Europe's most powerful political leader decided to go out for a snack in Brussels after talks hailed as an "English breakfast" were delayed to lunchtime before finally becoming an "English dinner".
Merkel went to the Maison Antoine, a noted Brussels chip shop which claims to be the most famous in the world and was described as a "real institution" by a source in the German delegation.
The source insisted that Merkel had not ruined her appetite ahead of the "English dinner" meeting at which leaders will discuss a possible British deal.
"We had nothing to eat the whole day," the source told AFP.
"We looked around in the council building (where talks are being held) and found nothing appropriate.
"The chancellor did not want to have too much food given that the 'English dinner' was pending."
Britain's commercial ITV television showed footage of Merkel at the 'friterie' with her bodyguards. It said she had her chips with Andalusian sauce -- a spicy mayonnaise with pepper and tomato.