunch at De Heeren Van Liedekercke
Our third day in Brussels was easily my favorite day of the entire trip. I woke up without a touch of illness in sight and was beyond ready to spend the day eating and drinking our way through two incredible places- the first stop De Heeren Van Liedekercke.
This restaurant and bar is in the town of Denderleeuw, a 30 minute train ride followed by a 30 minute walk from Brussels. We were a bit worried as it poured almost all afternoon but somehow we missed the sheets of rain both coming and going. Luck was definitely on our side at this cozy tavern.
Gueuze happens to be my favorite style of beer so after holding off the past few days I was ready to dive right in with a full on gueuze lunch starting with a funky Mort Subite (brewed at the restaurant from the day before) and the flagship Oude Geuze from Drie Fonteinen.
These gueuzes couldn't be more different; the Mort Subite was malty and sweet while the Drie was bright with fresh lemons. A really nice contrast for the start of the gueuze session.
We planned on staying at DVHL most of the afternoon so a few bar snacks were in order before delving into lunch like the incredible Cheese Croquette. This looks very similar to the one we had the night before at Chez Leon but there was absolutely no comparison in flavor- this was leagues above. The crisp outer shell hadn't a trace of grease while the inside was loaded with a pungent, creamy house cheese that was fantastic.
To enjoy with this delicious snack and continue with the gueuzing day a bottle of Crianza Helena. This beer was created for the owners of De Heeren by Cantillon Brewery back in 2008 to celebrate the birth of their daughter. It's a blend of 40 month old lambic aged in cognac barrels, 30 month old lambic aged in Bordeaux barrels and a 15 month old lambic.
This gueuze had that familiar barnyard smell but with an extra wet musty hay and oak aroma. The flavor was crazy complex; big white grape, lemon zest, stewed peaches, lavender and white pepper all jumped out of the glass with a lively but delicate carbonation.
As we sipped on our Helena we were given a delicious little amuse bouche from the kitchen of mushroom soup and salmon salad...
...and then one of the best dishes of the entire trip Mr. T's Mince Meat Cassoulet loaded with sliced potatoes, more incredible house cheese broiled golden brown and topped with a garnish of fresh parsley. This not only looked incredible but was one of the deepest, most satisfying dishes we've ever enjoyed- Brussels or otherwise. We probably could have just shared this but I had my heart set on "Tom's Favorite" a simple but delicious sandwich made with mozzarella cheese, fresh tomato and green pesto.
After all that wonderful food we decided there was time for one more bottle of gueuze before heading back to Brussels; one of my top 5 beers of all time Drie Fonteinen Lente.
This beer is everything I want and love in a gueuze; bright and bubbly with that incredible toasted sesame flavor and gorgeous fluffy white head. I LOVE THIS BEER. I could try and tell you how happy I was at this point but words wouldn't even come close to describing it. I was also feeling incredibly lucky again as the waitress said it was their very last bottle of Lente.
In addition to the ridiculous beer list and amazing food the staff at De Heeren were some of the sweetest people we met in Brussels. Plus we able able to take home a few special bottles from their list. This will definitely become a regular stop on our trips to Belgium. What a delightful little way to spend the afternoon.