On my first sight of Bruges, I thought, “Oh, this is cute”. On my second look, all I could see was tourists, and I thought, “Oh, this doesn’t look good.” On my third look, walking around the streets, I thought, “By all that’s unholy, I may just overdose on chocolate over the next three days!”
It seems like every other shop is chocolate… and I’m not talking figuratively, this is quite literal — walking down the street, you see Zara, chocolate, Foot Locker, chocolate. With a pastry shop or tea/coffee shop thrown in just for the heck of it. How the hell do you decide which chocolate to buy?
And these are high-end, designer chocolates, to boot. I stopped at Neuhaus because of their “Terug Naar School!” (back to school) promotion (you gotta love a place that promotes chocolate as a back to school necessity, like notebooks and new pens). You know you’re buying high-end chocolate when they hand you the cash register receipt in a little cardboard envelope, like you get with a hotel card key.
One chocolate shop featured chocolate molded (and dusted with cocoa powder) to look like rusty nuts and bolts.
I like the play on sounds of Pierre Marcolini – “hot” chocolate.
When I decided perhaps I needed something a little more savory to balance the chocolate, I stopped at Friterie 1900, featuring an all-deep-fried menu! I had the bitterballen, which a friend had described as deep-fried meatballs, but are really so much more than that. Instead of being solid meat inside, it’s a creamy, hot spread-like consistency. Great contrast to the breaded, deep-fried exterior.
This was enjoyed with a glass of white wine and a view of one of the many gorgeous medieval buildings in Bruges.
And for a little more variety, you can stop at a Bier Tempel or a biscuit shop. The biscuit shop specializes in Speculoos (which we know in America as Biscoff cookies) — slightly cinnamon, slightly ginger, crunchy and thoroughly delicious!
Tomorrow I want to find my way back to the biscuiterie to try these Speculoos. But first, I’m visiting the chocolate museum, with a possible stop at the fries museum. (Honest, those are real places!)