If you’re a fan of the Belgian football team, this place is probably the equivalent of a culinary heaven.
You can eat some very pleasant traditional Belgian cuisine while surrounded by your football heroes (or, at least, reminders of them).The very appropriately named Red’s Sports Bar & Grill is situated on the same site as the Belgian Football Centre, where the Belgian national team train before games.
It’s located within the Martin’s Red Hotel, one of several in a highly successful hotel chain (other “branches” include Waterloo and Brussels).The informal restaurant and surroundings are, as you would expect, something of a shrine to Belgian football, past and present.
Apart from when the players are actually staying at the hotel themselves before games, the restaurant is open to all throughout the week and weekends. And anyone who loves good food (and football!) will have a great time here.
This is the meeting place for influential people in the world of football and, whisper it quietly,it’s not uncommon to run into the football stars as well. These might include other national teams which also use the hotel and adjacent soccer centre as their base when visiting Belgium for games (be they competitive or friendlies).
Look out for the many scarves, in a display, which have been left by visiting teams, including Anderlecht.
The Red’s Sports Bar & Grill continuously broadcasts sports and football news and its location behind the hotel enables it to offer a 180° view on the (highly impressive) facilities of the footy centre.
The restaurant, which (like the hotel) has just celebrated its first anniversary, seats up to 70 and serves classic Belgian products, grilled meats and fish. The latest fixed menu, which was recently introduced, includes perennial favourites like beef carpaccio and croquettes (shrimps and cheese) for starters.
Mains include beef brochette (Belgian meat, of course), a “Red Angus” burger, boulettes à la Liegeoises and chicken skewer.
Deserts feature old fashioned dame blanche and crème brulee and there’s also a nice choice of wines and great Belgian beers.
This is very much a child-friendly place to eat as well and there is a “Mini-Red Devils” menu at just €19 per person.If you happen to be in the area at lunchtime there is a very good value business lunch option at €19 for two courses, plus a dish of the day that changes daily.
It doesn’t take long after you arrive here that the theme of the place is very much connected to Belgian football and the Red Devils (looking forward to taking their place in the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia).
The restaurant staff where red and yellow (what else?!) and there’s fascinating Red Devils memorabilia scattered around the place.
Tubize, albeit a slightly undiscovered part of Belgium, itself is well worth a visit. Located in the heart of Roman Païs, a region protected from mass tourism and yet rich in all kinds of activities, its attractions include old Nivelles and its Saturday market, the former Brussels-Charleroi canal, the Moulins d’Arenberg, the Chapelle Notre-Dame au Bois and the Ittre marina.
But, of course, when visiting Red’s Sports Bar & Grill it is probably the food you’ve come for and, happy to report, dinners are unlikely to leave disappointed.
It’s tasty, wholesome and good-value for money and a fine way to spend a relaxing evening. If you’re just after a light snack they also cater for that too with croque-monsieur and delicious pizza.
It has a large free car park and is situated, conveniently, close to the motorway and can be accessed from Brussels in about half an hour.
Worth bearing in mind that the hotel offers weekend packages, including romantic breaks for couples. Like the football centre, the 79-room boasts some great facilities, including fitness rooms and auditorium.
The cuisine is the work of head chef Stephan Pivato, a graduate of the renowned Liège Hotel School, who has been in charge of kitchens for over 35 years. He is accustomed to serving intimate gourmet tables and has also overseen several restaurant openings at other hotel complexes.
Whatever the fortunes of Belgium on the football field in Russia next year you can be sure of a top-rated performance, off the pitch, by Stephen and his team.
To coin a football phrase, they certainly “hit the back of the net” with their fab food.
Good to Know
Address: Rue de Bruxelles 484, 1480 Tubize
Telephone: 02 634 1111