Eating and drinking in Brugge - updates from recent trip
Posted by Jeremy Gray on 02/12/2005 11:34:08 AM
Last month in Brugge we had a great time checking out a few new and not so new places for beer and food. So, how did we get on? Read on for a summary of our findings.
Best restaurant in Brugge
Without a doubt, meal of the week, and the recipient of our award of ‘Best Restaurant in Brugge (even though we haven’t quite tried them all) is In Den Wittenkop, on St Jakobstraat just north of the Markt.
We had been there 2 or 3 times before, and have always enjoyed it, but this time it really excelled. The café itself is absolutely gorgeous: all sorts of pictures, old breweriana, classy paintwork and an intimate, cosy brown café atmosphere. The service is superb, efficient and friendly. And the food? Wow, it really was wonderful.
We both had an amazing fish soup for starters. In fact fish soup became a theme of the week – in total we had it 6 times each – none were any less than very very good, and some, like this one, were absolutely wonderful. T then had beef and pork stew and I had little Dover soles for mains – both dishes were first class – and we enjoyed these with some Rochefort 8. The beer list is small but very acceptable. Next time we’re in Brugge we are prioritising a dinner at In Den Wittenkop and if you do the same I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
Second best restaurant in Brugge
Actually, De Schaar, on Hooistraat, pushed In Den Wittenkop very very close for meal of the week. The only thing that kept the latter ahead of the former was the marginally better quality of its fish soup. My salmon here was really unbelievably good – probably the best fish dish I have ever had – and the whole place is very impressive. More of a restaurant than a café, its clean, modern and stylish, but within all this it manages to retain a homely charm.
Not quite the best restaurant in Brugge
Just down the street from De Schaar (this area is truly THE place for good food in Brugge) is In het Nieuw Museum. Definitely more of a beer café or eet café than a restaurant, it comes with a pretty good beer list which is around the 50 mark, and they famously do a good line in big meaty grills. So, we pitched up and had a big meaty grill. Now, it was not the best steak I have ever had but it was fine, tasty enough and absolutely huge. If you are hungry you will definitely enjoy coming here. I like the place too, lots of beams and a decent atmosphere, we were delighted to finally get in here after previously finding it closed before on at least 3 other visits. And having draught Museum Bier from De Dolle can’t be bad either. We very much enjoyed our two glasses.
Perhaps the oddest restaurant experience of the week?
This was to be had at De Ganzespel, Ganzestraat - another near neighbour of Nieuw Museum and De Schaar. Don’t get me wrong, this one is another decent little restaurant, but it was all just a little odd.
Good things included the amazing price – we paid 7.50 euros a head for a set menu two course dinner – and the goosy theme: there are goose games all over the place & De Gans in Huise would be proud of them. Downside was the lack of atmosphere – not helped by us being the only customers – and also the slight reliance on the old grandmother for doing the cooking. Yes, I know that grandmother’s cooking is a big thing in Belgium, but this was perhaps taking things that bit too far!
Anyway, we ate well enough and would perhaps go back when there was more choice – it seemed that nothing on the menu was available that night, presumably as there was nobody else around – and the set menu was the only option on offer. Hence we both had Grandmother’s heavy casserole of pork, bacon, potatoes, mushrooms and whatnot.
Best lunch option of the week?
Tom, formerly of ‘t Brugs Beertje, has had his own café/restaurant now for a couple of years, and this year we finally got round to visiting. Down Hoogstraat (not to be confused with Hooistraat mentioned above) you will find Pili Pili about 200 yards from the Burg. And what a great little place he has produced. We had an incredibly high quality, freshly prepared soup followed by Spaghetti Carbonara. Sounds plain enough, but it was one of the best pastas I have ever had and, just like In den Wittenkop and De Schaar, I can’t wait to return. At lunch Tom only charges about 8 or 9 euros for those two courses plus a drink, which is a real bargain for cooking of this quality. The café is very modern, stylish and comfortable, and we will definitely be back. Tom has done a great job.
As well as a few new places, we also ate at a few old favourites:
De Koetse – Oude Burg/St Simon Stevin Plein – all of 2 minutes from ‘t Brugs Beertje. Very reliable, best place in town for a big beefsteak, served with a variety of excellent sauces. For me, the mushroom sauce is unbeatable. Their fish soup was probably the second best of the week.
Vlaamsche Pot – Helmstraat: I am never quite sure about this place – I used to love it, now I think its simply very good. Cooking quality is excellent, service seemed a bit aloof this time. But we had a high quality soup there for lunch. Evening meals have their moments.
