Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Highlights of a Belgian Swing.

So my current project is a big fat book full of Belgian stuff. Tell you more soon. What I want to say just this moment is that I got to 156 beery cafés across that country on a three-week swing last summer. That includes several that were shut, and it also includes 15 breweries. I mean "café" in the broadest sense here, encompassing restaurants and brewery taps and night spots and museums with bars (in Belgium, a museum without a bar is a paltry thing).

The number is nothing to boast about. Many were unremarkable, and I drank a lot of water and coffee between scenic country drives and city tram rides. I could think of better things to do, and often I did. But as work goes, you know, it was all right. OK, better than all right. My point is this: There were highlights.

So I have some pretty swell suggestions for you.

I've come up with a list of a dozen favorite places from my summer swing. I hope they'll help other folks plan their own. Bear in mind, I'm not calling these the 12 best cafés in Belgium (although a few would certainly be on that hypothetical list). These are just my 12 highlights, the spots and moments that pleased me most. Best I can remember. In no particular order.

I'm going to ration them out, partly because I hate really long posts. Also because each of them deserves a post of its own.

Stay tuned for the first:

11. House of (Beer and) Cheese: about Camembière.
12. Best of the Browns: about the Brumaire.

1 comment:

  1. That photo, by the way, is from the Fagnes brewpub in Mariembourg, southern Namur province. Definitely worth a visit, but it didn't make the cut. But I got to juxtapose mussels with fermenters, so I was pleased.