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Belgium Bites

11 November 2011 3,508 views 12 Comments

Sending a shout out to everyone celebrating a birthday today on 11-11-11! This year, I spent my birthday in Bruges (or Brugge), Belgium. Adam and I bought a small package of candles at HEMA, one of those stores where you end up buying things you never knew you needed.

We ate our way through Bruges, and almost everywhere we stopped, Adam stuck a candle in whatever we were sampling and lit it. I got to make lots of wishes that day! Here we are at da Vinci Gelateria.

Da Vinci Ice Cream

Da Vinci Ice Cream

Next stop was for frites at the Belfry (or Belfort). Both Adam and I were underwhelmed by the fried potatoes in Belgium, which was a bit disappointing. The dipping sauces, however, were amazing.

Belgian Frites under Bruges Belfort

Belgian Frites under Bruges Belfort

We had a lot of wonderful chocolate while we were in Europe, but the best chocolate experience for me by far was the hot chocolate at De Proeverie tearoom in Bruges. It was even better than the famous Angelina, where we went just after we got engaged, in Paris.

Best Hot Chocolate at De Proeverie

Best Hot Chocolate at De Proeverie

When they found out it was my birthday, a kind employee at The Chocolate Line gave me and Adam two chocolate pralines (with caramel) to take with us.

Pralines at the Chocolate Line

Pralines at the Chocolate Line

That night, we went with our tour group to Cambrinus, a slightly touristy restaurant with a beer menu that was longer and heavier than my college yearbook. All of the beers I ordered there were lovely. However, the food left something to be desired so overall, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Orval Beer at Cambrinus

Orval Beer at Cambrinus

There are hundreds of chocolate shops in Bruges, and the next day we stopped off at Dumon for some samples.

Chocolatier Dumon

Chocolatier Dumon

To work off some of the calories, we took a guided bike tour to a nearby town – Damme. There, we stopped at Damse Poort for some amazing waffles and beer.

Waffles at Damse Poort in Damme

Waffles at Damse Poort in Damme

The lovely local beer. For those with low tolerance, beware the Belgium beers. They are a meal in themselves though!

Maerlant beer from Damme

Maerlant beer from Damme

To reward ourselves for biking to Damme and back, we celebrated with half glasses of De Garre‘s house beer and cheese. It’s an extremely old bar, one of the oldest in Bruges — meaning its been open and serving for centuries on end.

de Garre

de Garre

We couldn’t leave Belgium without ordering mussels, and while these are attractive, they were small and grainy and not very flavorful. What can I say? Eating in new/touristy towns can be hit or miss.

Sub-par mussels (but cool shot, Adam!)

Sub-par mussels (but cool shot, Adam!)

For more photos of our two days in Belgium, click here and here.

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