Sunday, March 23, 2008

Amsterdam Trip Part Twee: Dutch food - goed, of niet so goed?

Pictures to follow...

I haven't gotten to a working internet connection since Thursday. It's now Easter Sunday morning (Happy Easter, or Goede Passdag) and I am surprised that anything is open right now.

I have no way to get the pictures off my card at this internet kiosk, and some of the places I hve eaten I only remember by name if I see their photo in my camera. So I will just wait on writing about them (long story short: fascinating and fast stir fry at this Surinamese-Chinese noodle franchise, excellent Indonesian food, not so great Dutch, delicious Middle Eastern, and a pancake in the Hague that is to die for). Let me mention at least the Dutch food I have had:

The Hotel Old Quarter has been, well, interesting. Not in the best way either. Loud and loutish tourists from Germany, the UK and - yes! - the US have either kept me up at night or woken me up in the morning. The plus side? They have free breakfast. The minus side? It's not very good. But if you pay €5 more you get a real English breakfast (the proprietor is English I think. Lots of English ex-pats here).

One frigid night my friend Jim (not a fan of being out to begin with) begged me that if we went back to the hotel, which we had just left, he'd buy me dinner there. I was all up for that! I ordered a traditional Dutch dish, called hutspot. This is a potato mash with shreds of carrot and onion mixed in, and a large meatball covered with gravy in the middle. I don't know if it's supposed to be good, but theirs certainly was not. It was like a big Salisbury Steak meatball, only hard. The potatoes also left something to be desired. At least the dessert pancake with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream was better. They had the most wonderful ice cream. It's the only good thing they serve there.

In fact, I had to go all the way to the Hague to find good Dutch food. At the Babbelen Brasserij I got this filling and very tasty pannekoeke met spek en kaas (pancake with bacon and cheese), with powdered sugar and syrup. Dutch syrup is not super sweet like in the US. In fact, it's the main part of their delicious syrup waffle cookies. I must buy some of each to bring back.

Time at the kiosk is almost out. I'll write soon... With photos!


Broadsheet said...

mmmm - Dutch food! Bring back Stroopwaffels, and if you want good breakfast fare, try some Kwark and Vla. Don't miss the Indonesian food either: bami or nasi goreng with pinda sauce and a nice fried egg - to die for. You can buy the mixes and sauces ready made in the market - Conimex is the brand to look for.

There was a wonderful street market in the village I stayed in last time I was there, and the pickled herring on a stick wasn't half bad.

John said...

About the stroopwafels: I did! I loaded up on them. I was so taken by them that as soon as my sister picked me up I pulled them out of my bag and said, "Here, try this." I don't know how they will last past mid-April. Also, someone commented elsewhere that sambal manis and oelek were at H-Mart, so I have to get there for some.