Butcher’s Dining in Hove, Belgium

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Butcher’s Store and Dining

 

Butcher’s Store from De Laet & Van Haver in Hove is a meat lover’s paradise for over 25 years now. 7 years ago they opened Butcher’s Dining next door. We went with our friend Nanw and Mihai on a quest for the most delicious steak dinner. Luckily there are a lot of sharing options! We chose 4 starters to split, followed by an entrecote tasting. Well worth the drive to Hove for a delicious steak dinner!

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Sir Anthony Van Dijck

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For a late Mother’s and Father’s Day, we took Dook and Els to Sir Anthony Van Dijck, where we also celebrated Koen’s birthday last year. When Koen and I told his parents where we would be celebrating his birthday, we learned that Sir Anthony van Dijck was a favorite restaurant of Koen’s grandfather. In fact when Els met Dook’s father for the first time it was at Sir Anthony Van Dijck! So this was surprise culinary destination!

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Christmas 2016

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Family together on Christmas

 

For Christmas this year, we gathered in Breda for a potluck Italian dinner at Sofie’s apartment. Everyone prepared a different dish to bring for dinner. Koen made sourdough focaccia and I prepared pasta lazio, a penne dish with chicken, artichokes and sundried tomatoes.

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Antwerpen Proeft 2016

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Antwerpen Proeft at the Waagnatie

 

Antwerpen Proeft, or Taste of Antwerp, is Belgium’s top culinary festival. At Antwerpen Proeft you are able to choose from a wide offering of food, including from Michelin starred chefs.

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Roger Van Damme, Part One

Het Gebaar

Het Gebaar

When Koen and I hit the milestone of 9 years together, we decided to celebrate with lunch at the Michelin star restaurant Het Gebaar, from Roger Van Damme. I’m not exaggerating when I say this was the best meal I’ve ever had. My mouth is literally watering as I’m typing thinking about this delicious lunch. I dream of the steak tartare…

And now I can’t wait to go back in November to celebrate with my parents for my mom’s birthday!

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Brussels / Magritte Museum

Kunstberg / Mont des arts / Art Mountain?

Mont des arts / Kunstberg

A couple of weeks ago, Claire and I explored a bit of Brussels before class. We wandered the city discovering the Mont des arts, Magritte Museum, Parc de Bruxelles, and the Royal Palace. It’s shame we couldn’t take photos inside the museum! I’m a big fan of Magritte and it was so inspiring to see the world’s largest collection of his works. Because we started with his earliest paintings, it was evident how his work evolved. Before visiting the museum, I was only familiar with his most famous paintings and signature style. But it turns out he was always experimenting. There was an entire room with paintings from his Renoir Period! If you are in Brussels, you must visit the Magritte Museum!

 

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Matongé and Quimbombó con Carne de Puerco y Bolitas de Plátano

Mantongé Mural

Matongé Mural

This summer I’ve been taking classes in Brussels, so I took the opportunity to do a bit of exploring. I had already been to Brussels a few times, but always to the Historic Center and other touristy places. I had heard about Matongé from a colleague and was curious to check it out! Luckily a classmate, Samy, was free after class to show me around – and thought it was funny I wanted to go and take photos. I especially wanted to get plantains, okra, and habanero peppers, because they’re difficult to find in Antwerp.  Fresh produce was available in abundance with little markets located throughout Matongé! I bought some Congolese food to-go to try the next day.

With my plantains, okra, and peppers I made Quimbombó con Carne de Puerco y Bolitas de Plátano – okra stew with pork and plantain dumplings. It’s a Cuban dish with a heavy African influence. It’s a bit like gumbo. If you say “King Gumbo” really quickly you get the idea. Everything turned out really well except for my plantain dumplings. They didn’t stay in their form. If I make this again, I will just fry them rather than mashing them and making balls.

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World Cup: USA vs Belgium

Chocolate shop in Antwerp supporting the Red Devils in Brazil

Chocolate shop in Antwerp supporting the Red Devils in Brazil

 

Tuesday night USA played against Belgium in the World Cup. This was a match I couldn’t miss! Koen and I watched the game at the Grote Market on a big screen. Of course I’m American and was cheering for America (but not too loudly haha). The energy was high and infectious. Definitely an experience I’ll remember!

 

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Dinant, Belgium May 2014

View of Dinant from the other side of the Meuse River

View of Dinant from the Meuse River

My parents have already seen a lot of the Netherlands and the Flemish part of Belgium, so this trip we ventured toward the south into Wallonia. Dinant, Belgium is located at the beginning of the Ardennes on the Meuse River. I searched for city trips within Wallonia and after seeing a photo of the beautiful cathedral, citadel, and river, I wanted to find out more information. Dinant is most famously known as being the home of Adolphe Sax, who invented the saxophone and would be 200 years old this year, and regional cuisine such as the couques de Dinant, Europe’s hardest cookie, and the flamiche, a type of quiche served with a glass of Burgundy, as well as Leffe beer. So we decided to check it out!

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My Parents Visit Antwerp May 2014

Enjoying fresh fries in Antwerp with my parents!

Enjoying fresh fries in Antwerp with my parents!

My parents made their annual visit this May! We had an eventful start – I fractured my elbow when I fell off my bike on the way to pick them up in Brussels. But who better to have around than your parents? The first week I had to wear a cast to let my bone begin healing, and for the remaining 5 weeks I have to wear a compression sock – otherwise I won’t have any range of motion. So we were in and out of the hospital and doctor’s office a lot! For the rest of the trip we took it easy, taking walks around the city, eating fries, and enjoying Belgian beers. I will make separate posts about Sofie’s birthday party, Dinant, and Düsseldorf. This is a post about our time in Antwerp!

 

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