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Got back from Amsterdam in early April and NOW I’m getting around to posting food photos.  So I’m a little slow.

First meal was at De Blaffende Vis  (Barking Fish), a place I hesitate to even mention because it’s already really popular. We spent a LOT of time there over our four weeks.

My husband had a BLTA


I had this kind of amazing curry salmon soup.


And beer. Of course. The first two of many.  MANY.





We drink a lot of coffee in Amsterdam because it’s so far superior to American coffee that it’s like an entirely different product altogether. AND you almost always get a little cookie with it. These from De Blaffende Vis


These from Bagels and Beans.



And then there’s La Perla, which has the best pizza in the universe. We ate there at least twice.





Calabrese de Spilinga


The Margherita with arugula on top.


More in another post. Hopefully soon.



“So it doesn’t have any dairy in it?” a friend asked.

“No, just eggs.”

“Then…. it’s not eggnog. There’s no nog.” I agreed, though I wasn’t actually sure about the etymology of the term and wasn’t in a position to look it up at that moment.

Since then, I looked it up. It appears that nog may come from noggin (a wooden cup) which comes from nog, ale from Norfolk, England. Hence: eggnog = eggs + booze = delicious.

I didn’t like eggnog for most of my life. Every year or two I’d buy a carton at Christmas and round it out with some brandy or rum or both, and be unable to finish it. It was just… gummy, weird-tasting, and nasty. I decided I was an eggnog Philistine and that I would probably get along just fine the rest of my life without it.  I now know that I was buying cheap-ass eggnog that wasn’t worthy of the name.  I don’t remember just how we discovered Clover-Stornetta brand eggnog – dear knows at the price it wasn’t just a spur-of-the-moment extravagance – but it’s become our Christmas heroin. Eggnog is one of those things that you get what you pay for. It’s a good thing it’s only available about seven weeks a year because it would kill us to drink this stuff year-round.

In the Netherlands they make this thing called advocaat, which is sort of a Dutch eggnog.  The name may or may not have come from a drink of Suriname made with avocados (the Dutch ruled Suriname for 300 years and there are quite a few Surinamese in the Netherlands). Personally, I can’t get too enthused about the idea of an avocado-based drink, but maybe you had to take what you could get in Suriname.

You can buy advocaat in liquor stores here in the liqueur section and apparently it’s pretty good, but I decided to make it. I found a number of recipes online and they all followed pretty much the same format, varying only by a few ingredients.  This is what I came up with. This cannot be considered healthy, but it is delicious.


  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brandy (use good-but-not-great stuff)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract

Break all the eggs into a sturdy pan. You can use only the egg yolks if you want, but then you’re stuck with a dozen egg whites. Unless you have plans to make angel food cake and divinity, it might take a while to use all of them.


Add the sugar, brandy, and salt. Place pan over medium heat, whisk to combine, and keep stirring constantly.


If you run into problems with the eggs cooking too fast – i.e. you see bits of scrambled egg – remove pan from heat and employ the stick blender, or pour the mixture into a blender and blitz it.


The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but don’t sweat it if it isn’t quite that thick.

Add the vanilla and store in covered jars in the refrigerator.

005To serve, shake or stir, then pour into liqueur glasses or small cocktail glasses. Top with whipped cream if you like. If your advocaat turns out very thick, eat it with a spoon (as is done in the Netherlands).

You can substitute rum for the brandy. I suppose other liquors like bourbon or  Amaretto would be quite tasty also.

This will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks.


We didn’t  cook all the time in Amsterdam. Even though Dutch food isn’t really well-regarded, we had no problem finding delicious food everywhere we  went.

