Restaurant review #47 – ‘t Gulden Vlies in Bruges is one of the few restaurants in town which has vegan dishes standardly available on the menu. It is located just 2 minutes from de Burg (where the City Hall is), so it’s smack in the city center.
It is not a vegan restaurant, but there are two main courses which are vegan. To be sure, we checked again when we made the reservation, and got confirmation that these dishes were indeed vegan and being served that day.
We were there on a weekday evening, and the restaurant was full, with -as far as we could tell – mainly tourists. It’s not a big place, and tables are closely placed together, but the seatings are cleverly rearranged with interchangeable boards depending on whether you are a party of 2, 4 or more. So you don’t feel that you are invading other’s privacy. It’s run by a couple, with the husband the chef, and the lady of the house serving the restaurant.
When we entered, the lady of the house spontanously greeted us with ‘ah, the vegans‘, which we though was very funny but also a bit embarrassing (we’ve had this happen before in restaurants, feels like all heads are suddenly pointing in our directions, ‘really, those are vegans uh??? 😉
She was very very friendly though, and very knowledgeable about animal ingredients in the food, eg. explicitly stating that is was verified vegan bread, as it is homemade.
We got a small appetizer that was made especially for us: beans with parsley (from their garden) on toast (she specified they were vegan crackers!).
As main courses, we had the whole meal penne with oyster mushrooms, leeks and grilled nuts (14,50 €) and the ‘Stoemp’ (a potato mash) of southern vegetables with crispy tofu and sauce of roasted nuts (16€). Although it doesn’t look very colourful on the photos, the food was nice and more than enough. The penne could use some more spicing or variety though, as we thought it was a bit monotone in flavours. The stoemp is a real traditional sort of dish, something you don’t see that often offered in restaurants. Nice touch with the crispy tofu on top.
We already knew from looking at the menu there aren’t any vegan desserts standardly available, but to be sure, we asked, and indeed there aren’t. So Jim just ordered a coffee. And then out of the blue I got a soy chocolate pudding which was offered free (she sometimes has alpro puddings in the fridge, so there we go!). Nice present 🙂 We also got a reduction on the coffee price, as she explains it normally comes with a cookie and milk, but she couldn’t offer us a vegan cookie nor vegan milk, so hence the reduction. That was certainly a first!
All in all an enjoyable meal, and very knowledgeable about animal ingredients, which was a relief.
However, also keep in mind that this is non-vegan restaurant and – as is always the case in non-vegan restaurants – you cannot escape being confronted with non-vegan life items (like the omnipresence of leather – I even think the table coats were leather).