Am sifting through the receipts from last month's visit to Amsterdam for my expense report (work trip, but no extravagant budget). A few quick notes:
Some of the best eats (apart from herring stands) were at Bird (Zeedijk 72), very good Thai food. There's an older Thaise Snackbar Bird across the street, same owner, a little cheaper and not even half as good (though fine for a quick bite). Good panang, haw mok dishes, great papaya salad when owner made it, just okay other times.
Very good though not mind expanding rijstaafel at Tempo Doeloe (Utrechtst. 75). Good variety, though heavy on meats. Not really that spicy, all told -- only one too hot to eat. Fabulous waitress.
Fabulous grilled vegetable salad, but disappointing entrees at Spanjer & Van Twist (Leliegracht 60). Really dry tasteless chicken, really dry tasteless fish. Not worth the hype.
Excellent pasta at Caffe Toscanini (Lindengracht 75), nice space, great gnocchi and a fabulous tartufo dessert.
Disappointment at Eethuis Cambodja City (Albert Cuypstraat). Maybe ordered all wrong. Really bizarre ahmok that sort of worked anyway, peanut beef that was pretty good in a gloopy sauce, but really not-Asian noodles--basically buttered wheat noodles with carrots. Left hungry rather than finish it, it was all so untasty. Really nice people, good vibe to the place, perhaps better selection would help?
Good break from meat and cheese at De Bolhoed (Prinsengracht 60) vegetarian restaurant, casual crunchy spot with nice people and big hippie salads.
Surprisingly good pastas at the cafe In De Waag (Nieuwmarkt)-- I would have thought it was all about the location-- just okay salads at lunchtime. Organic market on Saturdays has fabulous fresh fruit. Really good coffee and desserts at the Italian place just down the canal from here, too, good bakery right on the square.
Good dinner pancakes at Pancake Bakery (Prinsengracht 191) -- very nice tomato/spinach/pesto, good ham and pineapple -- dessert ones more blah. Companion liked others in town better but could not remember where he had them.
One of the better meals overall was in Haarlem at Restaurant Bastiaan (Lange Veerstraat 8) -- excellent salads, perfectly fresh salmon, very good simple pasta with mushrooms, nice setting, better service than most places.