Belgium > Villers-devant-Orval
Beer Available At A L’Ange Gardien (arranged by most recent)
Petit Orval 86, Orval 99
Beershine (707) The Sunshine State, Florida | October 23, 2013
56 AMBIANCE 1/5 SERVICE 2/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD 6/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 10/20
I agree with the previous rater fully. The cafe was a sinful disappointment after the monastery visit. I was literally in tears walking through the sublime atmosphere of the monastery, especially when able to sit down by the legendary fountain. A huge fan of archaeological ruins, I spent much time (several hours) with the exhibits and the site. Afterwards, I was looking forward to the liquid sustenance to correspond with the spiritual sustenance but felt like the cafe is a deliberate antipode to the monastery! The decor is horrible, but that could be forgiven if everything else was in order. Service was indifferent, and occasionally rude. Food is good when you consider that they have the three different monk cheese made at the monastery (so you don’t have to buy a whole kilo yourself) but otherwise the menu is uninspired. Worst yet, the beers (especially the bottles) are served way too cold. What are they thinking?? There was no ceremony, no reverence for the beer at all. It was a great honor to come for the Petite Orval but the lack of both atmosphere and sincerity left a bad taste in the mouth.
Rastacouere (664) Montreal, Quebec | November 7, 2011
78 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD 10/10 VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 17/20
The infamous Orval restaurant is located just a few hundred meters up the road to the grandest Trappist abbey. The restaurant is actually huge, on 3 or 4 levels with enormous windows. Surprisingly modern like most Trappist abbeys attached restaurants. While we visited on a weekend, this one was particularly touristic, even attracting a bus of Japanese despite the fairly remote location. The fresh Orval was served 4 months old, I’d have been curious to try it younger, but it was not possible. The diluted version is worth the curiosity and still a great beer by any standards, but inferior by a fair margin. While we ate well in all Trappist restaurants, L’Ange Gardien will hold a special place in my heart. The menu is very varied and interesting. I had an excellent Orvaliflette for a mere 9.30 euros and my girlfried had a foie gras and seasonal wild mushroom tagliatelle meal that was plain sublime. In the last few weeks, we’d had similar plates in many tables including Toqué, generally acknowledged as the best in Montreal and the Ange Gardien plate was actually tastier. The portion was huge, not even considering its 13 euros price tag and trust me none was leftover. Exceptionally photogenic areas. The beautiful surroundings including lakes, fountains and ruins can be visited for 5.50 euros, a no-brainer. If you’re going to visit one Trappist, pick Orval.
Oakes (640) Vancouver, British Columbia | March 22, 2014
46 AMBIANCE 1/5 SERVICE 1/10 SELECTION 10/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 11/20
This is a cafe near the monastery. The monastery itself is glorious, huge, old, ruins, big crates of beer and bricks of cheese. The cafe just down the road is kind of a let down. It has the atmosphere of a university cafeteria, with the disinterested service to match. You come here for the Orval Vert on tap, which at this point is just about the only way to get that beer. They also have some aged bottles of regular Orval, so theoretically you could put together a really cool tasting. But they haven’t really organized anything like that. What do I want? Atmosphere - like let me look at the monastery. Service - show some passion. These people are clearly jaded after so many tour buses. They have completely forgotten that they are in a beer pilgrimage site, serving one of the greatest beers ever made.
Dedollewaitor (355) Odense, Denmark | September 7, 2012
76 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD 9/10 VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 14/20
Jonge and Petit Orval. If you sit outside you can see the monastery. I was surprised how commercial it was and the number of tourists there were visitng. Bought a 12 pack of Orval at the shop for 16 Euro’s. Not the cheapest Orval in Belgium funny enough. The man in the shop told be that Petit Orval never had been bottled. I told him it wasnt true and we almost had a big embarrasing argument going on. Long away from Antwerp/Brussels (200Km). If located there it is a 1 day trip. Food at Ange Garden is delicious.
Bryne (293) Bryne, Norway | July 27, 2012
64 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 4/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 13/20
The trappist Abbey is a must visit for all beer geeks although it is a bit outside the beaten track in Belgium. The Orval beer is widespread and is even easy to get in Norway! But, I came to try Petit Orval (Orval Vert) fresh from tap. A lovely beer! At Ratebeer it is listed as 3,5 % and at Ange Gardien as 4,5 %. To bad that the service was extremely slow. Sitting by a table for 10-15 minutes waiting to order a beer is way to long. The place was not crowded at all. My message: Hurry up! (Visited July 3rd 2012)
JoeinEscazú (278) Ozark, Missouri | August 9, 2007
62 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 6/15 FOOD 5/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 13/20
Had the requisite Petit Orval. Cool old tavern with a nice atmosphere. The service was quick enough even though the place was packed to the gills. Snacks include ham, nice bread, Orval cheese, and various combinations thereof.
caesar (273) Bunnik/Utrecht, Netherlands | June 30, 2006
74 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 7/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 20/20
Drank the Petit Orval here. Nice place, but the Abbey is the real attraction i would say. Staff was kind of slow over here, although the last month of june is not really crowdy to say the least. Selection, well they have the petit Orval and the normal Orval, so that’s good. Furthermore, selection is as usual in Belgium i presume. So, i give the most points for overall, cause it includes my visit to one of the most beautiful abbeys in the world.
Nate (272) Indiana, Pennsylvania | February 4, 2008
72 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 9/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 16/20
Visited in summer 2004. Great little place to sit and have the Petit Orval, some sausages and cheese with celery salt, and read a book for a while. Within walking distance to the abbey.
JulienHuxley (247) Hilversum, Netherlands | July 20, 2014
74 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD 4/10 VALUE 6/10 OVERALL 13/20
Restaurant that takes care of dining and drinking the hordes of tourists that make it to Orval. The beer selection is great, you can have old Orval (bottle), young Orval (bottle) or Petit Orval (tap) - what more can you want? The food is pretty bad, cafeteria level stuff, had some duck leg that was darn near inedible - probably should have gone with the orvaliflette, potatoes bacon and Orval cheese can’t go wrong. The service was pretty pro, nice and efficient. They have a shop with some cool merch as well, but the abbey is much better for that. Good place to drink some Orval.
mullet (224) Melbourne, Australia | January 3, 2010
72 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD 6/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 14/20
The area sure is beautiful and the abbey is pretty impressive too. I was there in the summer and the weather was fantastic so we had a great time out on the patio but it was kind of spoiled by the parade of semi-trailers going past. Not as peaceful as you’d expect at a monastery. Omelettes were only OK, and I don’t rate Orval cheese at all but the saucisson was fantastic.
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