Cafe 't Gasthuis serves the tastiest Flemish and Belgian classics
The 17th century guesthouse of Alden Biesen has truly been reborn thanks to Martin's Rentmeesterij,the nearby hotel which has refurbished the nostalgic cafe and serves local beers and a menu full of classics from our region’s culinary history .
First a school, then an inn
The old guest house was built in 1616 and was originally a local school. One hundred years later, the then Grand Commander Schönborn created an inn for artisans, shopkeepers, visitors and foreign personnel. Alden Biesen was often a hectic place filled with high profile guests and also all kinds of suppliers. Life got particularly lively when the Grand Commander stayed at Alden Biesen. And it still is again, everyone is welcome for a drink, a small snack or a meal with Flemish and Belgian classics.
Nostalgic interior and local beers
The nostalgic interior with warm wood tones immediately gives guests a cosy home feeling. Wooden tables with a cast iron base, a mix of comfortable armchairs and perfect sofas gives 't Gasthuis the atmosphere of an old-fashioned cafe. Large black-and-white photo panels on the wall show views of the Bruges brewery Bourgogne de Flandres, part of Martin's Finest Beer Selection. Not only are Martin's beers served here, but also an exquisite selection of local beers such as the blond Kompel Bovengronds and the dark brown Kompel Ondergronds, the Jazz Bilzen Bier, named after the legendary music festival, or the unique Heer van Biesen Hoogstam beer, in which yeasts from old standard tree fruit varieties have been processed. The cafe serves up to 90 guests, 50 on the ground floor and 40 on the first floor. Reservations are only recommended for large groups.
Classic Flemish cuisine dishes
The menu of 't Gasthuis is a veritable walk through the classics of Flemish cuisine. Making a selection is guaranteed to be tricky. Every dish is appealing. Take for example the shrimp croquettes made as a work of art, with a crispy crust and a perfectly seasoned filling with a generous portion of grey shrimps. Or the vol-au-vent with fresh chicken, meatballs, mushrooms, an airy hollandaise and a crispy puff pastry. The black pudding comes from a butcher from nearby Hoeselt who has made it his specialty. The creamy sausage served with baked Limburg apples, the meat for the américain is cut by hand and seasoned to taste with, among other things, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, capers, tabasco, parsley and gherkins. The French fries pass every fries test: thick cut, golden yellow crispy and delicate inside. Lovers of an exquisite piece of meat can opt for the tenderloin with a gravy of their choice. And if you’re in the mood, you can opt for pork chops with carrot puree. Mussels with fries, the Flemish classic, and cod-fried cod with a tasty leek puree also feature on the menu. Of course there’s something for the youngest customers as well: special children's dishes. The dessert menu is packed with classics: dame blanche, crème brûlée, chocolate moelleux with vanilla ice cream, cake from the local bakery and even pancakes in the afternoon.
All dishes on the menu were designed by young chef Kevin Bonnano, ex-Jong Keukengeweld and chef Akko, the gourmet restaurant of Martin's Rentmeesterij hotel. They are freshly made daily using quality ingredients and finished to perfection in the kitchen of 't Gasthuis. Fresh and guaranteed to be tasty.