All the way in the back of the Oosterparkwijk, right where the newly built houses start, you can find Bie De Buuf: a neighbourhood restaurant and a place to meet the locals. On a very low key base people can get to know more about healthy food, how to prepare it and how to preserve food. And with vegetable gardening. Because Toentje, a city argricultural project was the one who took the initiative for restaurant Bie De Buuf. Every Wednesday Resto VanHarte’s chefs provide the meal and together with city blogger OOGST Groningen I enjoyed dinner there in the midst of June.
It’s still quiet when we enter the former factory around 5.30 pm. This gives us a change to discover the space and take some pics. We hear the number of reservations for the dinner differs every week. Sometimes it’s 30 (the maximum for now) and sometimes just 8 people. Tonight only a small number of people will join us for dinner at Resto VanHarte. The chefs don’t care: they put just as much effort and love in a meal for 10 or for 30. The restaurant opened in late 2016 and serves a 3 course dinner every Thursday for just 10 Euros per person. The meal is prepared fresh on the spots, by trained chefs and with mostly local ingredients. What’s on the menu is a surprise until it’s served. The sometimes joining guest chefs are also a surprise. Experienced chefs and a few voltunteers take care of the rest: A solid team that knows how to prepare a satisfying and attractive dinner.
Bie De Buuf feels like an attractive canteen, decorated with vintage porcelain, pots and plants. The open kitchen, very industrial looking, fits perfectly in the easy setting that is especially inviting and not too complicated.
While I walk around the premises with a camera in one hand and my phone (Instagram) in the other, we discover Bie De Buuf is part of creative work space Het Werk. Young creatives rent space in this former beverage factory and it has become much of a space to join forces and work together in an inspiring environment. Artist Oscar Venema invites us into his work space. Wow! geeft ons een kijkje in zijn atelier. Wauw! Venema is a sculptor, cross media artist and modern painter and I’m really impressed by his work. Not only are the sculpturs real works of art but the paintings (sometimes 2-3 metres high and 4-5 metres long) are dark and striking. When we have the change, we’ll definately come back to take a look at The Work. Of course we’ll take you with us on the blog.
Around six o’clock it’s time for dinner. Because their turned out to be no croquettes for the vegetarians among us, the guest chef from Toko Lekker has hopped in his car to get some from his freezer! The roti croquettes, served on a bed of red cabbage, are simply divine. They are filled with snake beans in a sauce and the outside is prepared with cumin to give that special roti pancake taste. Delicious! (Tip: from July 1st 2017 Toko Lekker delivers authentic Surinam food at your home in Groningen.)
The main course, served in stylish black bowls, is a very tasty plantbased curry with cauliflower and creamy coconut milk. Very satisfying! It is served with white rice, a cold cucumber salad and a coconut pancake. It’s so much, I did not even empty the bowls. The quality and level of cooking is pretty high standard compared to some of the restaurants in Groningen.
For dessert we are served a peach and Grand Marnier crumble with whipped cream and an Indian spiced lassi. Mmm!
Totally satisfied we walk to the back of the terrain to check out city vegetable garden Toentje. This allotment is an initiative of Jos Meijers, the local Food bank and the city of Groningen. The project brings people together and offers a sustainable platform to alleviate poverty in the city by activating people, producing food, education and promoting good health. Different kinds of fruit, veg and herbs are grown in the garden. This food is mostly for the city’s Food bank. Volunteers can join and there are also some participation jobs. Toentje also owns a hop garden together with local beer brewery Bax Bier.
Isn’t it great that Groningen has so many cool and sustainable local initiatives? We are definately going to have dinner again at Resto VanHarte soon. Would you like to join us, then please drop us a note.
Bie De Buuf / Creative Work Space Het Werk
Paradijsvogelstraat 10, Groningen
Make a reservation for Bie De Buuf/Resto VanHarte here before Wednesday 1 pm. Don’t forget to pass on any dietary wishes.
You can find Toentje, the vegetable garden right behind Bie De Buuf.