Colruyt: Supermarket delights
I browsed through an astounding assortment of just about everything, from cookies to wines, from cheeses to all sorts of condiments.
It's not a sleek supermarket. Just the opposite. That makes the price good.
Do check if you can pay with your credit card or bank debit card before you start shopping! Best to bring an amount of cash with you when in doubt.
Mon-Thur: 9-20 hrs
Fri: 9-21 hrs
Sat: 9-19 hrs
sorry, no photos made!*
What to buy: I bought some cheese (Damse Mokke), salami, Nic-Nac cookies, marshmallows, crème de cassis liqueur, white wine (4), crémant wine (2), real vanilla sugar, fleur de sel and Belgian mayonaise and vinaigrette. Set me back about 60 euro.
What to pay: According to Colruyt, it's on average nearly 10% cheaper than other well known chains such as Delhaize or Carrefour or Lidl or Aldi.
- Budget Travel
Olav's Mattentaartenhuis: Quality test Mattentaarten
Olav Geerts is the most famous mattentaart maker. He is a well known local figure and his little shop is full of promotional stuff for Geraardsbergen, including several newspaper clippings where he is to be seen, full beard and all...
I asked him what makes a good 'mattentaart'. The 'matten' are a cheesy, crumbly substance made of buttermilk. 'taart' = cake.
As I said elsewhere, the 'matten' are the sweet filling in a puff pastry case.
So, he said: a mattentaart is not dry. AHA! My first one at the other tearoom was dry.
Then he said: there should not be any almonds in it. AHA! AHA! I definitely detected a hint of almonds in that aforementioned mattentaart.
What to buy: I bought a mattentaart from Olav and ate it with a mug of tea later that day. It was definitely much tastier than the one I had on the market square that morning.
What to pay: Uh, can't remember. I think it was about 1.40 euro for a medium size mattentaart.
- Food and Dining
Kringwinkel 't Vierkant: Second hand shop
It's an orderly and spacious shop with furniture, clothing, toys, household stuff and... glasses!
The opening hours are daily (including Sunday, except Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday):
7.30-12.30 and 13-19 hrs.
What to buy: We wanted some special Belgian beer glasses of various brands. So where to go best but to the second hand shop? They are on sale there for 50 eurocent a piece.
I am also always on the lookout for local/regional recipe books. I found 1 with traditional Belgian recipes, one about deep frying (which is also a Belgian speciality) and one old magazine (1980) about the cuisine of the Flemish Ardennes (Oost-Vlaanderen).
What to pay: We spent about 6 euro all in all.
- Budget Travel