In a word, it's the beer. Beer is to Belgium what wine is to France or Italy. And we love beer!
The geography does not lend itself to vineculture, but the flat, wet lowlands are perfect for barley, hops, and wheat. And the variety of beer Belgium produces can challenge the most expert palate.
The cuisine, richly textured by geography, is as diverse as the cultural make-up of the people. French, Dutch, and German influences are immediately apparent.
So, why Belgium? Belgium embodies the rich cultural history of European hospitality, but lacks the pretense we Americans sometimes associate with things European. The association of beer with working class tastes makes seemingly high brow dishes more accessible to our democratic American sensibilities.
We may not be able to afford the finest wines in the world, but we can afford to drink world class beer. A beautiful 750ml bottle of Trappist Ale, purchased in a restaurant, often costs less than a drinkable California wine purchased at Safeway. And, really, which would you prefer to enjoy with a steak, a loaf of bread (grains), or a bowl of fruit (grapes)?
Here at Bel, we hope to approximate the experience of Belgian hospitality. Brussels sprouts and Belgian endives aside, we want to provide you with a taste of the Grand Place in Brussels—without the 13 hours of air travel.
Belgium in Pacific Standard Time.
CHEERS! - JEN AND RICH
3215 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA. 94110
Tues-Sun: 5pm to 10pm
Affligem blonde ale
Endives, blue cheese, filberts and figs
huyghe floris apple
Saffron infused Mussel Chowder, frites
st. feuillien la blanche/houblon chouffe
Housemade Venison Sausage with Sour Cherries
leifmann's kriek/rodenbach grand cru
Rabbit braised in Geuze with Spaetzel
st louis geuze/tripel karmeliet
Chocolate/Coffee Pound Cake with Huckleberries
kasteel barrista quad
$160 per person, tax and gratuity included
To reserve a seat, please call 415 206 1000
A few teasers of BEL's architectural features.
We commissioned several pieces from Alexa. Her beautiful work helps bring Belgium just that much closer to home.