A soggy (but delicious) evening in De Panne on the Belgian Coast

May 2nd, 2012.

We made our way down to De Panne in the pouring rain, passing dunes, rusting WW2 armaments, and grazing Shetland ponies. When we booked into the Cajou B&B we received a ‘bad weather’ discount paying only 75 euros including breakfast and parking.

Even though it was May, and days were long, the beach front was dark and dreary and rain splattered. This statue of a jogger and his dog was fun, especially considering that just visible above the dog’s back is a ‘No dogs allowed on the beach’ sign.

a man and his dog statue at the seaside of De Panne, Belgium

Across from the statue this restaurant looked warm and inviting, a perfect place to spend a soggy evening.

'Aux Caves d'Artois' Café in De Panne

‘Aux Caves d’Artois’ Café in De Panne

Dinner was an escargot appetizer, followed by pot of mussels (me) and grey shrimp (Al), all of it washed down by St. Idesbald Beer. St. Idesbald is a small town on the Belgian Coast where Al’s granny used to have a small seaside house on the dunes called Peter Panne. The beer was excellent, almost as good as Corsendonk Agnes, my most favourite Belgian beer so far.

De Panne patron beer: St Idesbald

De Panne patron beer: St Idesbald

beer tasting notes from DePanne

beer tasting notes from De Panne

Our yummy escargot appetizer. The menu said, in French ‘Bon appètit‘, and in Flemish ‘Smakelijk eten‘, which we translated as ‘smack your lips while eating’ or ‘smacking, licking, eating’. Flemish is so much fun!
escargot (or caracoles)

Les Tomates aux Crevettes Grises. Al’s granny, his mom and Al all make this dish but usually they removed the inside of the tomatoes and stuffed them with shrimp in mayonnaise.  This is sort of a different presentation, more like a shrimp salad, and Al wasn’t sure if he liked it as much as his granny’s recipe. having 'Tomate Crevette' at DePanne Pot aux moules. Even though mussels were out of season I had to try them at least once. These were very nice, in a white wine broth. I have to admit that growing up on the west coast we gathered a lot of clams and oysters,  but I didn’t even know the mussels  were edible until I first went to Europe in the 70s. Boy, was I I missing something!

Mussels in DePanne

Mussels in De Panne

More on roughly following the Belgian Beer Route:

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