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.
Across from the statue this restaurant looked warm and inviting, a perfect place to spend a soggy evening.
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.
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!
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. 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!
More on roughly following the Belgian Beer Route:
SOME VISITS TO A FEW TRADITIONAL BARS IN BRUSSELS:
- a 300 year-old bar in Brussels
- a la Becasse, a traditional pub in Brussels
- a la Mort Subite, a historic brasserie in Brussels
FAIRYTALE BRUGES (BRUGGE):
- lunch at the Cambrinus
- tour of the Brewery in Bruges
- t’ Brugs Beertje in Bruges
- dinner at the Cambrinus
- warming up a chilly day in Bruges
- the Verdi B&B
- beer and museums on our first day in Ghent
- beer, food and museums on our second day in Ghent – Part 1
- Ghent SMAK exhibit, the conceptual Bulgarian artist Nedko Solakov
- beer, food and museums on our second day in Ghent – Part 2