After our brief visit to Belgium, we stopped by Lille in Northern France. We wandered the city centre for a while, checking out the local shops and quiet streets. I bought a new wallet 🙂
We stopped for lunch at Estaminet ‘T Rijsel, a teeny Flemish restaurant on the Rue de Gand. The restaurant was dark and was lined with picture frames and mismatching timber chairs. We were welcomed by the owner and ordered a local beer from the long beer menu.
It was hard to choose, but the owner recommended one of their specialties – a beef stew. Beef stewed in beer. Beer??! I had no idea what this would taste like. I was presented with a rich beef stew. It was thick in consistency and had clearly been stewing for hours. The beef flaked away and the stew itself was slightly sweet. The stew came with a side of frites – just as good as Bistrot Paul Bert in my opinion. I was happy with my stew – and it was less than €10.
Mr Ana ordered a board (le panche) with a number of home-made things on it – pate, sausage, rillette (a rough version of pate), and some cheese. This also came with a side of frites. Some might find a side of hot chips weird, but I swear these chips were really yummy. Super crunchy and crisp, but still fluffy on the inside. The sausage and rillette was tasty, as was the pate. The pate was a little rich in liver for me, but that is just my personal taste. The ‘board’ was €12.
I also ordered dessert – a generous slice of spiced chocolate cake with a scoop of speculoos ice cream… Ah, my tummy was happy.
This little restaurant was charming. Thankfully we went after the lunch rush so our food came out promptly and we had responsive service. If I have the fortune of returning to this side of the world, I think I’ll stop by and have some more stew. And some speculoos ice cream… hmm, I think I’ll go and raid my stash of speculoos biscuits!