Celebrating Craft Beer Week erupted into an unexpected kaleidoscope of beer tastings that had me feeling like a true bon vivant by week’s end. To kick it off a little early, a few of us craft beer lovers descended on The Globe Belgian GastroPub in Garden Grove to sample an array of what are really THE original craft beers – Belgian beers. Belgian beers, specifically Trappist beers, have a history that goes back to the Middle Ages when a basic tenet of monastic life was that the monastery had to be self supporting – and that included making beer of irreproachable quality, the income from which covers the living expenses and maintenance of the monastery.
Arriving exactly at our designated 4:00 p.m. meeting time, Greg of OC Beer Blog and I ordered beers straight away. He an Orval Trappist beer (above) and indecisive me a taste of the Blanche du Bruxelle and the Cuvée de Trolls which I remembered from a previous visit because of the glass. Remaining true to tradition, The Globe serves all beer in their respective branded glassware. Depending on the type of beer, yours may be served in a tulip glass, a tall pilsner-type glass, or a chalice or goblet. Owner Michael Pauwels greets regulars by name and, if you’re new to Belgian beers, will make suggestions based on your beer preferences and gladly shares his passion and knowledge of Trappist and the beers of Belgium with anyone who is interested enough to ask. He and his wife and partner Marijke epitomize the European “sit down and stay awhile” hospitality and you’ll definitely want to do just that.
Orval is one of only six Trappist breweries in Belgian today. To qualify for Trappist certification, the brewery must be in a monastery, the monks must play a role in its production and the policies and the profits from the sale must be used to support the monastery and/or social programs outside. Only eight monasteries currently meet these qualifications – six in Belgium, one in the Netherlands and one in Austria. Trappist beer tells where the beers come from, it is not the name of a beer style. Orval is a unique dry-hopped 6.2% amber beer.
I decided to start with the Cuvée de Trolls which has a doughy aroma and refreshing notes of citrus. After spending some time on photographing a collection of the elaborate glassware, we settled into a booth to make some decisions about what to pair with all the wonderful beer we were planning to try.
Nachos are beer food extraordinaire – and it was pointless to try and resist Chef Cristophe’s version – instead of tortilla chips, the Belgian Nachos ($10.95) features crispy twice-fried fries topped with shredded beer beef, cream of mustard, sour cream, jack and cheddar cheeses and salsa fresca. Mouthwatering!
The house-made Bavarian Pretzel ($4.95) is another natural beer pairing that hits it out of the park. Rip off pieces of the tender dough, add a little bite by dipping into spicy Dijon mustard, and you better order another for the table post haste because it will disappear in minutes!
The charcuterie platter at $14.95 is a lovely collection of chef’s selection global cured meats – on this night there was fresh, house-made pâté, Genoa salami, prosciutto, Parma ham, and spicy salami served with cornichons, grainy mustard, tomatoes, red onion and baguette slices.
The Globe is excited to have Chef Christophe lending his unique style to their global menu. French born and trained, Chef Christophe most recently executed his skills at the Encore Dinner Theatre in Tustin and likes to bring fusion, American/Italian/Asian influences to the French classics. The Globe, as its name implies, offers patrons global flavor in its decor and its food. Maps adorn the wall, tables are decorated with mementos, coins, photos and graphics to depict different countries of the world. The menu offers globally inspired, seasonal cuisine and monthly specials, including a gourmet pizza selection, featuring the cuisine of a particular country.
Once our entree orders were in, another round of beers was in order. Owner Michael Pauwels chatted with us for a few minutes and I asked him what his favorite beer was. The answer: Brasserie d’Achouffe.
Of course, I had to try it. La Chouffe is a golden ale, lightly hoppy with an explosion of spicy coriander and sweet citrus notes. I liked the whimsical design of a red-capped gnome – it’s all about the glass you know, and the beer held up to the heartiness of the Coq au Vin I ordered.
The entrees were being served and tables were filling up – including a lively party of celebrants, one of which was cajoled into taking the Ambassador’s Challenge and was delivered the giant 70-ounce chalice of Chimay White. Finishing it earns you a place among the rows of photos that line the coffered ceiling and walls. He was slowing down and I gave him a pep talk on my way out.
The Wild Mushroom Pasta ($13.95) topped with shaved slivers of parmesan was napped in a light lemony cream sauce and dotted with fresh broccoli and chopped tomatoes. Shown here with the addition of chicken which can be breaded and fried, or not. One place where Tuesday’s are not about tacos is The Globe where it’s $10 PASTA NIGHT! Chef’s delicious pasta creations regularly $13.95-$17.95, are just $10 every Tuesday in April from 4PM to Close. Choose from:
Wild Mushroom Pasta – Sautéed wild mushrooms, broccoli, white wine cream sauce.
Jambalaya Pasta – Sautéed shrimp and mushrooms with chorizo and black mussels, tomato cream sauce.
Chicken Parmesan Pasta – Marinated chicken, marinara sauce, parmesan.
The special Indian-inspired pizza ($13.95) with curried chicken, pineapple, and mushrooms sounded good but the Indian flavors I expected were underwhelming. The crust was thin, but not cracker thin, and crunchy – just the way I like it. For me, pizza is a food group onto itself, so on my next visit I’ll try a different one.
Steak Frites ($19.95) with gorgonzola sauce was outstanding. The flavorful outside skirt steak perched atop hand cut Belgian frites was bathed in a creamy gorgonzola sauce and accompanied by freshly sautéed carrots and broccoli.
Slow-roasted Boneless Short Ribs ($19.95) were fork tender and submerged in a deeply flavored au jus and tender roasted vegetables. Guests have a choice of Potato dauphinoise OR Belgian fries. Definitely go with the dauphinoise for this dish. A garnish of flash fried, crispy onion rings added a nice textural touch.
The Coq au Vin ($16.95) – braised chicken with caramelized onions, bacon, mushroom medley in red wine reduction, is not to be missed. I always appreciate heritage recipes so this was the dish I chose for the table and it did not disappoint. You could tell the dish had been simmered for hours (or pressure cooked) – my fork was greeted with little resistance as I went for the first delicious bite of moist meat complemented by the complex, deeply flavored sweet/savory/umami sauce that is achieved when sweet onions, salty bacon, earthy mushrooms and red wine mingle for hours.
Specialities of the house include the Coq au Vin, Beer Beef Stew – *based on owner Marijke’s mother’s recipe, Globe Short Rib with Potato dauphinoise, Belgian Frites, and the Belgian Pretzel. For the month of May, the featured cuisine is Mexican in honor of Cinco de Mayo.
They have an active Facebook page where fans take part in choosing the beers that are on tap weekly and, last but not least, a Daily Happy Hour from 4-7.
12926 Main Street
Garden Grove, CA 92840
Open: Tues-Thurs 4pm-11pm;
Fri & Sat 4pm-1:30am
Closed Sunday and Monday