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“Cozy small cafe in the heart of Brussels ”
Review of BIG MAMA

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Ranked #657 of 4,040 Restaurants in Brussels
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Belgian, French
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Reviewed 11 August 2018 via mobile

Absolutely spontaneous visit become very pleasant lunchtime with friendly personnel and delicious food. Waffles has been cooked within 15 minutes and tastes perfect.

Thank Dacassar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 - 5 of 181 reviews

Reviewed 9 July 2018

While visiting Brussels, my girlfriend and I were looking for a drink and possibly lunch. So we sat down at the terrace, ordered some drinks (a specialty beer and some bio-lemonade) and checked out their menu. Their prices were a bit steep (that's not uncommon in Brussels city center however), but since we had practically no cash left (€10) I asked the waiter if we could pay by card. The waiter (possibly owner) assured us that this would be no problem.

The waiter then asked if we wanted to order food and I said 'well, we perhaps after another drink', since we had an extensive breakfast only two hours ago. So I ordered another specialty beer. While drinking it (which took only 10 minutes or so) we decided not to have lunch yet, since we were still a tad full. So I went in and asked for the bill. This turned out to be €14,30 or so.

So I grab my Bancontact card (Belgium's debit card system) and offer to pay, telling him to make it €16 as a tip, expecting this to be no problem......except it was. The waiter made a 'no can do' hand gesture and explained that since we didn't order any food, we could't pay per card.

A bit flabbergasted I told him that we had only a €10 euro bill on us, that we specifically asked beforehand if we could pay per card and that no conditions were given. The guy didn't want any of this however, and basically asked me to leave my girlfriend here, get some money from an ATM and pay him. When asking him for directions and specifically if there was an ATM nearby, I basically got the answer "there might be one on square X over there"

Not looking for drama, I quickly checked google maps and the nearest ATM was about 500 meters away. So I went there, returned, paid the guy and asked him why he had such a weird card policy. He then claimed that card transactions costs 'a LOT of money' in Belgium and that they simply refused this service for 'drinks only' customers.

I simply nodded to this, knowing that the maximum transfer fee for Bancontact lies between the 7 and 17 cents per transaction (depending on the transaction size and what contract you have). Which meant that my already offered tip of almost €2 easily covered this.

This means that either he's a liar, unaware of the actual transactions fees, bad at math or a plain jerk. But customer-unfriendly in any of the given scenario's.

It would be unfair to tell the Tripadvisor community to stay away from this place, because it could have been an incident. (although some other reviews seem to match my experiences) But -if- you decide to have drinks or food here, be aware that there might be some unwritten/unspoken rules.......

Personally however, I will never visit this place again.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Xandriana N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2018 via mobile

My husband and I took a seat at the outdoor seating. After waiting about 10 minutes I was able to waive the waitress over. We then both ordered drinks. The waitress then asked if we were having food. We told her drinks only and she said they are a restaurant so we needed to order food or we couldn't sit there. We looked around and there was no one else with food. Everyone had drinks only. When we pointed this out to the waitress claimed they'd be ordering food too. However, we left and came back 20 minutes later to see if anyone had food and the same people were there and still no one had food. We went to a nice placed called Coming Soon. Good food and very cheap drinks.

Thank Jo C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2017 via mobile

Small place with a rather small "mama" servicing and I assume papa in the kitchen. He is the weak spot. My linguini with crunchy veggies had rather soggy, overcooked veggies instead. Other dishes were OK but nothing special. Wine average. So, even with the nice service I would advise to look around a bit. Average isnot the standard in Brussels.

Thank Hans Thomas H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2017 via mobile

We searched for a place to eat away from gran place.
It's located about 3 minutes from grand place.
Small nice place. We ser outside.
Ordered beers and meat loaves with mashed potatoes. The food was very tasty. Both my wife and I liked it very much.

The owners - woman is cold in a way. Strict. The man is friendly, funny guy.

Overall price is a bit high compared to the location.

Thank sagivg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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