For Koen’s birthday we held a second edition of the Chili Cookoff! In 2016 Koen placed in 2nd, so now after two years he was ready to compete again!
The rules: everyone invited brings a chili to be evaluated with the winners announced at the end of the evening. The prizes: 3 hot sauces. The world’s hottest chili for the winner, 2nd hottest chili for the 2nd place, and 3rd hottest chili for 3rd place.
For Koen’s birthday, we decided to try Les Saveurs de Yamada, a Japanese restaurant specializing in Kaiseki Ryori. We had the pleasure of discovering kaiseki when we were in Kyoto in 2016 and were excited to discover we could experience it in Antwerp, as well!
I’m so happy my best friend is married to someone from the Netherlands. That means every once a while she’ll be closeby and we can see each other! Antwerp/New York City is a long distance, but when we’re together it’s like no time has passed!
My brother was in Europe traveling through a few countries for work and was able to plan in one day to visit me in Antwerp! We visited De Koninck Brewery and finished the evening at one of my favorite pizza places – Otomat. From their site:
Otomat is the first completely Belgian pizza concept. Typically Belgian is the “beer'” character, with more than 20 Belgian beers and the pizza dough is made with Duvel beer yeast – heavenly pizza with the Duvel inside.
For my parents’ last night in Belgium we headed to one of our favorite places, Orso Pizzeria. Orso is located in Berchem, a small city in the province of Antwerp – but only 15 minutes away by tram, so not too far! It’s a small place where you definitely need to reserve ahead of time for a table. The pizza is super delicious and they serve their own naturally fermented wines!
This past weekend Koen was away in Rotterdam for a boys’ weekend, so I invited Hannah to come to Antwerp for a girls’ weekend! We planned for a delicious Japanese dinner at Osaka (edit – Osaka has since closed its doors after 20 years), followed by drinks at Dogma. The next morning we had a delicious breakfast at Lints, coffee at Caffènation, and then a walk in the Botanical Gardens to see the cacti! A great weekend!
Koen, Matt and Danny in front of the Frites Atelier
After many years of saying they’ll come visit, Danny and Matt finally made it to Antwerp! I made it mission to share all things Belgian, so we at a lot of delicious frietjes, drank Belgian beer, and wandered around the beautiful city!