Local Color

I stumbled on some local color in Brugge. Mind you Brugge is a tourist town, as is my home community in America in the summers. Now it is a bit quiet on the Brugge streets, frequented more with locals especially in early morn which was when I was out on this rainy day, having a pressing errand. Local color is a concept that I was recently explaining and depicting to my Grade 11 American literature students…so I am into local color. The errand was quickly accomplished, and I was ‘sniffing out’ a midmorning coffee somewhere. Not much is open except the local patisserie chain so I wandered toward home on a back street. Along the way, in a lone open restaurant on the ‘zand, a popular square, I spied through the window, several local women lounging and chatting over coffee. One lady in the square was heading very decidedly to the door of this restaurant so to myself I said, “You know, this is an OK place for a nun to have coffee,” and I followed her inside. The lady grabbed the local newspaper from the shelf and settled into a table by the window. I chose a table more demurely in the back of the spacious restaurant but amongst other tables of two and three ladies chatting. I loved it! No English here. I managed to order my latte and even exchanged it when the wrong item was delivered — all in Dutch. The waitress knew everyone and stopped to chat at each table. I was definitely a new face and an outsider but was treated with the same smile and warm Flemish attention. I perused the menu and wow, what a surprise — jugged hare with cranberries and apple and pheasant in cream sauce. Hardly American fare. No hamburgers here. There was of course the typical Flemish stew and mussels and french fries which I have had the privilege of trying on visits from friends who wished to treat a nun. Our own monastery cook does hare-sketch-drawing-isolated-white-background-48436979Flemish stew also and her frites are the best ever! However, pheasant and jugged hare are not on the monastery menu! This restaurant is on my ‘bucket list’ if sisters are allowed to have such a thing. I will peep a little prayer to the good God and when asked by a visiting friend what I would like, I have the answer, lunch of Pheasant or Jugged hare. My spirits were a bit dampened when I was learned these items are only on the menu in hunting season so the friend must come soon!


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