Our favorite pub in Bruges, De Garre, was absolutely packed so we decided to try another fave, t’Poatersgat, instead. We had about 30 minutes before it opened so we killed some time looking for two murals I had marked on our map on the north side of town. We returned at 5:20pm to a still closed bar with no signage explaining why. Frustrated, Eric suggested nearby Cafe Rose Red and we luckily got a table where we could hang out until we had to vacate our spot at 7pm for a reservation. Eric splurged on a half bottle of the Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus and I tried the Noir de Dottignies porter. This was a nice place to relax and warm up.
Feeling lucky (and one beer in), we decided to try De Garre again before our nearby dinner reservations at 8pm. This time, I marched straight upstairs and asked another couple to share a table. After about 20 minutes they left and we had our own spot. We each got the house Tripel which was just as good as we remembered. The cheese was great too!
I had forgotten how vast the beer menu is at Brasserie Cambrinus and it was hard to make a decision. I finally settled on the Silly Scotch Ale and paired it with steak tartare (it wasn’t as good as the Ghent experience). Eric had the rabbit and prunes with a Vliegende Paard Brouwers Préaris Quadrupel. This place was insanely busy with wait staff flying all over the place serving food and reorganizing tables for the next guests.
We stopped by a local bakery, Carpe Diem, for breakfast pastries to eat in the room. The croissant was good but the cinnamon roll had way too many raisins for Eric’s taste.
We wandered around town for a bit then stopped for an afternoon beer and a ham and cheese sandwich at (probably) the oldest pub in the world, Cafe Vlissinghe. The upstairs pub was very busy but we were pointed to a quieter seating area across the courtyard which was nearly empty. Eric had an Omer and I got the house beer, a lovely amber. The waitstaff was friendly and I wound up ordering a branded glass to go which they had already bubble wrapped and had waiting for us upstairs when we paid.
Determined to get chocolate in every town on this trip (when in Belgium!) we stopped in at Chocolaterie Sukerbuyc and picked out 10 pieces to hit the minimum weight for a bag: passion fruit x 2, Bloody Mary, Be my valentine, Chocolate coco, Cafe au lait, Lego oistache, Emma (dark and milk), and Maya. Eye-catching and quite tasty, but we liked the Chocolaterie Luc Van Hoorebeke in Ghent a little better.
We ate some snacks back in the room then ventured out to the very eclectic Yesterday’s World pub. The main pub on the ground floor was crowded but there were a few open seating areas spread out across the second floor. Each room was crammed with rugs, dolls, and other collectibles and we enjoyed discussing the music videos that were on rotation. Their beer list is smaller than other places in town but we still found plenty of options to try. Eric started with the Straffe Hendricks quad (so tasty!) and the Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad (lots of caramel, fairly sweet). My first was the Leute Bokbier which came with a wooden stand because the glass lacked a stem and my second choice was the Kerst Pater Special Christmas beer (fruitier, lighter than it looks). We really enjoyed the relaxed and unique vibe of this spot.
Bistro Christophe was one of our favorite meals in Bruges a decade ago and it did not disappoint many years later! Once we sat down and ordered a glass of wine each (rose for Eric and a Puglian red for me), carrot fritters with a Bearnaise dipping sauce appeared as an amuse bouche (surprisingly good). Keeping on trend, Eric got the beef stew with fries and salad (which was amazing) and switched to my red for his main dish. I got the venison loin that came with port sauce and a brown gravy, also quite good, and paired that with a Spanish red.
After dinner we finally got into t’Poatersgat. It was really busy but we managed to score arm chairs near the front when I saw someone leaving. Eric got the Zundert 8 tripel (a nice mix of sweet and bitter) while I got one of my all-time faves, the Duchess de Bourgogne (though I am pretty sure the size labeling is wrong because these bottles did not hold the same amount of beer). The bartenders were only accepting cash, not sure if that is a normal thing or not, but thankfully I had some Euros handy.