Bottom of the pit #3, Brussels

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I guess, if there is a lesson to be learned from this list it’s NOT to order paella in Brussels! It’s hard to reach the top of the culinary landscape. It’s easy to make mediocre food. Being with the top 10 worst restaurants of a particular area is (unless there are only 10 restaurants in that area) not that easy either! Let’s start with the 10 worst restaurants of Brussels, BE according to the people who visit them!

Brussels has about 2600 listed restaurants! These are the absolute worst! All of these restaurants have more then 10 reviews online. Some of these places have closed (for a good reason).

#10 L’Arlequin

We were enticed in by a promise of a good deal and yes the restaurant was very cosy, then the bazaar show started, it was like a parody, a comedy show of a shocking restaurant. The waiter was rude and did not show us the menu on offer – we thought we had got it wrong then my friend spoke out opening the floodgates – another couple joined in – they were duped too! The waiter’s response was so rude and defensive (he also muttered something in Spanish which was clearly offensive judging by the response of the young Spanish lady dining there). I saw his colleague outside attempting to entice others in and I signalled to them “no” he then responded by storming back in and pointing to me constantly and also during a discussion with mr rude I was pointed at the whole time. Very intimidating although mr rude agreed to throw in the starter and sweet with out overpriced main meal which was very sparce and when I say throw in I mean literally! I feel so intimidated even now – the whole experience was just so unbelievable – I think the authorities should investigate this place.

#9 Le Saint-Laurent

Went today – they tried the “credit card machine doesn’t work” scam — managed to force them to take a Visa card after refusing to “go to the cash machine with us” invitation. After much shouting and threatening on their part, they took the Visa (after refusing the Amex, despite the sign on the door). If you are caught in this scam, stand-up to the abuse and threats as they pass you from one person to the other. Eventually, they will take the card, but the best advice is to avoid. This is clearly a very practiced scam that goes on in the Grand Palace area, though we had no trouble in a nearby restaurant the day before. STAY AWAY!

#8 La petite Provence

Like many of the restaurants in the area, they do the hard sell on you to entice you in. “Attractive” fixed price menus €12/€18 and the promise you the finest seafood. The reality is very different. Once seated, you are suddenly on a grossly over priced a la carte menu or even worse, the unpriced ‘Specials’ which with a bit of research are priced at ~ €49 for a mixed platter. We realised what was happening and specifically requested the Fixed price menus which were now €18 or €25. By this time we had ordered the cheapest house wine which was €29. We sat at the entrance and observed their tactics being used on tourists mainly from outwith Europe, all on which are designed to rip you off. There is no quality what so ever about this restaurant. My food was ok (Lobster bisque & paella) but my wife ordered sea bass but it is very doubtful that what was served was actually sea bass. Service dreadfully slow for all diners (guess they want the restaurant to look busy) and they could not even pour wine properly spilling it twice. Dessert (crepes) was included but we got the impression that they hoped you would forget about it . Beware of the whole area – I would hope there are decent, genuine restaurants around but it is a real tourist trap to be avoided.

#7 Le Jardin de l’Ilot Sacre

We were suckered. Tempted in by the offer of a free aperitif. The meal was dreadful and it nearly spoiled the whole holiday. You’d be better to go hungry than to eat here. The restaurant claims that seafood is its speciality. DON”T BELIEVE IT. The clams were so rubbery they were inedible, the mussels resembled cockles, and the rice to the paella was missing key ingredients – like tomatoes, peas, peppers, garlic, or wine. The rice was heavily over seasoned – I’ve tasked better ‘boil in the bag’ rice. The meal came without offer of bread, or even napkins or wipes to clean our hands after eating seafood. The service was awful. There were four serving staff on, but we only saw one approach any of the tables. Service was painfully slow and not at all attentive. She didn’t take our drinks order until our food arrived and never once came near to ask how the meal was. We had to ask twice to get the bill. They charged us double what we were expecting and QUADRUPLE what the meal was worth.

#6 La Petite Fontaine

The whole street is filled with restaurants offering generic low cost meals (think spaghetti with a total menu for 12 euros). This La Petite Fontaine was no different. We were hungry so we came in. Inside they gave us the specials menu with the picture of a mixed tray of fish for 45 euros. We were three so we thought it was a reasonable price. They brought us some nasty wine that tasted like vinegar, awfull bread and a mix of fish and seafood that was horrible. By this time you start to understand why no local is in sight … Only tourist are caught in the trap … Wanting to leave as quickly as possible we ordered the bill and were astounished to see they charged 45 euros a person (instead of the assumed 45 for the tray showed in all their pictures) plus 9 euros a person for the most inedible salad of lettuce and tomato ever! We refused to pay and they threatened with the police, so we said go ahead. They not only didn’t call the police but grouped on the restaurant door with an agressive atittude. We started to get scared and called them ourselves. 10 long minutes afterwards they arrive and gave us their full support. We ended up paying 28 euros each instead of the inicial 68euros, but we still felt robbed! If it too late for you to stay away and are already inside in the same situation as ours don’t hesitate to call the police! They are super friendly and unfortunatly accostumed to this kind of complaints in that neighborhood….

