Restaurant review #17 – There are some reviews you wish you didn’t have to write. This is one of them.
Grenoble is a vegetarian restaurant in Sint-Niklaas, a city in Eastern Flanders, about 75 km from Bruges. The restaurant is located close to the market place of Sint-Niklaas. Restaurant Grenoble does not have an a la carte menu, just soup of the day (2,50€) a plat du jour (small size 10€ or regular size 11€) and dessert (2,50€). We telephoned beforehand to check whether we could get a vegan menu, and that was said to be no problem. We made a reservation for lunch at 1.30 PM on a Sunday (an earlier time wasn’t possible, they were fully booked for lunch).
We were there at 1.30 PM sharp (by that time quite hungry!) and the restaurant was still nearly full. Most people had finished lunch though. We asked the waiter what the soup of the day was, and it was said to be “vegetable soup”. I wouldn’t expect anything else than vegetable soup in a vegetarian restaurant, would have been nice if he could have specified what soup it was though…
I ordered the small size portion of the plat du jour, my partner the regular version.
Although the restaurant was running empty by that time, it took till after 2PM before we got our main dish. The main dish was a collection of boiled (or steamed) and raw vegetables, some fried cubed tofu and a portion grains. The regular portion came with the salad on the side, instead of on the dish itself.
The dishes excelled in their lack of flavour. Unfortunately nothing available on the table to spice things up a bit: no oil nor soy sauce, no veganaise, no salt nor pepper or other seasoning.
We asked what dessert was, but it was non-vegan chocolate cake. They didn’t offer us an alternative (although we had given prior notice that we wanted a vegan menu). So no dessert, but by that time and after the disappointing meal, we wanted to leave anyway.
We were thoroughly disappointed. This was one of the saddest restaurant experiences we ever had. Dull. No flavours. ‘Rabbit food’ came to mind. And the whole restaurant was embedded in a kind of ‘goat-wool-sock’ atmosphere (a Dutch seventies term to refer to hippies) in a decor that didn’t seem to have been refreshed much over the years.
In our opinion certainly not good advertising for vegan cuisine. Definitely not the kind of place you would invite meat-eating friends to come along and discover the culinary richness of vegan meals.
We hadn’t seen restaurant Grenoble discussed on vegan facebook groups or other online fora before. Now we know why.