Otomat

Belgians love eating pizzas at least as much as any nation, but most of the time they go for—not always successful—copies of the Italian originals. Otomat decided to take another direction, and now creates decidedly un-Italian, but nevertheless very tasty pizzas. Besides that, they’ve given beer a central role: Duvel yeast as an ingredient for the dough, and plenty of beers to pair the pizza with, even some local ones!


The Otomat establishment at the Vieux Marché aux Grains is not the first one: there are also Otomats in Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, and Leuven. For Brussels, it’s still an original concept though. As the choice of Duvel yeast already gave away, Moortgat and all of its beers feature heavily in the restaurant: not only on the beer menu, but also in the decoration, like the Duvel bottles as oil bottles on the tables.

Expect beers like Vedett, Chouffe, Boulevard‘s Tank 7, Liefmans, and De Koninck on draught, and as CraftWorks suggestion—if it’s still marketed as such?—a beer from ‘t IJ. It was a nice surprise however, and probably unique to the Brussels Otomat, to see De la Senne‘s Taras Boulba and Jambe-de-Bois, BBP‘s Ste Kat’, and En StoemelingsCurieuse Neus on the bottle list!

To be able to try just a little bit more than just one pizza each, we chose the Three of a Kind, which actually is one of each of three different kinds: a Ritmo de la Nacho, a Vol au Vent, and a Give Pears a Chance as dessert. When the pre-sliced pizzas—sharing is also very important at Otomat—arrived at the table, we couldn’t resist, and already started spreading out the soured cream on the Ritmo de la Nacho pizza before thinking of taking a picture, so our apologies for the messy photo!

The Vol au Vent was exactly what you would expect: a creamy mousseline sauce, little meatballs, and chicken. Give Pears a Chance—an apt name, given how vehemently some people already oppose pineapple on pizza—was not the typical overly sweet dessert pizza, but a nice balance between the blue cheese, and the pear and syrup.

Not all pizzas are as Belgian as the Vol au Vent though: the Ritmo de la Nacho was obviously inspired by the Latin-American cuisine, and we’d love to try the Madras another time. So which local beer would go best with those madras spices?


tl;dr

Beers

  • 6 beers on draught
  • A very Moortgat-heavy bottle list, but some beers from local brewers as well

Bites

  • A very Belgian take on pizza
Otomat
Oude Graanmarkt 6 Vieux Marché aux Grains)
1000 Brussel
+32 2 303 91 91
http://www.otomat.be

What have people been drinking here recently?