“American breakfast” at La Grotte on Haarlemmerstraat.

american breakfast

“English breakfast” at La Grotte.

english breakfast la grotte

The Dutch word for shop is winkel.  Around the corner from our apartment is a shop named Winkel, so it’s a winkel called Winkel. Anyway, they are famous for having the best apple pie in Amsterdam. Dutch apple pie is more cake-like than American, with a sort of streusel-type filling.

appel pie winkel

At De Blaffende Vis, we always have one of their salads. It’s a pile of greens with roasted vegetables and a enormous scoop of fresh goat cheese. This time they had warmed the cheese and put it atop a big slice of black bread.  I know that looks like a steak, but it’s bread. The warm cheese melted all over the salad like some creamy dressing from heaven.

barking fish salad

barking fish menu

barking fish flowers

Amstel beer, named for the Amstel river.

amstel beer

Salads at Burgermeester – a cole slaw with fresh fennel and an arugula salad with roasted vegetables and shaved Parmesan cheese.

burgermeester salads

An egg and truffle burger at Burgermeester. When the menu said egg, I thought that meant, you know, an egg. I didn’t realize they meant egg salad with bacon, and I would never have thought of putting egg salad on a burger, but it worked rather well.

egg and truffle burger

The regular burger at Burgermeester with grilled onions.

gary's lunch burgermeester

Herring is a very big thing in the Netherlands. It looks raw but it’s been brined so it stays fresh.

haring stand

There are several ways to eat it. This is the authentic way:

For  Americans, they cut it into little pieces, cover it with minced onions, throw some sweet pickles on the side, and stick Dutch flag toothpicks into it. By the time I remembered to take a picture, we’d eaten most of it.


It is imperative that you follow the herring with a beer.

beer at rembrandtplein


I’d like to take a moment now to remember the single worst thing I have ever been served on an airplane.

We flew on SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) and overall the food was pretty good, especially if you are really hungry, as I was on the flight from Chicago to Copenhagen, when we were served some pot roast that was rather good. I mean, it’s not great, but you don’t fly for the food. You hope the food won’t give you salmonella and that it’ll be recognizable and reasonably edible.

This was on the flight from Copenhagen to San Francisco. I wish now that I had thought to take a photo of what we were handed, but I didn’t. However, I found this photo via Google search, and it looks much like what we had.  The brand is Polarklamma and the wrapper has a cute little silhouette of a reindeer on it,  and you might think that’s a charming translation of “delicious Norwegian sandwich wrap.” Apparently they do make a “delicious Norwegian sandwich wrap” with reindeer meat, but we didn’t get those.

worst airline food ever

Imagine, if you will, a maxi-pad, the kind with little dots all over it. Imagine this maxi-pad is wrapped around a thin slice of something you believe to be cheese. Imagine the maxi-pad and cheese are very, very cold. Not frozen, but very, very cold.

worst ever

I took a bite, and then another bite. I chewed thoughtfully for some time – this was one tough maxi-pad – and finally asked my husband, “Do you think if we told the flight attendant that we promise to behave ourselves, that maybe we could have some real food?” I had the feeling the flight attendant was punishing us for something we’d said about price of everything in the Copenhagen airport.

I thought about what the people in business class might be eating. I was pretty sure it was not maxi-pad wraps.


We had lunch at a place called Deksels!  on Haarlemmerdijk one day. That’s Deksels! with an exclamation point, for no apparent reason. Deksels! also operates a couple of very spendy kitchen shops.

I loved this presentation of very good bread with a salt and pepper cellar and some extremely good olive oil, all on an olivewood board.

deksels bread 2

deksels cutlery

The menu said creamy roasted parsnip soup. I think there was some pumpkin in there as well, with toasted cumin seeds and cilantro. This was one of the best soups I have ever had.

roasted parsnip soup

Buacatini carbonara. It was good but a bit salty, and I thought I could probably make a good version back in our apartment, which I did.

carbonara deksels

One day we took the metro to the Amsterdam Ikea, which is located quite some distance from the city center. It’s ENORMOUS. We had an excellent lunch including some of the best chicken soup ever. I was getting a cold at that point and it was so soothing to have a hot soup when I was not feeling great.

ikea lunch

At one of the street markets there was a vendor selling Surinamese food, about which I know zero. But I ordered this chicken sandwich – it doesn’t look like much but it was flavored with a HOT curry.

surinam chicken sandwich

About the fries: Amsterdam and Belgium make the best fries in the entire world.  The place considered the best in Amsterdam is called Vlaamse Friteshuis and they have twenty kinds of toppings for fries. Mayonnaise is the normal sauce – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it – but there are lots of other choices.

