Today for lunch, the owner of my work took us all to lunch to celebrate one of the ladies 10 year anniversary. After trying to find a restaurant that would accommodate like 20 or so of us at the prime lunch time hour, we settled on Bastone Brewery.
Now Bastone touts itself as a Belgian brewery with Belgian inspired food. The first thing that caught my eye, of course (if you remember my fryraid), was they had pomme frittes on the menu, could they be the thin, salty, fries I was hoping for?
As soon as we started looking over the menu, baskets of warm bread were brought to the table with a chive infused butter. The bread was really good. Imagine a good French bread and a sourdough bread had a baby. That’s what this bread was. Crispy on the outside, warm, chewy and thick on the inside. Melt some chive infused butter on it – oh baby – there goes my diet!!
Before we could settle on a selection, the owner ordered appetizers of spinach artichoke dip and pomme frittes for all. The spinach artichoke dip was unlike any I had ever had. It was baked with what they advertise as four cheeses. The overall look and taste was that it had a cheddar cheese base, rather than a white cheese base. It was served with warm seasoned crostini. It was delicious. The pomme frittes, not quite as I imagined, stick thin and fried just til crispy, these were thin(ner) and twice fried, giving them the deep brown look and flavor of a hand cut fry. They were served salty in a paper cone, and came with a variety of mayonnaise dipping sauces (or Aioli’s). All just as tasty as the next. Garlic, horseradish, red pepper, artichoke, tarragon, basil and mammoet – which is one of the three new culinary words I learned today. In Belgium, fries are often served as a main dish, and always have some kind of mayonnaise. Mammoet is a tomato based mayo with garlic. soy sauce, onion and a sweetener.
Here is an interesting website on the history of the french fry, and appropriate preparation and toppings. Just in case you were interested.
For lunch, not that I even needed anything else, I ordered a burger. Now they have a burger served with braised beef cheeks and gouda, but I opted for the face free burger. I asked for thousand island for my burger, and was told they have no thousand island, no ranch. Those topping are simply too pedestrian for this place. I was given both artichoke mayo and mammoet. I also ordered pomme frittes. Don’t judge, I didn’t want to make a hog of myself with the ones for appetizers. The burger was cooked well, and seasoned properly. It had that slight charred flavor from a flame grilled burger. The bun was odd, but good. It was almost crispy on the outside, and really light on the inside.
Now others ordered, and here are my other two new culinary words I learned today, grilled Onglet with stoemp. Onglet, basically french for Hanger Steak, and stoemp, which is a mashed potato with carrots and spinach. I think they were good, but of course, can’t really speak for them. Just mentioned because of my two new words I learned.
The service was spot on, and they treated us really well for such a large party. Unlike other restaurants that say “Oh, we can’t accommodate a big party you have to leave!!” And you know who you are (**cough cough Parrot Cove**).
Omar has an aversion to Royal Oak, mostly due to the parking. As I work in Royal Oak now, I am getting to see the rich diversity and culinary adventures that Royal Oak has to offer and I am going to start dragging him there whether he likes it or not! Bastone is one I will drag him too. And that time I will be able to sample the Belgian beers and report back to you!!