Thirty-three days since we last stepped foot in a restaurant in Wageningen, we are once again lunching out courtesy of another staycation this time down south in North Brabant. With health regulations still dictating that only hotel restaurants can sit and serve customers, hotel guests exclusively, there was just no getting around it – I had to find not only a good restaurant, it had to be a good restaurant in an interesting hotel, in a town where hopefully there was something both Teko and I could find something interesting to do. Generic as that sounds, the Netherlands being a tiny country – crossing the border to Belgium or Germany is still not an option – it wasn’t easy, more so since we’ve already been to five other local hotel stays since the start of this year. After a lot of perseverance and aimless Google searches, I found us our spot in a very, very old, well-preserved building in surprising Bergen op Zoom.
Lunch was the first thing on my list as soon as we checked in, and after getting seated by a large window side table as the first customers of the day, we were ready to fill our wandering stomachs and make new memories. Dining in a hall dating back to the 14th century was complete icing on the medieval cake.
Since not everyone has the determination and wherewithal to take mini-breaks, it felt such a luxury to be able to dine out, especially in light of current circumstances, and also a bit sheepish getting quizzical looks from passers by.
Our lunch today was amazing if not indulgent – at little over two hours my three-course surprise menu along with two amuses bouche and two loaves of fresh-baked bread was an endurance test – but also well worth it after all these weeks. I didn’t figure out why the restaurant was named after an American storyteller famous for heavy-drinking and running with the bulls (or did he?) but luckily that wasn’t the point. The food, appreciated by us as well as a plump little man who can afford it with a Bib Gourmand, was on all fronts an absolute adventure.