Fries with Hannibal sauce:

fries hannibalsaus

Piccalilli sauce

fries pillalilli

Regulier saus assortiment
(Regular sauces)    

1.   Mayo (frietsaus 35 %)
2.   Zaanse Mayonaise (mustard mayonnaise)
3.   Ketchup
4.   Curry
5.   Satesaus (Indonesian peanut sauce)
6.   Sambal (indonesian hot chili sauce)
7.   Joppiesaus (a Dutch curry mayonnaise)
8.   Piccalilly (a sweet mustard & pickle sauce)
9.   Appelmoes (applesauce)
10. Speciaal ketchup
(dubbel portie saus)
11. Speciaal curry
(dubbel portie saus)
12. Oorlog (mayo, raw onions and Indonesian sate sauce)
(dubbel portie saus)
Belgisch saus assortiment
(Begian sauces)   

1.  Belgische mayonaise
2.  Citroen mayonaise (lemon mayonnaise)
3.  Samuraisaus (sambal and mayonnaise)
4.  Americainesaus (tomatoes, garlic, cayenne)
5.  Tartaarsaus (tartar sauce)
6.  Andalousesaus (mayonnaise with tomato paste and peppers)
7.  Hannibalsaus (spicy tomato & mayonnaise)
8.  Hawaisaus (curry and pineapple)
9.  Coctailsaus (cocktail sauce)
10. Pickles
11. Groene pepersaus (green pepper sauce)
12. Knoflooksaus (garlic sauce)
13. Mosterd (mustard)
14. Hotshotsaus (hot sauce)
15. Barbecuesaus
16. Gele curry (yellow curry)

There’s a chain of coffee purveyors called Bagel and Beans. Their coffee is delicious – actually, all the coffee I’ve ever had in Amsterdam was far more delicious than anything I’ve ever had in the US. But we’d never tried their bagels.  This was an “oatie” oat bagel with hummus and sundried tomatoes. It was sublime.

oatie bagel hummus 1

At Noordermarkt, there are two brothers  who sell impossibly delicious sandwiches, cassoulet, and split pea soup every Saturday. They’re kind of goofy and sing half-remembered songs – we refer to them as The Rocky Raccoon Brothers. This is probably not the place to describe how we almost got on their bad side by making a joke, so I won’t mention it. We patched it all up before we left.

sandwich guys

They heat the ham, sausage, and sauerkraut together in a giant frying pan.

ham sandwich

I call this the Naughty Sausage Sandwich.

naughty sausage

split pea soup

Did you read, “Eat, Pray, Love”? I know a lot of people hated it, but I love it, and I really love this description of when Liz Gilbert and her friend Sofie go to Naples to eat pizza.

“… these pies we have just ordered – one for each of us – are making us lose our minds… I am having a relationship with this pizza, almost an affair. Meanwhile, Sofie is practically in tears over hers, she’s having a metaphysical crisis about it, she’s begging me, “Why do they even bother trying to make pizza in Stockholm? Why do we even bother eating food at all in Stockholm?…

“Holy of holies!… On top, there is a sweet tomato sauce that foams up all bubbly and creamy when it melts the fresh buffalo mozzarella, and the one sprig of basil in the middle of the whole deal somehow infuses the entire pizza with herbal radiance….Sofie and I each order another pie – another whole pizza each – and Sofie tries to pull herself togethre, but really, the pizza is so good we can barely cope.”

So.  La Perla. This place has THE BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD. When we first started going there a few years ago, it was a very tiny space with a few chairs and a couple of long bars across the wall that you might be able to grab a spot at so you could eat your pizza on them, but more likely you’d have to sit outside on the curb or take the pizza with you. When you see people sitting on the sidewalk eating pizza and there’s a line out the door, you just know it’s got to be amazingly fabulous.

Now they’ve bought the old cafe across the street and turned it into a high-tech but earthy dining room. The pizza is still made across the street in a wood-fired oven. Somehow they have worked out a great system to get the pizza over to the dining room.

