Thursday, 30 October 2014

Brussels best burgers – the next edition

I know the ladies over in BFF are on a quest to find the best burger in Brussels. Likewise, I’ve ended up testing (all in the name of research you understand) several burger joints around town with some friends*, including Les Super Filles de Tram, Amour Fou, the Hard Rock Café, and last night we were in the latest place to open in Brussels, Manhattns, on Avenue Louise near the Michael Collins.
We got there at 19h, and it was already heaving, and stayed that way until we left at 20h. It’s quite noisy and dark, but the décor is gorgeous – yellow and black – with detective comic style graphics, raw brick walls and solid wooden tables.

Manhattn's Gatsby burger with fries

The place was packed. Brussels' beautiful people were out in force. There were a lot of good looking young fellas in good suits, so this place seems to be quite popular with the local legal offices.
When you get there, you should first grab a table and then queue to the left to order your burger. I was in line for about 10 minutes. You can pick up copies of the menu or read the fare on the board over the counter. They have the usual beef burgers, which you can get pink or not pink, and veggie, chicken and salmon options. The burgers have various toppings including cheese, bacon, sauce and salad extras. I got the Gatsby burger, which has compté cheese, carmelised onions, sautéed mushrooms and a truffle glaze. I took the 'godfather' menu option, which includes a soft drink and fries for around €15.
When you order you get a widget that beeps and lights up when your order is ready, and you collect it at the hatch on the right hand side of the counter.
So, the food: the fries come in a cardboard box. They were disappointing considering we were in the home of fries (Belgium) and in comparison to other burger places. But the sauce was tangy, so pluses and minuses there. And the main event? Well, the burger was really good – tasty, meaty, the truffle wasn’t overpowering as it so often can be, the onion was sweet but I couldn’t taste the mushrooms. It was messy to eat, but in a good way and the burger didn’t fall apart (very important) while I was eating. The bread was very good – spongy, absorbent, soft without disintegrating and crunchy on top.
We were trying to figure out how to order dessert or more drinks should we want them. The guy who came to collect our dishes said that if we wanted anything we could ask him (we asked out of curiosity), but seeing as this was the first time a staff member we saw since we’d ordered, this would have been a bit difficult!

Will I go back? Yes, I will go back for the burger – less so for the chips, but I will wait a few months for the hype to die down, as it was far too packed. I was sitting with my back to the queue and it was a bit disconcerting to have people permanently behind me while I was eating. My companions said that the people queuing were staring at our table. We agreed that they could possibly do with another till for taking orders, which would help the queue move a bit quicker.

*My lovely friends got back to me and said that they want to be mentioned, so I was out with The Lovely Rose of the Nuetnigenough review, Lovely Friend who came to the Cheese n Wine Sauvages with me, and Lovely Irish Friend. 


  1. While I have completed my search for the best burger in Brussels, there are still a couple of places I need to tick off my list. Manhattns is one of them but having seen how crowded it gets I will surely wait for a while. Good to know the burgers are delish though; now I'm even more curious :)


  2. Yupp - Michelle & I attempted to try out Manhattn's the Friday after they opened - but after 30min and the queue not moving (and at least 1hr worth of wait still ahead of us)... we decided to try them ANOTHER time...

    I hear that they are investing in a 2nd till... so until then... we shall wait

  3. We went to the Manhattns at Bourse in March 2016. To be honest, we were not very impressed. The fries are really disappointing, the service not great, and the burger very average. We think that the Ellis burgers are better (not saying they are the best in Brussels, just that they are better). We've not tried the one in Avenue Louise though.

    Emma @