Pistolet Original - An overpriced yet delicious Belgian concept
Before leaving to Japan, I wanted to change some money in the city center during my lunch break. On my way back I saw that Pistolet Original had an address Rue des Bouchers, next to the Galeries. Since I didn't bring food to the office that day and really needed to head back, I decided to get myself a pistolet to eat during my metro ride.
First of all, let's talk about Pistolets for those who wouldn't know about them :) A Pistolet is the name of a Belgian small round bread, extra crispy on the outside and soft/airy on the inside. It's something you will typically find at breakfast and that you can eat with whatever you want: jam, cheese, butter, cold meats etc. I remember that on weekends, my dad would buy some from a bakery and enjoy them with cold meats. It was almost a tradition :)
Pistolet Original fully focuses on this Belgian specialty and developed a full menu that works for breakfast, lunch and even a late afternoon snack. Currently, the brand has 2 addresses located not too far apart: the first one can be found Rue Joseph Stevens 24 and the other Rue des Bouchers 44. On top of offering eat in/take out, they also sell Belgian products in the grocery store section of the restaurant.
On the menu you can find a bunch of typical Belgian products as well as cold and warm options: beef tartare, tomato salad with grey shrimps, Ardenne ham, tuna and mayonnaise, etc. The place looks cozy with its white walls, red touches and 2-people tables. I also found the counter interesting, you can see all the possible fillings and they all looked quite fresh. They are presented in big bowls and the quantities displayed are small, probably to not waste food (I am guessing).
I wanted to try a warm pistolet and picked the newest recipe on the menu: breaded chicken breast with tarragon mayonnaise. My take away cost me 7,5€ and was ready within 5 minutes, it was just a question of warming up the chicken and assembling the pistolet. I was soon on my way and couldn't help but to smell the delicious aroma of tarragon coming from the wrapping...
I ended up not waiting to be in the metro to eat... I unwrapped the pistolet and enjoyed my food while I was walking through the Galeries to Gare Centrale. The chicken breast was still warm and the tarragon mayonnaise was really delicious! There could have been a bit more veggies or salad in there, that's the only downside when I think about the filling and flavor. By the time I reached the metro, I had finished the pistolet and I wasn't hungry anymore. Looks like one pistolet was enough to stuff me for a little while :)
In a way, I was glad to not be hungry after one pistolet because I did pay 7,5€ for it, when actally a bread roll costs at a bakery maybe 1€ and the filling couldn't have cost more ^^' Since it was a take-away I didn't enjoy the cozy setting for more than 5 minutes and the service was minimal as well. I really did pay just for the concept this time and because I was curious but honestly, I can get a snack or a club sandwich (small baguette, mayonnaise, 2 slices of cheese and ham, an egg and a bunch of salad and veggies) for half the price.
In short, Pistolet Original offers a nice concept and recipes but prices are be a bit expensive for what it is I think. Especially if you ask for a take away. I don't mind paying more if I can enjoy good food in a nice set-up with a good service, you probably know this if you read the blog. For me, there has to be something more than just a good concept for me to pay extra, I need service at the very least or to enjoy the location :)
All in all, I guess I would go again but I would definitely eat-in in order to justify a little more the price! Otherwise, I can't complain about the taste of the food or the quality, it was all good for a first time!
Have you visited Pistolet Original? What are your thoughts?