I did nothing even close to approximating anything like coming to understand the Amsterdam or Dutch culinary situation. I had some experiences, and these I share.
|I would come to realize Stach is a small chain in Amsterdam. It's a shop with very simple sandwiches but also a little store with lots of fun products and some prepared foods, a completely to-go shop.|
Dutch goat cheese, tomato mayo and arugula (rocket)-$3.95): The rolls are clearly made that morning - a simple, tasty, quick easy sandwich
|Don't ask me why I ate here. I basically had no choice and, much like the food at Pasta Plaza, the story behind it isn't fit for public consumption.|
|Pasta Bolognese - Not even as good as the potato chip version of what should be a succulent, indulgent dish, I had to be coaxed to take even a second bite of this flavorless mess so that I would be able to have a few more beers without passing out.|
|The view from our table wasn't bad though.|
Thursdays to Saturdays from 6:00 - 9:30 they apparently do "(con)fusion Asian" food here.
Espresso: great, ristretto, mild
|To my right were these bookshelves, some of the things on which were for sale.|
|Like these patches for $.2 euros. I wonder what else this strange place had to offer that I didn't see.|
|Smoke a little, and then get you some of this. There are so many fry places, and there are so many combinations to try. This was mayo and satay sauce (with onions). So effing good.|
|There's more than one area, so walk around for a while. Makeup, nail polish, good-looking hot dogs (not terribly special after all), bicycle seats..|
Speltbolletje: (1.2 euros) with spelt flour, hazelnuts and figs or apricot. I may be forgetting another ingredient or two. I was not into it. I think I accidentally found a health nut bakery at the market.
|Got a Meeregranen Croissant (1.8 euros) - It was actually kind of nice tasting, despite not being as buttery as a regular croissant, and it was still flaky and light.|
|Caramba Mexican Restaurant|
Double espresso - good stuff. I loved getting a little bar of chocolate with it. I do that at home all the time. Put a little in my mouth for a bit then sip coffee. Really cute place inside and out. I wonder how the Mexican food is.
|FEBO - If I'd had several more days, I would've gotten around to trying something.|
Pasticerie (near Westerpark) - I needed to use the restroom after my run.
|Aardbei is strawberry. Sadly I wasn't ready for ice cream here. Sinaasappel-jasmyn (orange-jasmine) sounded so good.|
I learned some words while ordering a juice, a wortel (carrots), appel, and gember (ginger) juice ($3.50)- great juice, well-balanced flavors
I thought it was weird when an Australian bemoaned to me the lack of fresh juice around Amsterdam. Apparently in Australia every cafe has fresh juice almost the way there's nowhere that doesn't have coffee. For me though, it seemed like there was a lot of fresh juice here. Not as much as in Mexico City, but way more than any city in America that I've been to at least.
|There are not a lot of options once you get to the train platform at Amsterdam Centraal. Eat before you get there so you don't have to have a Starbucks muffin.|
|I had one more night and day in Amsterdam at the end of my trip. I was so hungry and really wanted vegetables, so I stopped in The Red Light District and found that lots of Thai places were still open as late as it was (9pm maybe). It was good stuff.|
Espresso: 8.5/10, less bitter here than all those Lavazza places, more caramely and other sweet notes instead
|Spanjer Cafe + Van Twist: With breakfast from 10-12, lunch menu from 10-16:45, and a slightly more elaborate dinner menu after that. You can sit in side or outside on the canal. It's just around the corner from the Anne Frank house (reserve a ticket to the AFH and make your life much, much easier).|
Espresso: good stuff, served with a little cookie as I always appreciate
Surinamese Chicken Sandwich: On wonderful Dutch brood, with a sweet and spicy chutney, stewed chicken and pickles (though I eventually ate the pickles separately as they were a little overpowering). Cute.
Bier Fabriek: Tons of outdoor seating led me to choose here for some reading, writing and relaxing. That and the descriptions of their three homemade brews to choose from. Oh my god, on a little bit of hash, I felt like I just had to try them all. And the menu was so cutely simple that I almost wanted to ditch my Indonesian plans and order one of the two food options. I mean, farm chicken with fries and sauces sounded awesome.
Puur: Nice, I like unfiltered without the cloves and shit of Hefewiezens
|Rosso, a ruby red ale: Just as described: thirst-quenching, smooth, fruity and slightly bitter|
Since the Dutch colonized Indonesia from the 16th century until the '40s, Indonesian is one of the cuisines to try when In The Netherlands. A local woman I met at Spanjer highly recommended this place to me.
Nasi Kuning (16.50 euros): Tasty hybrid of Indian / Thai / Jamaican Flavors, it seemed to me, which is fun combo indeed, if all of the flavors themselves were already familiar. The toasted coconut shavings were kind of cool as they were more like a seasoning than anything else. There were just three there, but the roasted peanuts with the skins on were so good! I swear to god that those potato sticks are the kind you get at the grocery store next to, say, the Pringles.
Watching people decide whom to ask for directions is fun. Don't we always try to find someone at least a little less attractive than we are? It's, like, yeah, you'll help me.
I had been disliking the tipping customs and keeping track of all of them in all the countries I visited, but I finally realized that the way Americans tip can also be awkward, like when there's just one waiter and she just stands a few feet away while you leave your tip, then has to wait till just the right moment of you walking away to go and get the tip, or else I think she's worried someone walking by might take it.
The dessert scene in Amsterdam is intense, partly due to the Belgian waffle thing, and clearly even more so to do with how many people are walking around with severe munchies. The following is just some of what can be found at just one place called Ice Bakery by Nutella:
The melon gelato (I sampled) was amazing.