At the moment we are all spending a lot of time at home. Some people are simply continuing to work with the help of modern communication tools and with some adjustments to their daily routine, their home office and house rules. Anyone who is confined to their homes must come up with different activities. Playing games, reading books, trying out dance moves, cooking and much more. We want to get everyone barbecuing.
The art of barbecuing or grilling is highly regarded by VIAGE and is applied at top level in our restaurant ‘VIAGE Grill’. The best quality meat and fish end up on an Australian 360 ° broiler grill. Due to the heat of the grill, every piece of meat is immediately seared so that it remains deliciously juicy inside. Furthermore, no additional fat is required for preparation in the broiler. We only work with the best butchers in Belgium and even in Europe and do in-house dry aging or dry maturing. This process ensures that the meat becomes more tender and develops more flavour during preparation.
Now that we are beginning to feel the spring sun on our face and hands, we can also get the barbecue out of the garden shed or cellar. No equipment yet? Or a terrace, but no garden? Online you can find a table-top version of the indispensable equipment for the true meat-eater from reputable brands such as the Belgian Barbecook. Table-top barbecues are safe and handy small barbecues, usually without a base, that you put on the table so that you can barbecue at the table. Just as with normal barbecues, you can choose from various models using charcoal, gas or electricity. With a table-top model, you no longer have to go back and forth between the barbecue and the table, so you don’t miss any of the conversation with your friends at the table. Normally an advantage, but after weeks of sharing joy and sorrow with just your housemates, you might like to give the dishes an extra twist.
Whether you call it grilling, barbecuing or BBQ, it’s all about the same age-old process of cooking with the help of a fire. About 2000 years ago, the French roasted wild boar from beard to tail on a large skewer over an open fire. In South America they are familiar with barbacoa, smoking or cooking meat or fish on hot coals in an excavated oven in the ground.
With the help of your own barbecue, you can bring ‘VIAGE Grill’ into your own home in anticipation of dinner with us. Holstein, Hereford, Black Angus and Blanc Blue Belge are some of the beef breeds we use and that you can buy from the better class of butcher in your area. Drop by at the greengrocer’s for, for example, paprika, courgette, fennel, mushrooms, corn on the cob or sweet potatoes. These vegetables are all great on the grill, as well as being low-calorie.
Getting the right products or having them delivered, setting up your barbecue, cutting the vegetables, beating sauces and setting the table nicely, before you know it, your day is completely full. If you decide to eat outside, think of blankets to keep you nice and warm. Candles on the table and safely on the ground help to create a festive atmosphere. If you let anything burn at all, or if the dog snatches your meat in an unguarded moment, you still enjoyed the day and you can still enjoy your beautiful setting.
Finally, take some photos: of your dish, your barbecue, your housemates enjoying your festive dinner, etc. and share them with us here. We will choose a winner who will hopefully be able to compare their own grilling skills with ours very soon. Yes, the loveliest, most original, funniest, … photo will be offered a dinner for 2 at our restaurant ‘VIAGE Grill’. Our competition will continue until the end of the lockdown. Get grilling!
Comic-strip hero Lucky Luke, the cowboy who is faster than his own shadow, owes his name to the above-average share of happiness allotted to him on his path in life. In every comic, the poor lonesome cowboy rides into the setting sun after thwarting the villains’ plans and making the world a better place locally.
Being a comic-strip hero obviously has its advantages in terms of having luck on your side. For ordinary people made of flesh and blood, like you and I, being lucky is more of a game of chance. To increase the chances, we like to reach for assistance. After all, you never know.
In a casino, which is about chance, games and luck, a whole range of rituals and lucky charms can be found under one roof. Under the motto: it doesn’t hurt to try, we enable you to benefit from this. No one would say no to some extra luck, particularly in these strange times.
Those who won’t take advice but secretly prefer to err on the side of caution can cross their fingers or touch wood. For a constant feeling of safety, put a four-leaf clover, a rabbit’s foot or a horseshoe in your pocket.
The fully-fledged player goes for lucky numbers. Seven, three and eight are the most obvious. However, that is precisely why you should not choose them. If you want to increase your chances in a game by using a lucky number, then you are better off opting for your own, unique number. And no, it is better not to take the so-called unlucky number thirteen. Celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Taylor Swift and LL Cool J have already preceded you. Invoking luck by applying the reverse reasoning of misfortune is a well-known technique. So feel free to leave your black cat at home…
Colours also have hidden symbolism often, especially in Chinese culture. Both red and yellow/gold are identified with luck. In addition, red reflects happiness while yellow and gold represent the imperial monarchy.
It has never been scientifically proven that any of these symbols and rituals work. Although…A belief in superstition gives the person in question more self-confidence, which of course helps. So if a football player, a casino visitor or someone who wants to avoid corona feels more at ease wearing their favourite yellow pants, keeping a rabbit’s foot in their inside pocket, or their fingers crossed and wearing a red handkerchief around their ankle, there is nothing exceptionable about this.