‘t Strijdershuis, down the back of the Belfort, corner of Hallestraat and Oude Burg: another good option for pasta and soup for lunch. Decent beer range of over 40 too.
The one that got away
We’d been told great things about eating at Dickie’s. I am sorry to say that we were very disappointed. One of the locals (actually an ex pat from Belfast, David aka Homer) had been raving all week about the ribs with Oerbier, so I had that and T had some pork. Both were ok but really very average, nothing to write home about. And the atmosphere was non existent: whatever ambience there was being fully ruined by the radio. Who wants to listen to the news when you’re having dinner out?
Mind you, the draught Avec les Bons Voeux was superb.
Beer Cafe update
Kelk: new one for us down Langestraat with somewhere in the region of 85 beers. The signs promising 100 or 150 are not reliable, but I would be pretty sure that most of the time they stock most of the 80-odd beers on the list. Some decent picks, too. The place attracts a young crowd, but there was a decent atmosphere despite the fact that we were way too old to be in there. Its candlelit, and very compact, with only 2 tables and a few bar stools. Clearly the owners are big champagne fans, as there are empty bottles and cases on display everywhere. Worth checking out if you are in the area – and its near the area with several of the restaurants mentioned above.
Erasmus: as promised last winter, Tom has now put more of his cellared treasures on the list, which is now back up to 125 with a new section featuring a small range of aged beers. Enjoyed a superb draught Saison Dupont here on day one.
‘t Brugs Beertje: as ever, superb. As ever, our favourite beer café was where we spent the majority of the week, enjoying many superb beers, including: XX Bitter, Drie Fonteinen Geuze, ‘t Smisje BBBourgondier, Dulle Teve, Guldenberg, Drie Fonteinen Kriek, Avec les Bons Voeux, De Dolle Extra Stout, Achel Extra, ‘t Smisje Dubbel, draught Duchesse, 1999 Pere Noel 75cl, ‘t Smisje Kerst, ‘t Smisje Calva Reserva, Thomas Hardy’s 2003, Bush Noel and De Cam Geuze. Many of the above were sampled on considerably more than one occasion and it made for a great week at the Beertje.
Zolder: had a great time in De Zolder and I’ll be gutted if it really has snuffed it for good this time.
Curiosa: much the same as on our last visit which must be 3 or 4 years ago at least. Beer list appears to have risen again but otherwise its pretty much the same deal as before.
Vlissinghe: approaching its 500th birthday, what a pity the current owners don’t make more of it. Can you imagine this place with me in charge and a list of 300 beers??
De Garre: enjoyed a long stint in here on the Wednesday evening in between trips to De Zolder. Once again, we had a superb time and enjoyed several good beers, excellent service, and for the first time stayed to the end and were there for the playing of the Bolero which signals their closing time. Worth noting that they now have Tripel de Garre bottled in 75cl bottles to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the bar. Here’s to the next 20, what a classy place.
All in all, another cracking week in Brugge, roll on ZBF weekend!
|Eating and drinking in Brugge - updates from recent trip - Jeremy Gray, 02/12/05 11:34:08 AM|
| Dickie - Den Dyver - Logan, 02/14/05 02:20:58 PM|
| Re: Dickie - Den Dyver - Filip Geerts, 02/16/05 01:47:46 AM|
| Re: Dickie - Den Dyver - Rich Link, 02/15/05 08:53:26 PM|
| Den Dyver - marcusm, 02/15/05 03:20:55 AM|
| Re: Den Dyver - , 02/15/05 08:08:47 AM|
| Re: Den Dyver - marcusm, 02/16/05 05:07:23 AM|
