As I posted previously in the picnic thread, I packed a salad and hulled strawberries for our airline dinner. Half a gallon of fresh lemonade made a nice mixer. Breakfast the next morning was sectioned grapefruit with honey.
Restaurants of note:
Plancius: Next door to the museum of the Resistance. (sorry, I don't have the address, just a couple of blocks from Roeterstraat, where our B&B was) Just another one of those casually elegant café/restaurants that seem to abound in the less-touristy sections of the city. OK, there are lots of them everywhere, but more tourist traps in the tourist sections. We split a small cheese plate, with five kinds of cheese and a basket of breads. It was huge, about twice as much cheese as we needed. My daughter ordered beef tenderloin with bordelaise, and the waiter was delighted that an American teenager knew enough to order her beef rare. I didn't get to taste hers. I had duck with hoisin sauce on Chinese noodles. Hidden in it were some sort of preserved or pickled mango bits. Marvelous. The gorgonzola salad looked great. A plain salad I ordered came late, and was nothing I would order again.
Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis: Grimburgwal 2. (020) 626 56 03 Up a treacherous flight of stairs (but isn't everything in Amsterdam worth getting to like that?). An ad calls it "the first gay pancake house." Five tables and kitchen in two tiny rooms. Dutch style pancakes are thicker than crêpes, but not eggy, and about the size of a dinner plate. They are topped with fruit, sauce, whipped cream, powdered sugar, or savory with chicken ragout or bacon and cheese, etc. Dutch bacon is more like a fatty lightly smoked ham than American bacon. Lots of choices. As last time in Amsterdam, we ate there twice. I had the special (Pat, note this when you get back) rhubarb and raspberry purée with freshly whipped cream. The other time I had the bacon and cheese (Dutch cheese, all nicely greasy). My daughter had the chicken ragout, which she liked, but didn't share. Note: Dutch pancakes are lunch, but not breakfast, so this place doesn't open until noon.
Original Peking Cuisine: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal Centrum. Skip this place. Last year we had great dim sum here. The menu was only in Dutch and Chinese, but the waiter just kept bringing us different dishes. This year, tourists get a Dutch/English menu, and they won't let you order what the Chinese people at the next table are enjoying. I didn't have enough energy to fight with them, so we went for some of that whipped-cream softserve you see in the pedestrian mall between this street and Damrak. It's the shop with the long line, in case there's any question.
Garlic Queen: Reguliersdwarsstraat +31 (0)20-4226426 This place is really good. Small, and very popular. Get your reservations early, we went Wednesday, and they were already booked for Saturday, so we happily settled for Sunday. The theme is garlic, so all the dishes are garlicky. Some of the dishes would be better shared, maybe (roasted garlic bulb as an appetizer, baked brie on french bread as an entree) We had a nice Cremant de Burgogne with our meal. I had the roasted garlic app, my daughter had garlic soup. I had a baked lamb entrée. Really nice non-garlic desserts. Afterwards, we had a garlic bonbon and I ordered a garlic eau-de-vie, just to say I did. Talk about essence of raw garlic! That'll put hair on your chest and cure your cold at the same time. Also, our server, Andrea (I asked her name), is the world's most efficient waitress. She and one busboy handled the entire restaurant. She moves so fast, and she was always there exactly when we needed her to be. How refreshing. Also, we got a button which says, "Excuse me, I ate at the Garlic Queen."
Thanks to the improved rate of exchange, our money went noticeably further than two years ago.
So much food, so little time.
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