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Usually restaurants located right on the main square in the tourist section of town tend to be overpriced and underwhelming but that was not the case with this restaurant. There's only a small menu, maybe 6 or 7 items, written on the mirrors in the main dining room or you can have a look at the display of what they offer.
The back room inside is gorgeous art deco decor with stained glass, mirrors and wood. The tables are right on top of one another so you're practically eating with the folks next to you, we chatted with a Belgian and a Canadian next to us and they were nice enough to share some extra sauce for the ribs.
There appear to be two locations in Gent, one in Antwerp and one in Brussels. We ate at Gent II at Gouden Leeuwplein 7, right near the Belfory (belfry).
Favorite Dish: The main dish here is all you can eat (a volante) ribs for a very reasonable 13.95E. David ordered the ribs and I snuck a taste, very good with a sweet sauce, he insisted there was pineapple in it. I ordered the entrecote bearnaise for 16.85E, the best real meal (not frites or waffles or doner kebabs!) I had on this trip. The steak was flavorful and cooked medium rare, the bearnaise sauce was not overpowering. I ordered entrecote three times on this trip and hands down this was the best.
Entrees come with a baked potato with curry sauce and if wine is your drink of choice, they put a bottle of house wine on your table and you pay by how much you drink.
We split a creme brulee for dessert, it was good but nothing extraordinary. The meal was 40E for the two of us.
Updated Oct 5, 2006
Address: Plotersgracht 8 or Gouden Leeuwplein 7
Phone: 09/225-13-85 or 09/233-37-75
After the canal tour, we headed to Sleepstraat Street which is full of Turkish restaurants, no less than 15 in a row serving kebabs, Turkish pizzas and other Turkish specialties. We wandered up and down the street, it was a little early for dinner and the first place we stopped said that the Turkish pizzas wouldn't be ready for at least a 1/2 hour so we headed to the next one that caught our eye.
Service was quick and pleasant.
Favorite Dish: We both had Turkish pizzas, mine was the American, 1/2 with ground sausage and 1/2 with cheese. Total cost was 12.60E for two Turkish pizzas and two drinks, a very inexpensive meal.
Updated Oct 2, 2006
Address: Sleepstraat 48
Phone: 09 225 84 34
Maybe it was a good thing that we were unsatisfied with Gwenola because we decided not to have dessert there, came upon a waffle shop just a few blocks away and had our first divine experience with the glorious Luikse wafel (Liege waffle). Luikse wafels differ from the waffles we are accustomed to eating in the US that are made with a batter, Luikse wafels are heavier, made with a dough with big lumps of sugar. The sugar gives the waffle a sweet flavor and many people eat them with no toppings.
Favorite Dish: I added fresh cream and chocolate to my waffle and it was absolutely delicious, the cost was 2.50E.
Written Oct 1, 2006
We waited to have breakfast until Gwenola opened at 11:30, I'm a big fan of pancakes and crepes and I had read a recommendation for this place.
Favorite Dish: I tried a buckwheat ham, cheese and pineapple pancake, it was OK but there wasn't much filling and the pancake was a little dry. David's pancake, also a savory pancake, was pretty much the same.
We were going to also try dessert pancakes but opted not to since we weren't thrilled with the savory pancakes.
Written Oct 1, 2006
Address: Donkersteeg 12-14-16
Started off really well - a great, simple menu and great atmosphere. Then it all went downhill when the food arrived.
I'd ordered the entrecote, and for some absolutely insane reason, it came already sliced which means that either the chef has had to slice it to check how it's cooked (in which case he's dreadful), or because he doesn't realise that that's the easiest way to make food go cold before it even hits the table (as happened) in which case he's dreadful.
Worse was yet to come. We finished our food, and waited, and waited, and waited. Eventually I even stacked our plates in the middle of our table, and the next time the waitress came over she asked if we'd like another baked potato, then walked off and left the plates there!
25 minutes passed.
Got up - left.
Favorite Dish: Anything they don't cut up.
Written Aug 26, 2006
Gent - July 2006 - upon my way to the famous "Gentsche Fieste" and coming in from Gent train Station (Gent St-Pieters) : it is a good idea to strenghten the internal human body by good food. Good food and excellent payable wines : this is what you will find here.
Not only good wines, but also the famous belgian beer, called "Duvel" or "Leffe"
What makes this Bistro so special ? Definately the teracces near the river. Some cool wind
in one of the hottest summer periods in Belgium since 2003.
A look at the boats passing by - the food - the drinks, the company : just a perfect day to start and going into the "Fieste"
Favorite Dish: As a starter some fresh classical Salmon - and than "Mussles a la maison"
The mussles were from Greece origin, small but delicious
Updated Jul 19, 2006
Address: Ketelvest - B-9000 Gent
This is a geselig little cafe opposite the Graslei. Take in the view and enjoy the massive range of beers on offer! The customers (and staff) are most friendly (and beautiful) too!
Favorite Dish: The vanilla milkshake is lekker!
Updated Jun 24, 2006
Address: Korenlei 7
A brasserie that servies excellent food, with efficient and friendly service. Ate here on our first night in Ghent and it made a good welcome to the town.
Favorite Dish: We had spareribs and half a chicken. Both excellent value; infact, the chicken would have easily satisfied both of us. Wonderful chips/french fries.
Written May 31, 2006
Address: In the square outside St Bavo's Cathedral
Good clean restaurant with excellent service. Not posh but serves a variety of food e.g. spaghetti dishes, salads, filled rolls. Also serves breakfast. The helpings are large and extremely reasonably priced. If you just want a good meal in clean ordinary surroundings, then I recommend this place.
Favorite Dish: Any of the spaghetti dishes looked good, and the salads looked wonderful.
Written May 31, 2006
Address: Vrijdagsmarkt 20
Visited here on 26th May, having been encouraged by a good review by a VTer who visited in April. What a difference a month makes! Despite having made a reservation, we were kept waiting for 20 minutes in the draughty doorway. We were eventually pointed to our table. The couple who were seated next to us were handed a rolling pin with the menu on it. After 10 minutes they handed it to us and we managed to translate some of the menu. After another 10 minutes, Michele arrived and reeled off a list of what there was - just a list, no prices, no offer to - nhelp us with the Flemish menu. We chose lasagne and stewed rabbit 'cos that's all we could remember! The lasagne arrived boiling hot on the outside but barely warm on the inside. The stew was okay. There were no vegetables, no potatoes. We had to ask for bread. After finishing, we waited interminably but no-one asked us if we'd like anything else, although our plates had been cleared away. We couldn't even attract any attention for the bill. Eventually we put on our coats and finally found the one waiter who told us the amount. He reluctantly made out a bill when we insisted. Wanted to pay by credit card but they do not take credit cards. A thoroughly unpleasant evening and for two main dishes and two beers, it worked out to be the most expensive meal we had in Belgium.
The kitchen appears to be well-run and organized, but the dining room is over-stretched and under-staffed. On the evening we were there, there was Michele and one waiter, the latter who seemed to have no authority but to write down the orders on Michele's instructions and to clear tables. I would suggest that in order to deliver a passable meal with acceptable service, there should be more TRAINED waiters, and Michele needs to relinquish some of the control and let others take the strain. Michele needs to do this especially as by the time we were at the end of our meal, she had disappeared leaving the one helper on his own.
Favorite Dish: The restaurant makes a great play about going to the market and choosing the freshest ingredients to make up the day's menu. However, what we ate and what we could see others eating was no diffferent from that being served in other restaurants in the town.
Written May 31, 2006
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