Pistolet, Paquet, Mitraillette

While sauntering through Brussels, I noticed people not only eating in-doors, but also at tables on the pavement, even on the go. My stomach and brain agreed: it was lunch time.

I was in the Marollen; not near the lovely Eglise des Sablons, nor near the small deli and restaurant right next to the Eglise des Minimes. The Eglise de la Chapelle was within sight and walking distance! There happened to be a fritkot next to this church I had not recently visited. (See “Best Fritkot”.) Like “Antoine” and “Frit Flagey”, the “Fritkot Chapelle” at Place de la Chapelle is also regularly mentioned in lists of “meilleur fritkot en Bruxelles”.

It usually is less crowded than the other two. When I arrived, there was only one couple in front of me. This was a nice change from the two very long queues at Antoine and the queue at Frit Flagey.

My French is not that good and I should have read the menu first. So when I ordered a small portion in my best French, the owner smiled and nodded: I wanted a “paquet”. That is the ordinary word for a portion and he offered a choice between small (“petit”) and normal. I settled for the small “paquet”, for don’t be fooled. As is so often the case in Belgium, small is what in other EU countries is deemed normal size. It costs 2 Euro and the normal portion only 0.50 Euro more. A helping of the listed sauces sets you back another 0.50 Euro. At this fritkot, your portion is served in a carton cone with a paper napkin. The carton cone has a small “poche” at the top. Your sauce is in this small container.

When my cone was handed across the counter, I picked a small plastic fork, walked to an empty bench, sat down and admired the church while eating my lunch. Other tourists as well as locals strolled around eating their frites admiring the square’s big fountain, or chatting to each other. It was all quite relaxed and laid-back. Place Jourdan is quite crowded, but here as Place Flagey, it is far less bustling. However, unlike at Place Flagey, there are less benches. So you may end up having to eat your paquet standing.

The fries were just as I liked them and better than the portion I had at Frit Flagey. So as far as I’m concerned this is the best fritkot so far. You can also order snacks to go with your French fries and even a selection of combinations of snack + French fries + soft drink. I did not check, but they may even offer a “mitraillette”.

This is a Brussels version of the Turkish-Dutch “kapsalon” (hairdresser’s) dish: half a French stick sliced open, with warm meat or a snack, French fries, sauce, and occasionally salad. Something to try next time?

A description of the “kapsalon”;
A description of the “mitraillette”;
Info on Brussels fries and list of fritkots: frites

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One thought on “Pistolet, Paquet, Mitraillette

  1. Those fries are making me hungry! I like the fresh cut ones with skin- on. White vinegar on them sometimes, or Heinz ketchup. Linda

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