Eating my way through Antwerp – a 20.000 calorie diary (Part 1)

No city trip is complete without exploring its foodie culture. Angela took this statement very seriously and hopped from restaurant to bar to make sure she would taste the best of Antwerp. Do you love food and are you planning a trip to Belgium soon? Be sure to check out this post about Angela's personal foodie favourites!

Spending a weekend away in Antwerp, Belgium almost always feels like a home game to me, since it is so close to the Netherlands. When I get off the train and enter the grand foyer of the astonishing ‘Antwerpen Centraal Station’ however, it feels as though I am in a completely different world. In this story I’ll take you through my weekend of binge-eating, just so you don’t have to. Which I am totally kidding about because you should all try the food I had at the places I went to, and I’m not just saying that because summer is around the corner and I lost my shot at a bikini body because of how much I ate this weekend. Just sayin’.

Girls night out

Me and my friend Alex decided to go on a girl’s weekend after not seeing each other for more than 16 months, as she was abroad on a big world work trip. The minute we set foot in Antwerp we stepped into full relaxation mode as the train doors closed behind us. Thankfully our stylish boutique hotel Queen A Antwerp was just around the corner. Two super friendly ladies greeted us at the reception and gave us the key to our room with a great view of the square in front of the train station.

 

Just entering the lobby of the hotel made a sense of calm come over me which I desperately needed since I had had a busy week. The quiet and chique lounge made the hustle bustle of the outside vanish and after a quick change and mandatory bed jump we were on our way into Antwerp.

We’d set a dinner date at Frank and Brut for the evening at 19:30 but since it was still early we stopped at a cute little restaurant called Marché-Couverts first. It is both a traiteur as well as a restaurant with a daily changing menu. We opted for a nice glass of Chardonnay and a cheese platter along with fresh green asparagus and poached eggs. French speaking owner Laurent brought everything to our table personally and each cheese was more delicious than the next. It also paired beautifully with the sweet comfiture that was clearly homemade. We nearly forgot the time and had to rush to our appointment at Frank and Brut.

 

Dining at Frank and Brut

 

At Frank and Brut we were greeted with glee by the staff who let us pick a table in the champagne coloured restaurant. The über kitsch angels that are all over the interior are so much more fun than they appear at first glance. Upon closer inspection, you can see them in various suggestive poses with a hotdog, which connects to the Frank and Brut restaurant name. This daring concept was launched by Kiarash Nabavieh and it’s most well-known for serving hotdogs (Frankfurters) with champagne (Brut). It’s easy to see why the concept is so attractive, the food I saw flying around other tables was mouthwatering. The waiter soon brought over a plate of nachos and two house cocktails while we took in the other guests. The restaurant has a diverse range of clientele – from business men to eclectic hipsters to it-girls.

The finger licking starter was soon gone and this is when the waiters brought in the big guns, a massive plate of king crab legs, succulent chicken wings and tender spareribs. Even though these may sound like your average house starters, it was the juicy meat and exquisite flavour that gives away why this restaurant is owned by a former Michelin star chef. With the angels in the décor looking down upon us, I can truly say it was a divine dining experience.

 

Due to our gluttonous endeavours at Marché-Couverts there was a real danger of us not making it to the main course – the hot dogs & champagne we actually came for. We looked at each other and decided that we needed to split the hero of the night: the Pride, the Belgium hotdog. Honestly when the house hotdog came out with Belgian stew ‘stoofvlees’ and julienne fries with a big dollop of Belgian mayonnaise it almost made me forget about all previous food I had consumed. Almost. When we dug into the last bite with our eyes raised to the angel-clad ceiling we sighed not only out of relief but of sheer joy. That was SO good!

Hilariously the waitress came to us with a big smile on her face and asked us if we enjoyed the food and if we would like some dessert. She nearly burst out laughing while doing so and we kindly declined, if not before we helped ourselves to two more cocktail masterpieces. After we were all finished I’m sure I won’t have to describe to you how we made it back to the hotel, since Alex practically had to roll me.

 

The next day – Breakfast in bed

Back in the hotel we soon fell into a food coma only to be woken up by *knock knock* – Roomservice! Here come two of the hotel staff members with plates and plates of the most delicious breakfast food we had ordered so enthusiastically the day before. Needless to say, the food was flawless like the rest of the hotel but it was just too much to handle. Thankfully the camera eats first so we had time to arrange all the yummy food onto the bed and across the room to get some good shots. Later, when they were done we had time to dig into fluffy eggs, still warm Belgian waffles with chocolate and fresh fruit, toast, French press coffee, freshly pressed orange juice and crunchy granola – among others of course…

Since we came to do some business we quickly showered and made our way down to the lobby, ready for another day of Antwerp!
Still with me? Stay tuned for part two!

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