Friday, January 18, 2008

I ate lots of cereal when I was a backpacker. But I never drank cereal wine, to my knowledge.

Delirium Cafe in Brussels is a schizophrenic place. Its personality differs, depending on when you show up. My usual rule is to visit in the early afternoons, when the place is quiet. That's so the bartender can hear me order the hard-to-pronounce beer buried in that phonebook of a menu.

At night, when it gets packed and boisterous, it's best to grab a spot at the bar. That's what I managed to do earlier tonight, even while students and backpackers filled the tables.

Because of those crowds, I've been neglecting Delirium lately. After browsing the new offerings in that massive list tonight, I know I need to get back more often. I get it. And to hammer the point home, the bar sent me off with 37 and a half centiliters of heaven.

The Rodenbach Vin de Cereale -- which roughly translates to barley wine -- pours a coppery gold from its paper-wrapped bottle. It's sour, tangy and fruity. No wait, go back and add superlatives to all three of those adjectives. It's also 10 percent alcohol, but you wouldn't know by tasting it. It was flat-out delicious.

Rumor is that there will be something like 40,000 bottles of this stuff out there, which is plenty. It won't be impossible to find. I'm hoping to buy a few, bury them in the cellar, and forget about them for a while.

Meanwhile, I'm glad Delirium and I can be buds again.

I still owe you a post on an odd little place in Saint-Gilles. Soon, soon. First, the missus and I are off to Dusseldorf this weekend. Altbier, here we come.

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