Brussels is a well-hidden secret. That is if you believe http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TRAVEL/10/24/brussels.belgium/index.html.
It is not difficult to find superficial, stupid and erroneous stories and facts about Brussels and its lore. This article relates most of them. My toes were cringing while I read the story.
I always wonder how much of the facts and stories I read about places I do not know I should believe. I think the answer is : almost none ! Most certainly if the source is "popular American".