Markt, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
Brugge Markt Frite-for-AllCome for the chocolate, stay for the frites; and the beer for that matter. The Belgian chefs introduced the fried potato two centuries before the French got around to them. The Flemish have their Brussels sprouts and Belgian waffles, but when I'm in Brugge, I head for the frites shacks on the Markt square.
In the center of everything, people queue up in front of two green food carts for a taste of this local delight. The frites are just the start with a selection of dipping sauces that will light up your palate. Curried ketchup, Thai mayo and a Hollandaise affair that will take years of your heart, but who's counting. I'll bag my baskets and wander down the avenue to find myself a Belgian beer boutique to complete my edible exploit.
After watching the world drift by in my deep-fried food haze, it's time to walk off a few thousand calories. I head for the canals that surround the old city and get some miles in waddling past ancient windmills and thinking about my next stop.
The Halve Maan brewery is a working beer producer and museum in the heart of town. Always a variety of styles and strengths, the Half Moon is my go to pause that refreshes. Take the tour if it's your first visit. I head straight for the bar. If I plan on hanging out it's the blonde Zot. For just a one-beer stop before dinner, Straffe Hendrik is a great call. If it was up to me, it would be back for another round of famous potatoes, but my date has other culinary concerns. There's always breakfast...