May 17, 2012


People and by people I mean wikitravel warned me that Dutch food was not going to very good, something about the dishes being bland and underwhelming. So it came as a big surprise when my mom and I literally spent our entire trip eating. Our schedule consisted of breakfast, walking, snack, lunch, walking, dinner, and dessert. Then repeat for 2 more days. Granted most of the food we ate consisted of crepes and french fries. Is that considered real food?

Dutch Pancakes at Sara's Pancake House
+ crepe with cherries, chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream and powdered sugar
+ cappuccino
+ legit syrup
We had our first Dutch pancake experience at Sara's Pancakehouse, a small shop somewhere in the Southern part of Amsterdam. Apparently Amsterdam is known for its pancakes? The pancake aka crepe was out of this world. It might have been the best crepe I have ever had (Shocking considering we are comparing this to Paris and Montreal). Everything about the dish was perfect and most surprising of all was the nondescript place we ate them from. After that experience, we were hooked and decided that we needed to eat our fill of pancakes before we left. I did some googling and according to the New York Times, the place to go for pancakes is none other than Pancakes! so that's where we headed the next morning.

Breakfast at Pancakes!
on left: traditional Dutch apple pancakes with raspberry sauce
on right: chocolate, banana and mixed nuts crepes

Pancakes! is a tiny little establishment with about 5 or 6 tables and swathed in typical Dutch blue and white. There was about a 30 minute wait but what's 30 minutes for the city's best pancakes? We opted for the dutch pancakes which came with fresh squeezed orange juice and a banana/chocolate/nut medley. Unfortunately, the meal was somewhat disappointing. Maybe it was all the hype or our raised expectations or the specific dishes we ordered but we both agreed that Sarabeth's offerings were definitely better.

Pomme Frites and Pickled Herring
Pomme frites with mayo
Picked herring sandwich with pickles and onions
Before I visit a new city, I compile a list of the it foods that the city is known for and I make it point to try it when I am there. Pickled herring was one of them. I've never actually encountered the concept of pickled herring as a dish before, except for the jars sitting in our fridge at home that my dad buys and then no one eats...but since this was supposed to be an authentic Dutch specialty, I had to give it the proper attention. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed the combination of the herring with the sweet pickles and onions on a roll, my mom was not a fan. On the other hand, pomme frites aka french fries was something that we were quite familiar with. The way they serve them up is in big thick wedges in a paper roll with a massive serving of mayo on top (we asked for ours on the side). Golden perfection. 

Ice Cream 
Yogurt and Mango flavored ice cream

We stumbled upon this ice cream place after our breakfast at Pancakes! and lo and behold, there's a line stretching out onto the sidewalk and an award on the window stating that its been crowned the best ice cream in Amsterdam. Yea, it was pretty darn good.

+ stroopwafel
+ waffles with dark chocolate and candied nuts
On Saturday, we journeyed  to the Albert Cuyp Market which one of the most well-known flea/foodie markets in Amsterdam. In addition to some nuts and a cornish hen (yup a whole one) that we sampled, there was also a stroopwafel and a chocolate waffle. Stroopwafels are made of two layers of as sweet cinnamony batter and in the middle is a layer of thick caramel sauce. They are fantastic. You can buy them from the grocery store or if you are lucky and happen to stumble across a little stand at the flea market, you can buy a fresh one for 1 euro. wowzers. The waffles were also absurdly delicious, made fresh to order and smothered in chocolate and nuts :)

Beer and Meat
+Cornish hen
+ beer
+ dippings for fries and meat
There's a been a big trend in microbreweries in Amsterdam in the past few years. Although the city is the HQ of Heineken, independent breweries weren't really a thing until pretty recently. We had dinner at Bier Fabriek, a rustic restaurant with a small food selection and even smaller beer selection. There's a handful of bar snacks you can order, some salads and the roasted cornish hen.  For beer, there were about 4 offerings with 2 on tap that the restaurant brewed themselves. You can see them roasting the cornish hens about 20 or 30 at time upon entering the restaurant, there's a huge rotisserie oven right by the front and 4 chefs manning the device. All in all, Amsterdam was quite the foodie adventure.

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