Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm a TOURIST! Pt. 2

The subtitle to this weeks episode of Tourism is "Wherein Scott finds out he is still allergic to shellfish."  I was born in Maine, both of my parents are from New English.  This means I am genetically required to enjoy shell fish and sea food.  Unfortunately genetics also decided to throw a cruel wrench into those requirements and made me allergic to most shell fish.  My parents thought it was a passing phase when I was young and kept feeding me Scallops... Einstein said insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.  I do enjoy shell fish (except scallops, I am psychologically opposed to scallops) from time to time. 
 But it has become a bit like alcohol, if I consume too much... well, you get the picture.  This weekends adventure brings us to Ste. Catherine.  I am lying a little, this is two different weekends that I happen to put into one.  This is probably a secret most travel writers wouldn't tell you.
A few days ago I told you guys I was starting to get into a morning routine: Wake up, shower, breakfast, headphones, work.  This is kinda like NYC except I've got a real commute and time to actually get into my music.  When I decide to TOUR things, I ditch the headphones because I want to pay attention externally not internally.  I only made this a conscious decision when going to Ste. Catherine as it is the same Metro stop as I go to for my office.  Immediately after getting out of the train, I took my headphones off so I could see my routine walk in a different light.  While I have noticed my surroundings during my morning routine, I haven't really examined them.
It turns out (according to mr. Time Out Brussels) Ste. Catherine is the old fish market, with the mass of restaurants as the only relic of that age.  I went to two separate places, one known for their Mussels the other for something different.  Now, if we were to consider mussels liquor, I have an extremely low tolerance so I found a place that had Appetizer portions.  I still ended up insulting the waiter by eating half a bowl of mussels, "You only ate Six."  I corrected him, "Huit" (that's eight in french, and I'm a jerk).  I'm unsure if he would have preferred the alternative had I finished the entire bowl.  
The second place I stopped at was Mer Du Nord, or North Sea.  This place was awesome for a lot of reasons.  You stand outside at a bar and order small plates.  This isn't necessarily a physical small plate, but more of a metaphorical small plate. The plates are meant as a tasting... going to a "small plates" restaurant you would usually order a bunch of small plates and enjoy the ride.
  Mer Du Nord is a ride in the North Sea:  Cold, lots of seafood and wine for lunch.  I watched the chef cook some shrimp on the grill while he fried my Haddock.  They had a wine list stocked with both White House Wine and Red House Wine.  I spent like seven Euro on that plate of fried fish and an OK glass of white wine.  I actually really enjoyed the experience because it was more about being social than it was about the food itself.  Don't get me wrong, I liked the haddock and the tasty salad with tartar and mayo, but the food wasn't the highlight.  
That's all for today, I thought I was gonna add more of the tourism in but there was plenty of content with just the two restaurants.  I've got some blog posts planned for the next few days, but we'll see what happens with office time.  Oh, I pulled 70 hours last week...  AND got sick from Mussels yay!  I think I just need more waffles.


  1. I don't eat/like shellfish but that photo makes them look yummy. I worked 40 minutes over 8 hours yesterday. It was tough but someone has to do it. PS I hear your monitor was stolen.

  2. 70 hours in one week. You deserve a raise. Also, I went to the New York Travel Show last weekend (Rick Steves was speaking) and there was a booth there for Beguim, and I told the woman standing at it that I had a friend who just moved to Brussels and she gave me a free copy of Time Out Brussels, and then I won a free copy of Time Out Marrakech from the Eurostar booth.

  3. Fun story, the Brussels guide book I ordered from Lonely Planet arrived in Jersey City the day AFTER I left