A Journey with Destination: Gastronomy

November 28, 2016
in About Travel

Travelling gives to the Soul the right nutrients to nurture itself with Wisdom! When I am in another country, I love to mingle among the Locals and let them unfold to me their Traditions & their everyday Life. I enjoy walking and noticing the infrastructure of the City. But above all, I adore Savoring the Food because it allows me to integrate in their Culture and I can almost sense their History. Colours – Aromas – Taste – Sounds – I meet for the first time.. Fascinate me! Cultivate me! Feeling the Heart Beat of the destination I am at that moment not only opens my Horizons but Educates and Feeds my Personality as well.

So let me introduce you to my favorite Belgium Cuisine in its most simple form. For those that have read the article “What would this World be without Cooking” that I had written last month – you will understand that when I want to try a new plate, I want it to be as plain as possible. Thus I want my meat with Salad or Vegetables (not rice, not potatoes, and etc… because it alienates the main theme: The Meat).

Walking in beautiful Antwerp one day, we decided to check out a new place that had just opened. It used to be a Post Office that has been converted to a self–service restaurant, called Mercado, where one can choose from different Cuisines what to eat: Lebanese, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Sushi, Deserts (like Belgian waffles) and Cocktails:

For me, it will be a steak medium – rare of course! My knife sliced it with ease and it smelled like a Cigar ready to be lit in front of a Fire place with an Aged Whiskey on the side. Its sapor was smokey from the grill it had been cooked on and earthy with a striated texture. Simply Exquisite: Crispy on the outside with a juicy saltiness that melted in my mouth like a Candy.

However, I also enjoyed the Ambiance of the place! Everyone sat with everyone depending on where space was found on any large table or at the bar. Thus, I actually got the opportunity to meet my Neighbor who was eating Mexican while his friend was eating Italian and all together we spoke of International Gastronomy! Mingle… Learn… There is always something to learn or even just to say something stupid and laugh! Laugh with your Heart Open, even if it is with a Stranger! Just for those 15 minutes…

Next Destination!

On a trip by car, we went to Maas Mechelen Village: It is a Shopping Village where well–known brands sell at incredible prices clothes, bags, shoes, accessories, etc… A place that Santa Claus should honestly visit! The Architecture of this village was straight from a Fairy Tail! Either it was Day or Night time! Because as you can imagine… as Girls… we staid all day! And what is the most Heroic of all, is that my Father remained with us all the way through! Enjoying our Giggles, our Enthusiasm, our Excitement!

We had Lunch & Dinner in this Shopping Village.

Lunch was at “Ellis Gourmet Burger”:

A Wooden environment quite Cosy and Stylish with an Air of… Hmmm… I would say… Mafia! Si si!

At first site I was wondering how good would it be… Sometimes Burgers are not always made with 100% Quality Beef. BUT, to my greatest surprise, it was actually Above my expectations. The service was excellent – Warm, Professional and Friendly – the food choices in Burgers was very satisfying.

I had the Italian Burger since I have some Italian Blood in me! It was tangy & succulent with an Italian attitude! Ah… yes: the Mafioso – Al Capone!
“Hey! Are you talking to my Burger? You touch it! Io ti ammazzo! Capisci?!”
Young, Arrogant & Vibrant with a Placid Cold look ready to Freeze you!

On the other hand, the Mushroom Burger made with Portobello and Goat cheese, had the character of Griselda Blanco also known as the “Godmother or Black Widow”. Thus, Mysterious & Enigmatic in her Charisma, with a Cunning sharpness ready to Strike with her fierce Glance.

The Spicy Hamburger was a bit Older, Mature, Serious & Heavy… Definitely the Gangster Frank Costello: the Prime Minister of the Underworld! A Man that takes his time to Taste a Bitter Sweet moment with Pride & Prejudice! Enjoying with Glory the agonizing moment in the eyes of his Prey!

A very Entertaining lunch which was the SHOT of Energy we needed to continue our shopping!

