After walking around the Grote Markt area we headed down South. Stopping at various shops in the Fashion District, finally heading down to the area called T'Zuid, which basically mean "South".
This gentrified area is now a very trendy part of Antwerp. Eight avenues extend from Marnixplaats - Marnix Square. The statue in the square is named Schelde Vrij - Scheldt Free which commemorates the settlement with the Dutch that allowed free passage of ships on the Scheldt River.
Stopping here, we took a nice leisurely stroll back to Grote Markt via various side streets.
The weather was a bit strange, passing clouds would make it seem like rain was on the way, then a few minutes later the sun would be out. This pattern kept repeating itself the whole day.
Before we knew it, dinner time had arrived. There was a place I'd heard about, right across the street from Den Engel.
There's a bar area and an attached restaurant, which looked rather rustic. The menu had a few Flemish specialties along with stuff like salads and spaghetti....spaghetti?
The Missus was overjoyed to be back in Belgium and be able to order stuff like the Oude Geuze Vieille, which She thoroughly enjoyed.
I just loved my draft Tripel Karmeliet, which seemed much lighter than here in the states. The was a definite spice-pepperiness to the flavor and it was much more carbonated and fizzy than I recalled. It was a heck of a glass!
What did the Missus get? Well, that was quite predictable...Sausage and Stoemp of course. This version came with Flemish style bacon, which was delicious.
As for the rest of it; I preferred the version at Le Fin de Siècle in Brussels.
I went with the braised pork cheeks with chicory.
It arrived in a nice sized pot. The flavor was nicely beefy and the sauce was pretty good...definitely beer in this one. Loved the texture of the braised chicory and the sweetness that cooking it this way brings out. The beef had kept shape but was spoon tender.
The meal came with frites, which I wasn't really impressed with...and mayo of course.
I celebrated being back in Belgium with another beer; this time a draft La Chouffe, which was bit more hoppy than I recalled. Like the Karmeliet, this seemed really light for an 8% ABV brew. I was definitely enjoying being back....
De 7 Schaken
Dinner done, we headed west to the Riverfront....there's really not much to see here, parking lots and such.
Actually, the view of the Grote Markt area from here is much nicer.
One thing we quickly noticed about Antwerp. There were more folks riding on bicycles than anywhere else we'd seen on this trip.
The Missus quickly got into the habit of taking photos of bikes parked around Grote Markt. Here are a few from Her collection.
That little splash of color just makes them look so cheerful.....
While walking back to our flat, I noticed this beer store. I talked the Missus into taking a look. I love the collections some of these places had. While looking in the back of the store a name got my attention......well, it actually screamed out at me.
If you're a beer nerd, it would do the same to you....though probably more intense that what I experienced.
For some, the Westvleteren 12 is the holy grail of beer. It is often mentioned as being the "Best Beer in the World". I asked the clerk behind the counter about this and he sheepishly looked at me and said, "yes, it is the twelve.....have just come in today and I have not put away." He immediately grabbed the case and put it behind the counter. But not before I got a bottle. I was interested because I had worked this beer into a part of our itinerary later on during this trip.
So later in the evening, I opened the bottle.....and my goodness....now I like quads, but this was really boozy and bready....with sweet tones.....it was a bit much even for me. Needless to say, I started having doubts about what I had planned.
Still, we were enjoying our time in Antwerp. It was not overly touristy, the folks rather relaxed, the food decent.....there was nothing to not like.
Thanks for reading!