#5 Le Mouton D’Or

We decided to go here because we were sucked in by the €10 lunch deal which included mussels, fries and a drink. It was very quiet when we arrived with just 2 other tables in the restaurant. We sat down and were given menus and asked what we would like for our complimentary ‘welcome drink’. We picked Kir Royale and were slowly served. When the welcome drink arrived we were ready to order. I told the waiter that I would like to have the €10 lunch deal and would like a beer as my drink. We were told that the welcome drink was the drink that was included…  I asked how did he know I would order the lunch deal and serve me the drink first? He said that that is the way it works… My 3 friends all had the same problem when ordering, confusing deals that don’t make sense and were clearly being ripped off. In hindsight we should have left then but we were having such a nice trip that we didn’t want to ruin it.  The food arrived and it was bland, tasteless and more than disappointing, it was unacceptable. We didn’t finish and asked for the bill. Some of the dishes included dessert but we didn’t bother to stick around. We left and got some fries just down the road. This place is horrible. The service is poor, the food is shocking and they are clearly just trying to rip you off. In fact, I think all of the restaurants in this little area of alleyways are and you will have a much better experience if you pay a little more and get your money’s worth and have an enjoyable experience. We certainly will never go back here and I hope that nobody else does either.

#4 Jaipur (Eat in/out)

I ordered a delivery at this place and I’ll never make that mistake again. I can’t even imagine going at the actual place. I’m thankful not having to experience the place itself, but the delivery I was served was a total joke. I ordered for 4 people various dishes, from appetizers to drinks, and none of it came correctly. We paid a very expensive amount for the food, but the dishes were nothing like we expected. The order came wrong, none of the dishes ordered were delivered, we were given some rice, papadum, scampi, Fanta, etc which we didn’t order. Half the dishes were missing! When paying, the delivery person assured us all the dishes were included, though we were skeptical since we had ordered more or less 6 dishes, with extra drinks. The portions were ridiculously small, tasteless; the soup was served in an aluminum plate and looked more like a sauce for the rice –not sure if it was the soup to be honest–. I would definitely not recommend you this place! Restaurants like this should be banished. 

#3 Au Boeuf Qui Rit

After a long day of site seeing, my friends and I went to this restaurant because were craving for Paella. Boy, that was big mistake! Yes, we were very excited and we JUST wanted to have Paella, and we ordered one without looking at the menu (our fault). First, they served us each, a free glass of sangria, which was good. During our wait for our food, however, when we asked for water, the waiters seemed too busy for us. Given that we were the only customers in the restaurant, they didn’t seem to have time for us but only for their phones. The wait for Paella wasn’t bad and it tasted really delicious too. However, when we were done and asked for our check, once again, both the waiter and waitress were busy with their phones or chatting up with their friends. They finally bring our check out and we find out that our total just for Paella was €150!!! We later looked at the menu and realized that our waiter failed to mention that there were 3 different types of Paella and he just decided to give the “tourists” the most expensive “Royale” Paella. Mind you, this is a place where the stand outside the restaurant to talk to tourists walking by and ask to pick their restaurant. Conveniently, their credit card machine was not working either so we had to find an ATM machine to pay the bill. And, once we were done paying, they rushed us to leave because they were closing.

#2 La Bergerie

We ended up in La Bergerie as it was one of the restaurants open late. When they were taking our order, the waiter kept asking us questions really fast without giving us time to think. Our drinks order took ages to get to us and they couldn’t even get my water order correct. I had fish and my boyfriend had the flemish stew. The stew was lukewarm and obviously been cooked earlier in the day. The chips were oven chips and lukewarm. We where given some lukewarm vegetables. It took ages for us to get our bill and then were very surprised that our meal for two was €107.75! They charged us €7.00 for two portions of oven chips. €14.00 for two portions of mixed salad (mainly lettuce with some carrot on top), and €18.00 for the two portions of lukewarm overcooked vegetables. We didn’t want all these side-dishes but the waiter asked us so fast we didn’t understand what he was asking until we saw the bill. We were charged €22.00 for the lukewarm stew. My fish dish was charged as €35.00. I got a menu and pointed out that I didn’t order the Dorade Royal costing €35.00; I had ordered the sea-bream which cost €29.00. Apparently the sea-bream was priced at €35.00 on the day we were at the restaurant even though this is not what was on the menu. Funny how our waiter didn’t tell us that! They had the gall to try and get my boyfriend to add on a 10% tip for our bad service, saying this is the custom in Belgium. A load of nonsense, tipping is not a custom in Belgium as service is usually included. Definitely will avoid this restaurant and all the others on La Petite rue des Bouchers on my future visits to Brussels.

#1 Le Marin

The picture shows a paella and underneath written “2 pers.” and the guy from restaurant told us it costs 25€. Everbody will understand it as the paella for 2 person costs 25€. But at the end he charged us 50€ and said it was 25€ per person. In addition, I ordered only one bottle of water, 0.5L for 5€. He brought two bottles of water and poured into our glasses when we went to the toilet. When we were back, everything was already done. Never go to this restaurant! They just took advantage of us, because we are tourist and we dont speak their language! Shame of Spain! Shame of Belgium!!

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Mr Eggplant

Born on a hot sunday morning near Pripyat in 1986.