We ate there three times – once at the bar; twice we made reservations (you HAVE to have a reservation) for a table.

la perla

The olives they bring you when  you sit down – the green ones taste like butter. Yes.

olives la perla

Carciofo – tomato, buffalo mozzarella, artichokes, olives, capers and garlic

artichoke pizza

Calabrese di Spilinga· tomato, buffalo mozzarella, ‘nduja (a powerful Salami), origano and spicy oil

calabrese pizza

prosciutto san daniele  · tomato, buffalo mozzarella, san daniele ham, rocket, parmigiano reggiano DOP

fennel sausage pizza

Porchetta di Ariccia – from Lazio · tomato, buffalo mozzarella, rocket and brick oven roasted pig from Ariccia

pig pizza 2

Puttanesca – tomato, buffalo mozzarella, tender anchovies, olives, capers and garlic

pizza puttanesca

Quattro formaggi – tomato, buffalo mozzarella, gorgonzola, taleggio, parmigiano reggiano DOP

quattro formaggio la perla

I  missed taking a photo of the margherita pizza – that was our first night in Amsterdam and I had left my camera in the car back in California and hadn’t yet bought a replacement . But after all these pizzas, we agreed the best two were the puttanesca and the margherita (tomato, buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil olive oil). Basic stuff. So amazing.

I also missed photos of the great Turkish food we ate.  But I think there may be another Amsterdam food post coming soon….


Last year we went to Amsterdam and I did three posts about food (which can be seen here, here, and here). We went there again in October and – surprise – we continued to eat. This time we did a lot more cooking in our apartment, partly to save money and partly to enjoy the really wonderful produce and ingredients available there.

We learned from the owner of an antique shop that The Netherlands has an enormous food-growing area near Den Haag (The Hague) and in fact supplies a lot of food to Europe.  You wouldn’t think so – I mean, it freezes in a serious way in the Netherlands – but they have developed some pretty efficient greenhouse techniques so even in the dead of winter it’s easy to get delicate produce like fresh mint (a staple in virtually every cafe for hot mint tea) and tomatoes (homemade tomato soup is hugely popular).

Our rented apartment sat a block from the Westerstraat Market and three blocks from the Lindengracht Market/Noorderkerk Market, so twice a week we got to prowl around and look at fresh produce, breads, cheeses, pasta, fish, sausages, poultry, and a lot of other wonderful foods. In addition, conveniently around the corner were two good supermarkets, an organic/gourmet store, and a daily produce stand.

This was the first time we visited in autumn, and the markets had some differences.

Bread and cheese are huge staples in the Netherlands so it’s not a surprise that they make more kinds of bread than anyone can imagine, primarily whole-grain but also some white breads – nothing soft and spongy like in the US, though. Specialty types are also popular, like pizza bread, olive bread, cheese bread, as well as sweet breads like raisin, fig, etc.

bread at street market

bread in display

This doesn’t even begin to show the many, many kinds of cheeses available. The cheesemongers will always happily give you a taste.


Fresh pasta.

fresh pasta for sale

Since autumn was here, we saw a lot more emphasis on winter produce.


lots of bread

Enormous multi-colored carrots.

multicolor carrots

And more mushrooms – wild and cultivated – than I’ve ever seen here.



Loads of fresh-cured olives and spreads.


Oysters from France and England.


“Stuks” means “pieces.”


In the US, fresh pumpkins are almost exclusively for jack o’lanterns. In Europe, they’re for eating. I bought two, each about the size of a large grapefruit, and made curried pumpkin soup.


We could not believe this: three boxes of raspberries for 98 Euro cents (about $1.40).


Since the weather was getting cooler, you could buy a cup of hot soup at the market.

soup pots

Sweet quick breads, to be purchased and eaten on the spot.

sweet breads

In front of Cafe Thijssen is s statue of Theo Thijssen, a writer and educator. On market day, he holds up kale and cabbages.

thiessen statue

Fresh tomatoes (the brownish ones were especially good).



More mushrooms!

wild mushrooms

Winter squash, turnips, pumpkins – these are foods for a long winter.

winter veg

More pictures of Amsterdam foods to come.


