Discover Benelux, Issue 66, June 2019

Page 18

Fast, fresh and affordable Flemish pasta TEXT: THESSA LAGEMAN  |  PHOTOS: BOCCA

If you’re in Ghent or Bruges and you don’t want to spend hours in an expensive restaurant, deciding to go for a lunch in Bocca Pastabar is always a good idea. While the name is Italian – bocca means mouth – don’t expect traditional Italian food here. “The pastas we’re serving aren’t like the ones you get in Italy,” says manager Jonathan Dewyspelaere, who runs the restaurant with his mother and stepfather. “We adjusted the taste to the Flemish market. For example, the Italians don’t like a lot of sauce and cheese on their pasta, while we love it.” In Bocca’s logo is a smile and the number 15, meaning you can order and eat 18  |  Issue 66  |  June 2019

here in 15 minutes. “It’s not easy to find a restaurant where you can sit down for a quick — and fresh — lunch that will cost you so little,” says Dewyspelaere. Unlike in many other restaurants, the pastas and sauces are freshly prepared every day. Apart from eating at Bocca, you can also opt to take away the food or have it delivered to your home or office. First, you choose the size of your box: small for five euros, medium for six euros, or large for seven euros. Next, do you want penne, fusilli or spaghetti? Then choose your sauce: veggie, smoked salmon, four cheeses, or a mixture of sauces, for example. And finally, a topping, such as parmesan, bacon or pine nuts to make the meal complete. Per-

haps you would like to order a soup, salad or a dessert as well?

Pasta of the week Each week, Bocca offers a different ‘pasta of the week’, adjusted to the season’s food. So for example, a cold pasta salad in summer and chicory or a minced meat, cheese and leek sauce in winter. Especially popular is the ‘Bocca’ sauce, which has been sold since 2007. It’s a spicy tomato sauce with cream, served with or without bacon, and with a very secret herb mix. When the first Bocca pasta bar opened in Bruges 12 years ago, the majority of customers were students. “They were happy to find affordable pasta to eat for