El Vergel: the new era

There once was a lovely group of girls who liked to gossip lunch together from time to time, taking a break from the hectic work day to enjoy some Latin American food at what might have been the most popular lunch venue in the European quarter of Brussels: El Vergel.

UNTIL RECENTLY.

Now there is heartbreak in the European quarter as it seems El Vergel has changed hands and it is just not the same…

For those who have never been, El Vergel was a magical place where talk of the European financial crisis, directives and comitology seemed to disappear in a sea of tacos, Chilean stews and cheesecake. With a simple, inexpensive menu, very simple furnishings, big wooden tables and walls you could color on (!), it quickly became a destination of choice for gossipy business lunches. How cute is this place?

I personally was a fan of the churrasco queso, a south american sirloin steak on homemade chilean village bread with melted gouda cheese, tomatoes, salsa and chili. It was even better if you added quacamole. Their empanadas and tostadas were also something to try (at least once a month). You can check out their menu here.

And yet, that lovely group of girls returned from the winter holiday to discover that the chilean village bread was no longer toasted, the tacos had less toppings and the empanadas were smaller… the taste for the most part was the same – don’t get me wrong, it is still worth visiting – but there was a tiny bit of heartache as we all realised it just was not the same. Collective sighs and mock sad faces all around.

In all fairness, we are tough critics and we should give the new management some time to get its act together. The restaurant has a solid foundation to build on and as long as they have their cheesecake, I will return! Stay tuned as we will review again in about a month.

Photos and menu via El Vergel Brussels

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