In our Fairy Land…

In the evening we sat at “Giuliano” which is an Italian restaurant. Giuliano, compared to Ellis, has more of a Modern style, also with a good choice of Food

My preference went for a Chicken Salad rather than pasta. Meat always compliments to my Tiredness. It was delicious! The sauce was very discrete and its slight acidity Married the grilled chicken on the green salad with balance giving it a Refreshing Punch. A bit like an Adagio played on Violin…

The Pasta was a very Rich plate – Ravioli stuffed with ricotta and spinach. Here too, the tomato sauce cooked with its herbs Outweighed the heaviness of the Pasta but nevertheless, it was a filling dish that Resonated like a Violoncello in my Mind when I took a bite.

The Carpaccio was light: a Staccato if it had to be a Music composition played on Piano, with a Subtle taste.

A Dinner with a Bouquet of Music Notes that created a beautiful Melodic Symphony inspired by Vivaldi!

And that Ended our Day with the Sound of Contentment with a Sweet Exhaustion as an After Taste!

Next Day! Next Gourmet Destination!

One of my absolute Favorite restaurants that is a MUST every time I go to Antwerp is: SUSHI SHOP. I Love Sushi! I simply Adore the touch in my palate of Raw salmon or tuna. If Silk could be eaten, then Sushi would be its texture! The Finesse and Elegance of Mrs Sushi also hides a Clever Playfulness that the Chef has to acknowledge in order to choose the right Herbs and Aromatics that will bring out her Delicacy!

MMmmmm… Una Meraviglia!

And Finally… Our last supper all together with my Father and Family was at the Cleydael Golf & Country Club which has an Exquisite restaurant called: Table 19 –

This is where I met the Art of Gastronomy! A very Chic atmosphere with a Refined decoration. The Waitress at our service had a Politeness and Kindness that came straight from her Heart. A wonderful Young Girl to talk to with a bright and genuine Smile on her face. For some reason, she reminded me of the Famous Painting of Johan Vermeer “The Girl with a Pearl Earring”. Probably because of the Innocence in her eyes and Airiness in her manner of Speaking.

The Menu had a selective choice of Eclectic dishes. My father chose the Rib Eye – an Impeccable thick piece of Meat. I had 2 bites: one to Feel its Zest & a second to Filter its Deliciousness in my mind… “The Persistence of Memory” from Salvador Dali! A Clock melting and Time Stopping to relish the moment. A Superb piece of Art!

Rebecca & Kristof, my little Favorite young Couple, had the Fish with potatoes. A dish made with Dinstinctive Expertise, as if the Chef had put all of his Care and Sophistication to create a Rainbow of Aromas…

A Feeling of Love. Definitely “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt…

Suzanne, my Father’s Wife, had the Pheasant. A beautifully designed plate… a Work of Art.. A Rafaello Sanzio when he painted “Madonna di Santo Sisto”. What I love about that painting are those 2 little Angels. The Innocence and Purity in their Gaze looking upward is so Playful and Teasing. Although I doubt Rafaello had that in Mind… But then again, each one of us, depending on the Psychology we have, can see a Painting differently in Million ways. The Pheasant had a Greasy texture when I had a try. It Dissolved in my mouth… and its tenderness was exactly like Holding those Angels from that Painting: Soft, Soothing and Supple. A taste of Childhood…

I had the Deer. I had never tasted that kind of meat and it enchanted me! The dish was decorated with little Flowers that gave it a Unique presentation. Its taste was so Fragile.. As if I could sense the Elegance of the Deer. Its meat was incredibly Captivating… I closed my eyes and Bowed to its Graceful and Virtuous Nobility. A Finesse that only Leonardo Da Vinci brings out in his “Mona Lisa”…

A wonderful evening with Emotions & Love…

My week in Belgium ended with Beautiful Sensations… Incredible how quickly it went by…. Like an Espresso Shot!

But it was definitely a Delicious One that stigmatized me with Enticing & Delectable Images & Sentiments. A trip that Refilled my batteries with Positive Energy but also with Peace of Mind & Serenity from my Daily routine in Greece. An Inner Placid Composure filled with Passion from my Friends, my Father, his Family and of course from Mr & Mrs Gastronomy!

Now… Time to Fly Back Home… Avec un ‘Elan Vital!

Lydia Bassadios Passadaiou
Laugh Through your Heart! Breath into Life with a Lucid Smile! Love Naturally! Genuinely! Daily Moments are Passions To Grasp! To Sense! To Savour! To Listen! To Touch! To Master! Welcome to My Style of Living!

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