2310 30th Street, South Park
(No longer in business.)
The World Cup is over, which means we can put all of our ill will toward Belgium behind us. It’s actually in our best interest and the timing couldn’t be better. Belgian Independence Day is July 21, which doesn’t mean much to most of us — we do live in America after all, and have virtually no connection with Belgium other than that unfortunate loss we suffered to them. But on July 19, fans of beer, including the plethora of Belgian ales that have inspired the creations from local breweries like The Lost Abbey and Societe Brewing Company, will have reason to rejoice if they toast the country’s emancipation at South Park’s Brabant Bar and Cafe.
The beer-centric eatery will be serving a number of Belgian dishes — which is in no way out of the ordinary for this shrine to all things black, red, and yellow. But these specialties are hardy reasons for celebration all on their own. Frikandel — a Belgian street food where beef sausage is fried until it splits, creating something of a “meat canoe” for various toppings — will be offered along with a chicken- and duck fat-crafted boudin blanc de fowl, Flemish seafood stew, and suckling pig. According to owner Adam Parker, there are more pigs than people in Belgium. “They love their pork, as does everyone anywhere where there are humans with eyes and stomachs,” he said. “So, we chose to do our version of pork as decadently as possible, taking an Alpine-raised suckling pig from Cook Pigs Ranch, stuffing it with oregano, parsley, basil, pistachios, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and some emulsified pancetta — because why the hell not — then cooking it low and slow for six-to-eight hours.”
In addition to the regionally inspired cuisine, a special draft list of Belgian-inspired beers (brews produced in the traditional style by breweries in other countries) will be available. That list includes American offerings Victor and Victoria from Allagash, Almanac Dogpatch Sour, Lost Abbey’s Framboise de Amarosa and Red Poppy Ale, the 2012 vintage of North Coast Grand Cru, Stone’s “The Tiger Cub” Saison aged in white wine barrels and Reason Be Damned Abbey Ale aged in red wine barrels, and, fittingly, a Belgian Independence Day IPA from Brewery Ommegang. Beerbrunga, a wild ale brewed with plums from Italy’s Loverbeer and 2012 Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien from Switzerland’s Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes will also be on tap along with a lone Belgian specialty, De Glazen Toren Cuvee Angelique. Nothing says independence like the ability to exercise one’s freedom of choice.