| Stille Nacht 2000 - Ian, 02/14/05 03:54:39 PM|
| Stille Nacht 2000 on tap - Logan, 02/15/05 09:16:29 PM|
| Re: Stille Nacht 2000 - Loren, 02/15/05 08:19:11 AM|
| Re: Stille Nacht 2000 - Paul Shirley, 02/14/05 06:51:31 PM|
| Great report, Jeremy - Bob Johnston, 02/14/05 08:43:04 AM|
| Re: Eating and drinking in Brugge - updates from recent trip - Filip Geerts, 02/14/05 05:54:42 AM|
| Filip and Sabrina - Bob Johnston, 02/14/05 08:51:02 AM|
| Re: Eating and drinking in Brugge - updates from recent trip - Sabrina Danieletto, 02/13/05 06:20:49 PM|
| Thank you for your comments - Jeremy Gray, 02/14/05 02:40:29 PM|
| I've Been Sitting Here Biting My Lip .... - Mark, 02/15/05 06:15:31 AM|
| Re: I've Been Sitting Here Biting My Lip .... - Filip Geerts, 02/15/05 07:10:11 AM|
| Trying to be constructive - I swear! - SteveG, 02/15/05 01:38:14 PM|
| Re: I've Been Sitting Here Biting My Lip .... - Mark, 02/15/05 08:52:21 AM|
| Re: I've Been Sitting Here Biting My Lip .... - Filip Geerts, 02/15/05 04:08:33 PM|
| Filip, read this lot to make you feel better - Jeremy Gray, 02/16/05 04:10:04 AM|
| Re: Filip, read this lot to make you feel better - Filip Geerts, 02/16/05 01:37:11 PM|
| Jeremy's idea of a reasoned argument - , 02/16/05 04:48:11 AM|
| Re: Jeremy's idea of a reasoned argument - Tony Blair, 02/16/05 08:21:47 AM|
| Thank you for your input :) - Jeremy Gray, 02/16/05 05:08:53 AM|
| He won't, because THAT is not the aim. nfm - Joris P., 02/16/05 06:01:36 AM|
| Being mistaken is not the issue - Dick, 02/15/05 03:26:47 PM|
| Re: Thank you for your comments - Filip Geerts, 02/14/05 04:14:58 PM|
| "destroy our business"?? Oh brother. nfm - SteveG, 02/14/05 12:09:51 PM|
| what? - John Sturm, 02/13/05 09:32:44 PM|
| Re: what? - Filip Geerts, 02/14/05 07:06:53 AM|
| You should be ashamed of yourself Filip. - SteveG, 02/14/05 09:32:58 AM|
| Re: You should be ashamed of yourself Filip. - Filip Geerts, 02/14/05 11:47:22 AM|
| Re: You should be ashamed of yourself Filip. - SteveG, 02/14/05 12:03:21 PM|
| RELAX Steve ! - Filip Geerts, 02/14/05 12:32:16 PM|
| How dare you, Filip Geerts - Jeremy Gray, 02/14/05 02:44:50 PM|
| Re: How dare you, Filip Geerts - Filip Geerts, 02/14/05 03:16:10 PM|
| Re: How dare you, Filip Geerts - SteveG, 02/14/05 04:20:31 PM|
| Re: How dare you, Filip Geerts - Filip Geerts, 02/14/05 04:50:14 PM|
| Re: How dare you, Filip Geerts - Jeremy Gray, 02/14/05 05:02:19 PM|
| Re: How dare you, Filip Geerts - Theresa Zlonkiewicz, 02/14/05 05:09:49 PM|
| Re: How dare you, Filip Geerts - Filip Geerts, 02/14/05 05:35:04 PM|
| My final word - Jeremy Gray, 02/15/05 03:13:34 AM|
| Re: My final word - Joelle, 02/15/05 10:49:49 AM|
| Re: My final word - Filip Geerts, 02/15/05 04:11:22 AM|
| Re: My final word - Joris P., 02/15/05 05:16:13 AM|
| Re: My final word - Filip Geerts, 02/15/05 06:10:06 AM|
| English and other expressions - Joris P., 02/15/05 07:39:13 AM|
| How's this for a desperate attempt at a solution - MikeK, 02/14/05 08:43:03 PM|
| Re: How's this for a desperate attempt at a solution - SteveG, 02/15/05 07:23:05 AM|
| Re: How's this for a desperate attempt at a solution - John Sturm, 02/14/05 08:48:26 PM|
| For Attention of Filip - Theresa Zlonkiewicz, 02/14/05 02:27:17 PM|
| Re: For Attention of Filip - Filip Geerts, 02/14/05 03:04:44 PM|
| Re: For Attention of Filip - Tim L, 02/14/05 06:23:17 PM|
| Re: For Attention of Filip - Filip Geerts, 02/15/05 04:33:31 AM|
| Re: For Attention of Filip - Cornelia, 02/15/05 08:48:30 AM|
| Re: For Attention of Filip - Warren Becker, 02/16/05 01:18:21 PM|
| Waterfronts in NYC - Jeremy Gray, 02/16/05 01:27:41 PM|
| Speaking of Ribs... - Bill Coleman, 02/16/05 02:08:53 PM|
