Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Highlight #7: Ribbekes on Planks and Magic in Baskets.

An unpaid spare-time blog should never promise things. Like lists. Especially the kind that count backwards. If I were counting upwards I might have left this at, say, No. 3. Or even No. 4. But no, now I must trudge onward under the absurd hypothetical that someone is waiting with bated breath for Nos. 1 through 7.

Well, maybe we will all learn something and grow from this experience.

This is an easy one, though: loads of serious lambics and ribs in a nicely converted Pajottenland barn. That is the Boelekewis. Go on, have a click. I like that picture at the top. Their rib racks look like beards.

This is not a complete list of their bottled lambic beers—for example, Tilquin should be there—of which I believe there are more than 40. They stock all the serious gueuzes and many of the better fruited ones too, like Fou'Founne (apricot) from Cantillon and Oudbeitje (strawberry) from just down the road at Hanssens.

So you will drink well. But this is a restaurant, and you must eat too. Like at most Belgian restaurants (as opposed to bars, cafés and brasseries), people who only want to drink make them feel all awkward and they might just shoo you away. Especially at meal times: Tue-Fri, noon to 2 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m.; Sat 6 to 10 p.m.; and Sun noon to 10 p.m. with cooking all day. Not home on Mondays.

American meat eaters deserve fair warning: We are spoiled by barbecue. We believe that word stands for slowly smoked meat, probably with sauce. In Belgium and most other European countries, ribs are oven-roasted with some herbs and spices. Ideally this is done slowly and lovingly but that's not always the case, and there are some chewy, gristly messes out there. But we found the ribs at Boelekewis to be on the tender side and had no complaints. And it's hard for anyone to say no when you see a wooden plank of them floating past your table.

While you're down there: This is Dworp, just off the E19, which is part of the loop that goes around Brussels and dips south to touch Waterloo. It includes this chunk of Pajottenland that also has a few other spots within easy reach: The excellent Zwaan café is a little farther down the road, and I'll tell you more about them as these numbers get lower. Den Herberg café and brewery is just on the other side of the E19. And jump an exit north and you are in Beersel for Drie Fonteinen and, if it's Saturday, Oud Beersel.

Ribs and gueuze though... That was a highlight.

That's a highlight from a Belgian beer swing. At this rate I will begin this summer's list before I finish last summer's. No. This is the last list, ever. Here's an explanation.

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to the number 6! Already visite The Cornwall, which is pretty nice. Unfortunately, the day I went to Le Brumaire (a Saturday afternoon) the place was closed!