Hey! I am researching restaurants for our trip to Bruges and was surprised by the amount of rib restaurants. We rarely eat any sort of barbecue when we travel (unless we're in the south) since we live in the south, but some of these restaurants have really high ratings! Anyway, I'm intrigued. I googled it several different ways and cannot find the connection between ribs and Bruges or Belgium. Everything says waffles, chocolate, fries, etc Can anyone explain if there's any significance? Or has it just become popular in the region?
They have become popular in many European cities. We saw them on many menus in three different countries we visited this summer.
you think there are a lot of ribs in Bruges? Wait until you get to Ghent. Been that way for years. I've never understood it, but there you go...
Amadeus in Ghent is well known for ribs as long as I can remember, in other words that's many decades, so not something recent. Realize with this post they have a restaurant in Bruges too. As well as in the Netherlands pig farming is huge in Belgium so no surprise you can find pork on the menu in many restaurants. Popular because it's most of the time budget friendly.
It's always been like that. A lot of restaurants have ribs on the menu and some like Amadeus only offer ribs or are speciliazed in it. Even in supermarkets you can basicly buy marinated ribs everywhere.
Thanks, all! The explanation about pigs in the Netherlands also explains things. Yeah, I looked at Mozart, More than Just Ribs and Ribs 'n Beer in Bruges due to their really great reviews. After trying the regular Belgian fare, we may have to check it out. It's interesting to taste how foreign countries prepare the foods we eat at home!
We ate at Mozart's. My son had the ribs. His review was that they were"nothing special"
I think that these "rib" restaurants are popular for tourists in many cities in Europe. There are several here in Vienna that are somehow highly rated on TA, but no local have ever heard of them nor would they visit them. Kinda weird.
It's a trend. I haven't been, but could see them being very good, given the general quality of ingredients and cooking in European restaurants.
Also, phenomenal pairing with various Belgian beers. Great fit. And then you get Belgian fries on the side. As I said I haven't been, but I wouldn't shy away from trying.
Get a Belgian beef stew first though, delicious, and thoroughly local.
Maybe worth adding to the conversation, as I recall, by ribs, we are talking about a seasoned/marinated rib, not to be confused with what we would think of as ribs here in the US (BBQ babybacks, or Memphis style ribs) There are however US BBQ style places opening up, so you may find both.
I had pulled pork at places billing themselves as barbecue spots twice last year--once in Sheffield, England, and once somewhere in Norway or Sweden. The barbecue sauce they used was quite sweet. The food was definitely edible, but it was nothing this North Carolinian would want to eat again.
I ate all the ribs I could eat at De Gekroonde Hoofden in Ghent. I chose this place because I saw locals going there. Loved it. It's very near the Castle. I didn't even know it was a ribs joint. I just saw them putting bread, a big bowl of salad, and water on the table as soon as people sat down and between that and the locals, I was in. Then I noticed everyone was eating ribs, so that's what I asked for. Got a huge plate and then was offered seconds. Reasonably priced, good service, good food. Great sauces. Surprised it's not in Rick's book. I ate outside because it was a warm night.
Hank: Yep, I'll definitely be trying the beef stew! This definitely wouldn't take the place of trying the local specialties. We'll be there for four nights -- so plenty of time to try everything!
Paul: Right, they say that they're spareribs. One of the ones in Bruges have the option for grilled or slow cooked. And the slow cooked ones you pair with BBQ sauce. So you can try different types!
Acraven: I prefer sweet BBQ! I don't mind NC BBQ sauce, but I usually go for the Memphis style. LOL And, I would never get pulled pork anywhere but the southeast US. I'd have to have a really good reason to try it elsewhere... But spareribs that are 25 euros for AYCE? Sign us up!
Don: We're probably going to Ghent for a day trip, so maybe we'll consider that place!
Just to follow up: we ended up going to Ribs n Beer as it was very close to our hotel. It was excellent. The ribs were babyback ribs no matter that it said spareribs. The service was great and SO fast. We tried the spicy barbecue, chocolate and beer, and regular barbecue sauces. All were good. My husband tried the grilled and didn’t like them as much as the slow cooked. I only had the slow cooked. They were falling off the bone. Anyway, it didn’t feel like an “American” restaurant — which we avoid when in Europe. :)
Awesome! Those rib places do look good, I got to do it next time.