Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Amsterdam Trip Part Drie: Little Bites Here and There

I've had very little time to report in, but two things are for certain. One: it's very difficult to not find a different cuisine to sample every night. Two: it's fairly easy to spend €15 to €20 (that's $23 to $30) on a meal. At least I get a free breakfast. Unfortunately, it's godawful, so I just go to the local Albert Heijn supermarket and buy a croissant for €0.50.

Again, I have no access to my photos at this point. Yep, stupid hotel's wireless just is untappable with my computer. So photos will come later. I must say that, apart from the hotel kitchen, everything I´ve eaten has been quite good. To wit, a few cuisines and their attached restaurants:

Dutch - already addressed this in my previous post. But I am desperately looking around for stroopwaffels to bring back. Man, I love those things. You can get them for a little more money at Trader Joe's for about $5 (at Albert Heijn they are €1.50, or around $2.25). Lovely things. Also bought some syrup, which is far less sweet and far more molasses-y than our own. Also bought some sambal oelek, a very hot spice which is...

Indonesian - My friends and I all had some nasi goreng and Bojo, as well as a few other things. RE: Indonesian food is like Chinese food in the US. It. Is. Everywhere. That's due to Dutch colonialism in Indonesia. I had a very hot mackerel. Jim had lamb satay. I can´t recall what Gil had. I have to ask him. Total cost for me was about €15.

Surinamese - Most Americans have never heard of Suriname. And though I tried to find a purely Surinamese restuarant in Amsterdam, all I could find was a Surinamese-Chinese one. That´s the Wok to Walk, a popular franchise here. I got the Balinese bami with pork for about €5.

Italian - O Sole Mio is pretty close to Bojo, and for that matter it´s close to a few good eet-huisen. I got the pizza napoletana (anchovies, tomato sauce and mozzarella) for about €11. €4 more and I was in tiramisú heaven.

Sweets - Australian is not an Australian place. Instead, it has waffles, crepes and lots and lots of chocolate. My crepe with nutella, chocolate sauce and whipped cream was €4. The crepe was not soft at all, but that turned out to be a good thing, as I needed it to be hard so everything would not fall out.

Irish - Hoopman's is one of many, many Irish pubs in Amsterdam, again near the street with the aforementioned O Sole Mio and Bojo. I had a hearty salmon chowder for lunch today, their Galway Bay Chowder, for €10. Very good idea, considering the ridiculous amounts of snow, little styrofoam ball-sized pellets of hail, and more snow that we have been getting here. No problem, though: it's supposed to get much sunnier on the day I leave. Wat yammer.

Middle Eastern - Crystal on Leidestraat, one of the main thoroughfares through the city, serves up a mean hummus and falafel platter. My friends got lamb shaorma and something else - I forget what exactly. Mine cost about €11.

Indian - Bollywood ain't just the biggest movie industry in the world, it's also a cozy two-story restaurant across from Bojo. Most of their entrées run about €20, but we each got the chicken table meal for €14: pappadam, chicken soup (the only part I wasn't too crazy about - lots of grains of chicken), chicken curry, the tastiest and tenderest chicken tandoori I have had in a very long time, and naan.

Chinese - Two Chinese places to talk about, both on Zeedijk near the Red Light District. Nam Kee has been mentioned in various travel guides, and no wonder: they get you in very quick if they can, and will seat you sometimes with someone at a partially full table if there is nowhere else to put you. It´s Chinese but serves many Vietnamese and Indonesian dishes. In fact, many Chinese offerings had typically Indonesian names, such as the Chinese lumpia (spring rolls, €3), which were tasty if greasy. I ordered the nasi goreng, another Indonesian favorite, for €11. Heeeeeel lekker. Jim got the salt and pepper squid (€12). I don´t know what Gil got, because he went off to the small town of Arnhem to visit a friend. That´s the last I´m seeing of him this trip.
The second Chinese place, which all three of us went to a few days ago, was the Good Fortune Dim Sum restaurant. Many good pieces of dim sum there, and the proprietress and waitresses were able to talk to us and others in English, Dutch and several other languages. She commended me on my at least attempting to talk to her in Dutch, even if my friends gave me a ribbing for it. Total cost: €60, or €20 each.

Not sure if I will be checking in again tomorrow or before my flight. I will try. But the photos will be going up later this week, after I´m back in the US. I haven´t had any time to comment, by the way, but thanks to all of you who have given me suggestions and tips and input. I´m still looking for some Belgian chocolate, but it´ll have to be obtained here in Amsterdam. A train ticket to Antwerp, the nearest Belgian city is €58! YIKES!


Broadsheet said...

Sweet Indonesian soy sauce = Kecap Manis. You can get it at H-Mart in B'more.

The first time my Dutch roommate made bami goreng for me and asked for the "katsup meh-niz", I couldn't for the life of me figure out why she would want to pour ketchup and mayonnaise on a beautiful spicy dish.
Luckily, we punted with a mix of soy sauce and molasses. You can buy Kecap Manis - a thick, sweet, Indonesian soy sauce at H-Mart on Rolling Road, or jst mix soy sauce and molasses together.

Anonymous said...

You have tasted something pure surinamese without knowing it:Bojo it is not indonesian but asurinamese creole cassavacake