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So, you know, pancakes. There are a number of pancake houses in Amsterdam. The most famous – or infamous, depending on your point of view – might be the Upstairs Pancake House that inspired the Beastie Boys to write, “When I’m in Holland, I eat the pannekoeken.” We walked past it once but haven’t eaten there. We really like Sara’s Pancake House on Rozengracht.

Banana and pineapple pancake.


Blueberry pancake. You might notice that Dutch pancakes are similar to French crepes.


If we are out late – say, listening to music at a club – our favorite thing to do afterwards is find a Vlaamse frites stand. Vlaamse frites is kind of a bastardized phrase – frites is French for fries and Vlaamse is Dutch for Flemish. Belgium makes the best French fries in the world and these are the Dutch version. What makes them so good? When you order your fries, you’ll see a gigantic container behind the counter holding a lot of French fries. The counterman scoops up a portion of fries from that container and fries them again. You might think that makes them unbelievably oily, but no, they turn out so crisp and delicious you can never go back to American fries without whining a little.

The standard topping is mayonnaise – which is slightly sweeter and goopier than Best Foods – and chopped onions. You can also get curry sauce, green sauce, aioli, and several other sauces you might not associate with French fries. I once ordered the sate (peanut) sauce and while it was not bad, I feel that I never have to order that again. Peanut sauce + French fries = mouth full of starch that felt like wet drywall. Maybe it’s a Dutch thing.

Vlammse frites also make a good breakfast.  You will need at least two Wet Wipes to clean your hands afterwards.


Amsterdam also has the best ice cream in the world. There is a small chain called IJscuypje, which is pronounced close to ice-cowp – meaning ice cream in a cup.  The fruit flavors taste like that fruit. The creamy flavors are rich without being sticky or too sweet. There is always a line out the door. We hit them at least half a dozen times.

Below, blood orange.


Top one, below, is pistachio (my husband’s favorite) and I think the bottom one was names after a type of Dutch cookie that I can’t remember the name of.


I think this one was rum raisin.


There is a little Italian restaurant on Rozengracht – kitty-corner from Westerkerk – called Venezia del Nord. I ate there many years ago when I came to Amsterdam by myself and we still are eating there.


Tomato salad with garlic bread. The “bread” is really just refrigerator biscuits but the garlic butter is heavenly.


Spaghetti carbonara. LOVE.


Stracciatella soup. You know egg drop soup? Imagine egg drop soup if a Roman made it with Parmesan cheese instead of soy sauce.


Spaghetti with marinara.


Tagliatelle with salmon. God, do I love this.


One day I really wanted fish and chips for lunch. There are a number of Irish pubs in Amsterdam that serve it, but do you think I could find one? Nope, we just wandered around getting tired and hungry. But we did pass a brewery, Brouwerij de Prael, and then doubled back to step inside.  The lady in the museum part gave us discount coupons toward beer served in their restaurant, which was around the corner in an alleyway. They served fish and chips.

We were seated near two Dutch salesmen who ordered a sampler of beers. I tried to be really sneaky and take a picture.


But I wasn’t too successful. Pretty soon they sent over their tray of beef tartare meatballs with caramelized onions. I like raw beef, and I trust the Dutch food safety people, so I happily ate them. My husband was less enthusiastic (or more suspicious of raw beef), but he did like the onions. Pretty soon the two guys gave us the beer they couldn’t drink (they were driving) and we took that too.


So we ordered food. My husband got these (cooked) meatballs which were excellent


plus this dark bread with garlic butter and tapenade.


And me – I got the fish and chips. Some of the best fish I ever had. I don’t know what kind it was – and even if they had told me, it might have been something you can’t get in the US, or the translation might not have made sense. But it was really good.


Years ago when I stayed in small hotels, the breakfasts served were simple but very different from American breakfasts. Rusks, thin slices of cheese and ham, a soft-boiled egg, toast. There are many places now where you can get more elaborate breakfasts – called American breakfast or English or Australian. Our favorite place is La Grotte on Haarlemmerstraat.

An uitsmeijter (out-smiter) is fried eggs on toast, topped with cheese and possibly meat. All the ingredients are so good that it tastes better than what you could make at home.


