The impact of returning back to Brussels last week from a holiday in Malta was not only hard because of the temperature difference (nearly 20 degrees) but also because of the contrasting weather. From sun and blue skies to heavy rain and dark skies, the contrast could not have been starker.
After finishing the shopping chores, we were heading to the centre to buy a wedding present early in afternoon when on the right side of Chaussee de Charleroi on the way towards Avenue Louise we noticed Pasteleria Forcado. Now, I had read about this Portuguese place and its exceptional pastries but I had not yet looked up its location.
Given it was early afternoon and a good time for a coffee, we decided to stop and give it a try. I parked on Rue Americain and we headed to this welcoming coffee shop and tea room.
The impact was immediately positive. The interior of the place is clinical but at the same time very welcoming. The tasting room and serving area is spotlessly clean and the famous Portuguese pasteis were beautifully displayed.
I love Portuguese cuisine though I must admit I am not very familiar with it. But one bite of Forcada’s pasteis was enough to confirm that these were really special.
We had three different pasteis, the classic one from Lisbon with a touch of cinnamon, lemon and vanilla, a lemon one and a coffee Pastel de Nata. The taste of the three pasteis was enough to lift our spirits and put some brightness to a day in which the sun was finding it hard to make an appearance. The fillings were amazing and the pastry delicious and cooked to perfection.
Our daughter also wanted to try. I took her to the counter so she could choose and she picked a ‘cupcake’ with almonds and orange which was also excellent.
Verdict: There are many reasons to end up in this Brussels neighbourhood. Close to Place Chatelain and Avenue Louise this is worth a little detour. Actually, there is no excuse, if you are anywhere in Brussels and want to try something different from the traditional, albeit excellent, Belgian patisserie, then you have to go to Forcado.
You can find Forcado on Chaussée de Charleroi 196-198, in Ixelles. It is corner with Rue American and just below Avenue Brugmann. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday between 10am and 6pm.