Posted on Nov 17, 2020
A 2nd lockdown and dark nights. No end in sight to the coronavirus crisis and winter stretching out in front of us.
On the face of it, there isn’t much to be cheerful about.
But one bit of much needed cheer is the ability of eateries to still offer a service, albeit of the takeaway variety.
In a country like Belgium, where food and eating out is a staple diet of society, that is no mean thing
One such place that is making the most of this is Bavet, a spaghetti eatery in Ixelles where the owners have been busy meeting the culinary needs of their loyal band of customers during these depressing times.
Unlike most other places that are doing the same, but with a much reduced takeaway service, Bavet has managed to keep a normal menu.
The lockdown now in force is, of course, the 2nd to hit this country and the restaurant sector has been particularly hard hit, being among the first places that have to close and then the last that are allowed to reopen.
The latest confinement goes on until at least December and many fear it could be until the new year before restaurants are allowed to reopen.
With Christmas looming that would be a huge blow to a sector already reeling badly from the pandemic.
But,in the best tradition of Belgians, Bavet has dug deep and is making the most of a bad situation.
If you like spaghetti this is the place to head for. There are several branches of Bavet around the country (three in Brussels and others in Brugge, Antwerp, Mechelen, Leuven and, most recently, Liege (with one also in the Dutch city of Maastricht) but the concept at each is the same – to serve good, wholesome and very tasty spaghetti.
The same menu is offered at each which give you the chance to opt for a big range of different dishes (see the website for full details). There is also a great choice of sauces to compliment each dish.
The prices, considering the quality of the spaghetti, are remarkably reasonable and you will certainly not break the bank ordering a takeaway from here.
Each Bavet has its own distinctive design and the Ixelles branch is notable for a wonderfully creative ceiling (make sure you take a look when you next get the chance). The interior resembles a U.S-style diner and there’s some great old memorabilia, including 1970s LP covers, adoring the walls.
The menus are also in English and contain dishes with some great names such as Kenny’s Revenge Horse, Billy Bunter Dog, Bolo Bastard Horse and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Among the most popular is the Holy Grail Horse, a Bavet special coming with cheese and topped off with bacon, onion and parmesan. The Bavet combinations allow you to have two types of spaghetti on the same dish.
All the food is served in a bowl from which it can also be consumed and there are also options for veggies and vegans.
One of the two cooks at the Ixelles branch is Jean-Michel Van Gansen, a Belgian/Taiwanese national, who has been working here for a few months and has seen the impact the pandemic has on business, as it has everywhere.
But he says the takeaway service is still doing well and is offering a “ray of light” for people who may be stuck at home during these dark times.
The takeaway services is available daily at lunchtime and also in the evening, from 6pm to 9.15pm, either by ordering via a delivery firm or direct from the restaurant. To book, you need to choose your location and then tap on the “book at table” button on the website. Opening times at each branch may differ.
Some interesting Bavet merchandise is usually available for purchase and, once you’ve your bowl of spaghetti here you can truly call yourself a “Baveteer”!
The bag you will get for the takeaway has “this person has good taste” written on and that neatly sums up the Bavet experience.
A good old fashioned takeaway, snuggled up in front of the tv with a good bottle of wine (or Belgian beer) is just the way to forget about the misery of life right now.
Chaussée de Boondael 413,Ixelles
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