Sometimes I get sick of being behind the camera all the time...
Happy belated Mothers' Day! I hope everyone had a nice, sunny weekend and got to spend some quality time with their moms. For Mothers' Day I usually buy my mom some variation of flowers and chocolate, but this year I was hoping for something a little different so I asked her what she wanted.
"Training gloves. I'm getting all these blisters from weight training that I'm going for lighter weights now."
So I went and picked up a pair of gloves. They were less than $20. Feeling inadequate, I had a bit of a "心血來潮" (literally, "rush of blood to the heart", but I guess the English equivalent is "a rush of blood to the head") on Thursday and decided that I wanted to take my mom out to Mothers' Day brunch. Obviously, all the hotels were already sold out, but then I saw the Martini Boys Mothers' Day Guide, which said that Belgo was serving a brunch too. I gave them a call, and was pleasantly surprised that they were still taking reservations. So I booked a table for five, and we headed out yesterday around noon.
Belgo is usually a French/Belgian Brasserie, serving up traditional dishes like French Onion soup and Moules et Frites with a bit of a modern twist. They also have an impressive selection of (mostly European) beers and wines. It's got an interesting, open multi-level setup which would be fine on any other day/evening, but as we were led up several flights of stairs, my parents began to gripe about how far they'd have to walk to get their food, but in the end, I was thankful that I got this tiny bit of exercise after all the food we had!
The buffet was separated into a cold appetizer table, a hot table, a dessert table, and an omelette station. My parents and I started with the cold section, which had a lovely breakfast spread of muffins, danishes and croissants before delving into the "lunch" part of brunch with marinated clams, mussels, and crab legs, a couple salads, and charcuterie. There were also these gorgeous Danish yogurt and granola parfaits served in a martini glass.
I grabbed a couple clams and mussels, which were good, but skipped out on the crab legs, which I tend to find too laborious to eat. My dad was great about taking apart some crab legs and feeding the meat to my mom. (Awww...) I also grabbed an eggplant and some tomato from their grilled vegetable salad (the eggplant was too raw for my taste) and some cold cuts, heirloom tomatoes and small cubes of cheese that tasted like it had horseradish in it for my first round of eating.
I displayed a complete lack of self control at the hot foods station, and totally filled my plate. There were breakfast foods like bacon, sausage and ham (I just grabbed the sausage), Eggs Florentine (the English muffin was too tough to chew, but I liked how it wasn't slathered in Hollandaise sauce and the poached egg was cooked perfectly), waffles with maple walnut syrup and roasted fingerling potatoes. However, it was the lunch foods that really stole the show - their "Poulet à la Bière" was very tender with a hint of alcohol (I initially thought it was wine) and the meat fell right off the bone and the seared pickerel was cooked perfectly (a gripe that my parents always have is fish that's overdone) paired with bacon bits roasted Brussels sprouts (!!!) The only gripe I had was with the asparagus, which was a little thick to begin with, and the tough ends weren't trimmed well enough. The cider brined pork loin (paired with sauerkraut) looked fatty and delicious too, but unfortunately there were no serving utensils to be found next to the dish, so I didn't have any.
Alas, I was too stuffed to grab an omelette, but while I was grabbing dessert (because, *ahem*, there's always room for that) I peeked over and saw a nice selection of veggies and meat as a topping, and I overheard the chef tell one of the customers that there was even shrimp!
But seriously, try to tell me with a straight face that you can resist these cute little petits-fours and gorgeous chocolate-covered strawberries. (I didn't go for a slice of torte or pie, I think that's a start.
The green one, a pistachio-chocolate square with wafer in the middle, ended up being the favourite. My sister was pretty proud of her gigantic (GMO?) chocolate-covered strawberry.
At $35 per person, the buffet was a little pricier than what my family would usually go for, but there were ample amounts of good food and it was a last-minute score that I was pretty proud of. The service could've been a little better - I think we came in in the middle of a shift switch so for a while the servers were MIA and we unclassily left our used plates on the next table over to make room for more food. Also, I'm under the impression that the servers were just not used to the whole buffet format as they kept on clearing our cutlery along with our plates! (More unclassy pilfering from the next table here.) Still, it was a great way to try some of their food, and if Poulet à la Bière or roasted Brussels sprouts are on their regular rotation, I would definitely go back. (The breakfast food wasn't as good, but that's probably why they usually don't serve it ;) )
501 8 Ave SW