Yes, we are closed, and we think – as do you too, hopefully – that is highly regrettable. However, … there is nothing to prevent you from honing your casino skills at home, or from trying out your best poker face in the mirror. Casino games in quarantine – for something a bit different …
Because the aim is not to arrange a casino evening at home, of course, we are focusing on solo activities. A nice game of cards is indispensable in this case.
By the way, did you know that the Chinese invented card games? The first traces of paper playing cards date from the seventh century. According to tradition, Emperor Mu-Tsung played ‘domino cards’ with his wife. Symbols such as a horse, crow, pheasant, fish, or rabbit were depicted on these cards.
Card games were first introduced into Europe in the fourteenth century. The first cards were made by hand, but that was very time-consuming and costly. The printing press was what gave an impetus to card games.
In films you often see artists at work shuffling a deck of cards in the most ingenious manner. Is that something you can practice yourself?
Or would you rather stick with your poker face? As you are no doubt aware, in many cases non-verbal rather than verbal communication is more important. Look out for sudden movements of the eyebrows and lips. That is an indication of nervousness. And if you begin breathing more rapidly, your smart opponents will notice something is up. This can happen when the flop (the first three cards), the turn (the fourth card) or the river (the fifth card) is shown. Your breathing can express excitement or disappointment when the cards are shown. Incidentally, touching your nose or ears is not a good idea either when playing poker. This indicates a certain level of unease that is at odds with the concept of ‘adopting a poker face’.
So find your perfect poker face. Perhaps you can practice during one of our favourite poker films. We are happy to propose a selection for you:
James Bond and villain Le Chiffre take their seats around the poker table in Montenegro. The stakes are sky-high and the tension great. A rollercoaster with special effects that has a surprising climax in Venice.
Matt Damon and Edward Norton shine in this poker film from 1998. Two shrewd poker fanatics play to pay off Norton’s debts. He has just been released from prison and is being pursued by a gang of heavy-handed creditors.
Maverick, played by Mel Gibson, is a gambler who wants to compete in a well-known championship on a riverboat. It is a high-stakes ‘Winner Takes All’ poker game. In order to participate, he needs USD 25,000. To increase his chances, he forges a pact with a female poker player (played by Jodie Foster).
The Cincinnati Kid
The Cincinnati Kid, notorious in 1930s New Orleans, is a true classic. ‘The Kid’ (played by Steve McQueen) takes on the legendary champion ‘The Man’ in a high-stakes poker game. What follows is a tremendously exciting poker game to decide who will become the poker king of New Orleans.
Photo ⓒ MomoFotografi
‘Panem et circenses’ translated as ‘bread and games’ – these are the satirical words used by the Roman poet Juvenalis to challenge the free food and circus performances laid on by the great emperors. As long as people had enough to eat and were kept entertained, they failed to notice the decadence and decay creeping over the great Roman Empire in the first century A.D.
Although originally intended mockingly, these words may sometimes pervade your mind. Who hasn’t experienced that feeling of an empty stomach as you return home after a night out, a show or a concert? Without any shortage of entertainment, but a deficit in the food department? Apart from a greasy snack, after about 10 p.m. there isn’t much on offer on the culinary front. Unless…
Unless you are lucky enough to be wandering around feeling hungry in the centre of Brussels. At VIAGE we understand the need for both bread and games. The entertainment factor of a casino is obvious. The gastronomic perhaps a little less so. However, good food and drink are an inextricable part of the casino experience and across the world, you can eat and drink at affordable prices there. The core business lies elsewhere, after all. The bar and restaurant are an additional service for guests who thus find an all-in-one formula for a successful evening in one place.
An additional service, therefore, but not just any old one. At the end of last year, we renovated our restaurant at VIAGE. The international menu at ‘Saffron’ was replaced by a ‘licence to grill’ at ‘Viage Grill’. Superior-quality meat (such as Holstein, Black Angus, Hereford…) acquires a crispy crust while retaining all its rich flavours and juices on the sizzling-hot 360° Australian broiler grill. For those who would rather not eat meat, we are happy to put a fish on the barbecue. And naturally there are plenty of vegetarian dishes on our menu. We change this menu monthly, so you need never eat the same thing twice.
‘Viage Grill’ exudes the atmosphere of an authentic steakhouse: warmth and cosiness with the somewhat rougher decor of leather and wood. Leaving the hustle and bustle of the casino behind, you enter a different, rustic world where you can enjoy dining with friends and colleagues or a romantic meal for two.
Eating without playing is allowed, of course. To access the restaurant, you do need a membership card from Grand Casino Brussels VIAGE. You request this once at reception and it costs €10. In exchange, you get €5 in casino chips and a delicious welcome cocktail. And subsequently, you simply walk in on presentation of this card. If you are making an online booking for VIAGE, the membership card is free. A warm welcome – the way it should be! Incidentally, don’t forget that you must be over 21 years of age to enter the casino.
Viage Grill is always open from 6 p.m. until midnight. On Fridays and Saturdays, a limited menu is available until 3 a.m. and on other days, until 2 a.m.