Friday, March 20, 2009

Ghent!




Mea culpa! When friends and family start complaining about lack of blog updates, I know that I've been abandoning the blog! So let's take off where we left off... Last time, Lisa and I had finished our journey through Lille, and we were headed to the Belgian town of Ghent.

Ghent was simply beautiful.



Our host, Karen.



climbing many, many stories to the top of the bellfry, from which we could see the awesome architecture of the town,



...including the cathedral where where we got to see Jan van Eyck's "Adoration of the Lamb", also known as the Ghent Altarpiece.



This piece is magnificent in all it's multi-dimensional Northern Renaissance glory and made an art history fangirl out of me. (The photo is from the web, since no photography was allowed in the Cathedral).

On to the most spectacular stuff: Belgian vegan food and drink!



fresh juices, made to order





a vegan all-you can eat buffet!! there was so much choice there, it was unbelievable. Lisa and I especially loved a cauliflower gratin that they had... I've been trying to emulate that dish ever since...





including dessert and (organic, vegan) Belgian white beer, of course.



good friends (left to right: Lisa, Karen, Tess (another fabulous Belgian vegan), and me)



No visit to Belgium is complete without frites, of course! The menu above shows you all the veggie selections (the ones with *s next to them mean vegan) - and those were just the burgers! There was also a vegan gravy available, gravy being a traditional Flemish dip for fries.







Frites! And veggie burger! And veg. chicken nuggets, oh my! Fried food HEAVEN!



On our way out of town, we stopped in at yet another vegan restaurant, this one a co-op run by volunteers and devoted to fair trade and just, in addition to vegan and delicious, food. Above, just one of the dishes we enjoyed there, an appetizer of hummus served with homemade bread.



The only restaurant where I've ever seen nutritional yeast offered as a side order! Can you spot it in flemish in the menu above?



Ghent was such a lively, lovely, and politically active town. Finding vegan food was no problem at all, especially since our hosts were there to guide us through the best. And at every turn, reminders, like on the plate above, to "think globally and eat locally." I gotta love it.



Speaking of thinking globally, Ghent is an incredibly bike-friendly town! Especially to an American's eyes, this sea of bikes was awe-inspiring! Biking is not just a green mode of transportation, but a way to work off all the insane amounts of delicious vegan food that you'll eat if you ever find yourself in Belgium!

To see all our Ghent photos, click here. Next up, Berlin!

ETA, 22 March: I'm sorry I didn't include the restaurant names in this post! Here they are:


- Tasty World (juices, smoothies, salads and sandwiches: Hoogpoort, 1, 9000, Gent)
- Komkommertijd (all-you-can-eat vegan buffet restaurant: Reep 14, 9000 Gent)
- De Frietketel (frites and burgers! Papegaaistraat, 89, Gent, 9000)
- Lekker Gec (the fair-trade restaurant and teahouse : 5-6 St Pietersstation)

(thanks for the reminders, Karen!)



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27 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Wowza!!!

Luciana said...

So many places to visit, so much to eat! I'm still trying to convince Carl to move to Europe for a year.

Celine said...

look at all the bikes! made me happy. and the fries. omg, les frites.

Melody Polakow said...

Oh my dog! I think I want to move to Belgium!

Nicole (anotheronebitesthecrust.wordpress.com) said...

wow!! i am so jealous!

silverpen said...

I feel the same way as Nicole. (The pictures are fabulous!)

Sanja said...

Can you please tell me the names of those places? Gent is not that far from where I live...

VeganCowGirl said...

Great pics!
I live in Brussels and LOVE ghent. I have to say that I have never been to either of those restaurants - but am DYING for their names. Do you have any info about them and where in ghent they are?

Enjoy your journeys!

Amanda said...

oh..I want to visit too! Can't wait to hear about Berlin...one of my favorite cities ever!

bazu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bazu said...

VeganCowGirl and Sanja - sorry for the oversight, I edited the post to include the restaurant names and addresses!

Karen said...

I love your blog! Your travels are especially interesting. Very fun! :)

pavotrouge said...

Belgium and especially Gent are awesome! do tell me next time you visit (though I'll probably be in the UK soon).

Mihl said...

I agree! Ghent is an amazing place. And I'd love to see gistvlokken on a menu here in Germany, too. Can't wait for your Berlin post.

jd said...

Good Lord.

This is amazing!

I am totally jealous of your very awesome trip to Belgium!!

I was there a few years ago during a backpacking trip through Europe, but I was really sick while visiting Belgium. As a result, I couldn't taste any of the beer/food that I was eating. It sucked!

Now I have an excuse (and a great guide!) for going back!

Awesome post - thanks :)

Bridget said...

OMG! OMG! OMG! I LOVE your freakin' hair!!!!! SOOOOOOO CUTE.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Ooh, I want to go to Ghent! Ryan would flip over the bikes, he loved them in Copenhagen.

urban vegan said...

Amazing journey! Thanks for taking me there. I've never been.

halfeaten said...

ah. the pictures are so lovely :0)

Carrie™ said...

Now I want to go to Belgium. A visit to that church & the frites would be worth it. B
BTW, fries & gravy is extremely common in Canada. As much as fries & ketchup. Is it not like that in the US?

melanie eight said...

wow, i really should go there. looks amazing and i do need some fries!

Sanja said...

Thanks so much for the names and addresses of the restaurants!

Kristel (TofuParty) said...

I'm so sorry I'm reading this one week to late. Because I really want to thank you for the nice post about Ghent. I'm from Ghent and feel so very proud now. I'm so glad you really enjoyed your stay. And if you should be interested: in front of the 'Komkommertijd' their is a school. Till this schoolyear it was my daughter's school. She's been going to it for 12 years. And for the GEC: my workplace is almost around the corner of it. And yes, I use my bicycle every day.

vko said...

Am adding Ghent to my list...so much vegan fun!

ditte said...

aww, i want you back in europe! and i am so excited to read about berlin. and copenhagen.

panda with cookie said...

Ghent! The food! Our fabulous hosts! How I miss it.

Daniel said...

It's funny, my wife and I visited friends in Ghent last fall, and I *recognize* that chalkboard menu! We actually ate in that little restaurant too. A great place--it was really reasonably priced and you got enough food to last us all day (and then some). You picked a great town to visit!

Dan
Casual Kitchen