I love the Belgian Cafe. I have spent an inordinate amount of time here because it is “sort of” in my hood. Plus, it has an exceptional selection of Belgian brews on tap. When I was in the U.S., I under-appreciated Belgian beers because there were so many other options. And frankly, I am an IPA guy. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and I have developed a taste for the hops, haha. Those aren’t a thing here, so the floral aroma of a good Belgian is the next best thing.
So now that I am in the Middle East, my baseline has shifted, and I appreciate Belgians on a level I never could before. I also appreciate the wide variety of glasses they use to serve different beers. It reminds me of the beer snobbery of my homeland, and on some level I find it endearing and nostalgic.
The happy hour offerings here are exceptional, and they have different specials throughout the week. They have four on tap, all at QR25 per 500ml glass from 4-6pm every day (and sometimes starting at 2pm or ending at 8pm depending on the day).
As far as I am concerned, that’s a reason in itself to visit. Particularly for the Leffe Blonde and Brun selections, which are (at best) only available at a couple of other places in the city, and only in bottles. Those two brews are the closest to beer snobbery as I think I’ll get in Doha.
The food is pretty good too. People seem to go buck wild for the mussels. I have never had them, but they smell awesome and I think you should get them. I’ve had mixed past experiences with mussels, so I am reluctant to get them myself unless I have someone who LOVES them with me so I can be sure they won’t go to waste if I do not like them. But every time a pot of mussels goes by me here, I feel a little bit jealous. I want to get me some bread and dip it in that juice.
I can vouch for the burgers and fries, a form of cuisine I consider myself to be particularly expert in. I have had their sliders, I have had their burgers and pint deals, and every time I have been pleased. Cooked to order (I’m a medium rare guy), and well-appointed in terms of condiments.
The fries are delicious Belgian-style thick cut fries, but don’t tell them that because they charge an arm and a leg for them a la carte, haha. If I’m not ordering them with a burger, I feel like I have been robbed. I don’t care if they come in a cute paper cone stamped with the logo, they aren’t worth QR40.
The service here is dear to my heart. I have met several servers here during the time I have been frequenting the Belgian, and I really respect their professionalism. They have learned my name and have treated me so specially that I really feel like it is my neighborhood pub, even though I have to wander through a fancy hotel lobby to get to them.
I have spent more than one Christmas (err, “holiday time”) in this place, and have cried my eyes out when a Filipino chorus came in and sang a “holiday time” medley. I wasn’t the only one. There is a sense of camaraderie and intimacy at the Belgian that I have not experienced at any other venue in Doha.
It gets smokey in here as the night wears on, so be warned. But the beer is great, the food is good, and the people are awesome. You should check it out.