The dinner I ate at Café Des Arts in Antwerp was already a long time ago. The dinner was delicious nonetheless and worthy of posting. As you can see the dinner started nicely with a fine Belgian beer. As I am more of a beer lover than a beer connoisseur I just ordered a ‘Belle-Vue Gueuze’ since it was listed on the menu and I guessed it would be a Belgian beer. After ordering the beer the waiter looked strangely at me and asked me if I was really sure. Since this confused me a little bit I asked him why he said that to me. He replied by saying that the ‘Belle-Vue Gueuze’ was normally only ordered by old (elderly?) people. I ordered it anyway.
The beer tasted very unusual, having a distinct sour taste. Not bad though, just different.
Then the highlight of any meal: the food. I ordered a beef stew with fries and some Belgian mayonnaise on the side. When you see this picture above, don’t be afraid. That wasn’t all. I got my beef stew in a pan that the waiter put on the table, then he opened the pan and served the stew right there on the table. The fries were delivered in baskets that were even refilled when we were eating.
The black pan was filled with beef stew.
Whilst eating, I ordered another Belgian beer. This time a Hoegaarden Grand Cru, which is a more regular beer. Still good though.
This steak with pepper sauce was the dish my girlfriend ordered. It was good, but nothing out of the ordinary.
The good thing about Café Des Arts was definitely the location since it is near to the train station and also next to the crossroad that connects the busy Keyserlei and Meir. We were sitting on a table next to the window and we could see all the people pass by which was fun. Also, although I don’t know if it is regular policy at Café Des Arts or not, our waiter was really nice and gave us some more service than usual.
Throughout Belgium and throughout Antwerp you can find Belgaufra. A seller of sweet delights like the one above. Make sure you try this Belgium delicacy when you are in Belgium. It’s a must. Brushing your teeth afterward is a required though because all those sugar makes your teeth pop right out of your mouth. At Belgaufra, they make these bad boys right in front of your nose so they are fresher than fresh and they come out nice and warm out of the waffle iron. Delicious for sure.
When I booked my stay at the Best Western Docklands Antwerp my booking included a cup of coffee from the house and some complementary pastry. A simple, but nice gesture from the hotel. The next morning, my girlfriend and I sat in the modern looking dining area and we got plate with donuts and apple pie with some whipped cream.
I’m not that keen on sweet food, but a apple pie with some whipped cream and a cup of coffee is something I can enjoy.
Another thing that was complementary at the hotel was a coffee machine right outside of our room. With the machine you could get unlimited coffee (you could choose different kinds of coffee), tea and hot chocolate (although instant hot chocolate) with the latter being my choice of drink. Still, like the complementary pastry, gestures like this do give a hotel a plus point.
The first time I was in Antwerp I went to see all the city’s highlights and I had a satisfying but full planned few days. Therefore, this time I went to do some other, more relaxed things. One of those things was to check out the Kinepolis, a large cinema on the outskirts of Antwerp. They have huge screens with great sound in very large screening theaters. If you like film, make sure you check the Kinepolis out when you are in Antwerp.
But we were a little early at the Kinepolis and we decided to have some quick lunch before the film started. Around the Kinepolis there are a few restaurants and one of those was ‘t Berekieke. The picture above shows a bread roll with martino and smos. If you are asking yourself what smos is, that is exactly what I thought. I had seen smos being advertised throughout all of the city and I was very curious about what it could be. When the bread roll above was being served I still couldn’t figure out what it could be. My guess was that it was the sauce on the bread roll, my girlfriends guess was that it was the heap of vegetables on my bread roll. She was right. It indeed turned out to be that smos is a name for a type of topping consisting out of vegetables and slices of egg. The martino part of the bread roll meant that it was topped with steak tartare, piri-piri, tabasco, cayenne pepper, pickles, salt, ketchup, mustard, worcestersauce and diced onions. This combination makes it a tad spicy bread roll with a mouthful of vegetables and just enough meat for the right flavor.
The other dish was a classic Croque Monsieur: two slices of grilled white bread topped with ham and cheese. As condiments ‘t Berekieke added a bowl of salad and both tomato ketchup and mayonaise. Simple, familiar, but always good.
With this lunch in our stomachs we were now completely ready for our cinematic experience in the Kinepolis.
Have you ever had that moment when you wanted to get onto a train, or just got off, and realized that you forgot to buy some bread at the supermarket? Well, if you live near Antwerp Central Station, you do not need to worry. When I stepped out of the train this machine was one of the first things I saw. A machine where you can buy a whole fresh bread. I had never seen a similar machine and I am really curious how many Belgians really use it.