| Re: Speaking of Ribs... - Filip Geerts, 02/16/05 02:50:35 PM|
| BBQ in NYC - DaveR, 02/15/05 10:23:51 AM|
| May not be pricey if you normally pay in Euros. nfm - Dick, 02/15/05 09:02:01 PM|
| Re: May not be pricey if you normally pay in Euros. - Jeremy Gray, 02/16/05 02:30:05 AM|
| Re: May not be pricey if you normally pay in Euros. - Bill Coleman, 02/16/05 12:04:18 PM|
| Re: BBQ in NYC - Filip Geerts, 02/15/05 03:06:16 PM|
| Dinosaur BBQ? - SteveG, 02/15/05 12:24:33 PM|
| Re: For Attention of Filip - Bill Coleman, 02/15/05 09:50:02 AM|
| RIbs ! - marcusm, 02/15/05 04:10:01 AM|
| relaxed... - SteveG, 02/14/05 12:56:34 PM|
| Not to intrude but... - Loren, 02/14/05 01:44:24 PM|
| Re: Not to intrude but... 5p - marcusm, 02/15/05 04:13:49 AM|
| I figured you were studying techniques ;=D - Dick, 02/14/05 07:29:19 PM|
| Re: Not to intrude but... - SteveG, 02/14/05 04:32:40 PM|
| Eh...at the end of the day... - Loren, 02/15/05 06:57:26 AM|
| Didn't you have to exit a message board once? - SteveG, 02/15/05 07:31:39 AM|
| HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! - Loren, 02/15/05 08:01:36 AM|
| Re: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! - SteveG, 02/15/05 09:23:55 AM|
| Case in point #2 - Loren, 02/15/05 10:11:09 AM|
| Re: Case in point #2 - SteveG, 02/15/05 11:06:34 AM|
| Personal attacks - don't get mad... - Loren, 02/15/05 10:00:31 AM|
| Re: Personal attacks - don't get mad... - SteveG, 02/15/05 10:38:37 AM|
| Re: Personal attacks - don't get mad... - Loren, 02/15/05 11:14:08 AM|
| A, I thought something had to be missing! - SteveG, 02/15/05 11:43:06 AM|
| Re: A, I thought something had to be missing! - Loren, 02/15/05 12:38:01 PM|
| Re: Not to intrude but... - Filip Geerts, 02/14/05 04:45:53 PM|
| Re: Not to intrude but... - dsanborn, 02/14/05 05:36:25 PM|
| Re: Not to intrude but... - Jeremy Gray, 02/14/05 04:50:16 PM|
| Re: Not to intrude but... if I could throw my 5p in - marcusm, 02/15/05 04:41:51 AM|
| PeacemakerOfTheGrandDuché - Gunter, 02/15/05 08:06:58 AM|
| Re: PeacemakerOfTheGrandDuché - marcusm, 02/16/05 04:41:50 AM|
| My goodness! - Dick, 02/13/05 08:46:16 PM|
| Re: My goodness! - Filip Geerts, 02/14/05 06:31:41 AM|
| Hi, Filip... - Dick, 02/14/05 10:52:58 AM|
| Radio - Ian, 02/14/05 07:07:14 AM|
| Re: Radio - Filip Geerts, 02/14/05 07:19:44 AM|
| Re: Radio - John Sturm, 02/14/05 05:17:32 PM|
| Re: Radio - Filip Geerts, 02/14/05 05:51:51 PM|
| Re: Radio - John Sturm, 02/14/05 08:37:28 PM|
| Re: My goodness! - Reader of this thread (Tim L.), 02/13/05 11:45:20 PM|
| Re: My goodness! - , 02/14/05 09:56:13 AM|
| Re: My goodness! - Filip Geerts, 02/15/05 05:37:16 PM|
| I think you are the Brit who lives in Brugge ..nfm - Ian, 02/15/05 06:16:49 AM|
| Re: I think you are the Brit who lives in Brugge ..nfm - Teresa, 02/15/05 09:54:37 AM|
| Re: I think you are the Brit who lives in Brugge ..nfm - Ian, 02/15/05 11:26:19 AM|
| Re: I think you are the Brit who lives in Brugge ..nfm - Filip Geerts, 02/15/05 03:03:51 PM|
| Ha! - John Sturm, 02/14/05 05:44:43 PM|
| Anonomous notes also show true colors. nfm - SteveG, 02/14/05 12:07:00 PM|
| Re: My goodness! - Gunter, 02/14/05 10:19:31 AM|
| Lame - Bob Johnston, 02/14/05 10:07:04 AM|
| Nothing will remain as before - Joris P. Pattyn, 02/14/05 01:56:38 AM|
| modest proposal, a.k.a. trip to hell - jg_eric, 02/15/05 01:03:44 AM|
| Re: Eating and drinking in Brugge - updates from recent trip - Tim Lepley, 02/13/05 03:18:55 PM|
| Re: Eating and drinking in Brugge - updates from recent trip - Rich Link, 02/12/05 01:47:41 PM|
| Vlissinghe - Jeremy Gray, 02/12/05 01:58:40 PM|
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