La Grotte understand American-style pancakes.


Amsterdam is a very diverse city. The neighborhood we stayed in has large populations from Iran, Turkey, Brazil, Egypt, Suriname, India, Iraq, etc. There were many places serving Middle Eastern food, which is good because we are huge fans of it. There was a tiny cafe around the corner from our apartment called Lissabon (dutch for Lisbon) and we happened into it because they were open late one night.

The lamb sandwich on Turkish pita with yogurt sauce and hot sauce was so good it brought tears to our eyes, and not just from the hot sauce.


I don’t know what the stuffed red bell pepper had in it, but I would sure like to find out. Bulgar wheat, I guess, and maybe ground lamb, but the rest is a mystery forever because I don’t speak Turkish or Dutch and the staff barely spoke English.


We ordered this by accident or by miscommunication. What we really wanted was just the eggplant, but what we got was a plateful that included rice, potatoes, a kind of vegetable stew that was poured over, plus the eggplant. It was so good we ordered it deliberately another time.


The Turkish pizza, though – that might have been the best of all. It was on lavosh (I think) bread, rolled up with lamb, tomatoes, lettuce, yogurt and onions, and somehow heated or crisped or something.


We didn’t buy anything at Jordino on this trip, but I have in the past. Their chocolates are some of the best anywhere, and incredibly inventive.




Lastly – Perel white beer it Cafe Soundgarden, a place Anthony Bourdain says is “pretty relaxing” and can be accessed by boat if you so choose.

Here is a tip from me: do not order a cocktail in Europe unless you are somewhere like The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London or Harry’s Bar in Venice or The Ritz in Paris. Order beer, wine, or shots. Otherwise, you will be throwing your money away on something undrinkable, as I have many times in the past. Europe, I love you, but you don’t know how to make a cocktail. The exceptions I listed will charge you more money than you thought possible, but the cocktail will be exceptionally good, plus the American Bar brings you silver dishes full of olives, potato chips, and almonds, so that kind of makes up for the $25  plus VAT you’ll spend on one drink.




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Like I said before, there is a lot of fine food in the Netherlands, and a lot of it can be had at the farmer’s markets.

Chicken and poultry, whole birds, parts, seasoned – all kinds.


Fish – some I recognized, some I didn’t.


DSCN0570You can buy already cooked fish to take home.


Whole smoked fish is widely available.


There’s an amazing variety of olives, pickled vegetables, and prepared appetizers & snacks.




What you don’t see much of is red meat, like beef or pork, unless it’s made into sausages.


I had never seen so many types of mushrooms.




Of course there are produce sellers.



but the breads really got our attention. You see the Berlinerbol? When John F. Kennedy made his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, what he didn’t know was that slang term. So he really said, “I am a jelly doughnut.”






and pastas.


I’d like to point out that despite this No Carb Left Behind culture of eating, I did not see anyone worried about gaining weight (I never subscribed to that low-carb crapola anyway).

If you get hungry while shopping, there are booths selling crepes (made as you wait), poffertjes (a kind of tiny, fluffy pancake), fresh-squeezed orange juice, and cups of fresh fruit.  At Westermarkt, two cheerful, lively men singing “Rocky Raccoon” dish up cassoulet, split pea soup, and sandwiches of ham or sausage from the biggest frying pan you’ve ever seen.



Elsewhere, a serious man with a scalpel slices proscuitto off the leg to make sandwiches.


So did we just look, or did we actually eat any of this? Hell yes, we ate it. Not all of it, but we tried.

Below, a spread from the Ten Katemarkt near our apartment – clockwise from top: Turkish pita from a Turkish bakery, resting on a baguette; French emmenthaler; cippolina (pickled onions); roasted eggplant on hummus; a type of crisp green olive that I have forgotten the name of; garlicky hummus with cumin; tzatziki;  in the center: peppadews (South African pickled sweet cherry peppers, filled with some kind of cheese that was like creamy love).


More later on eating in Amsterdam!


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Well my goodness gracious Ethel, it looks like it’s been about six weeks since I updated this blog! But that’s not for lack of cooking… I was  on vacation in Amsterdam, and then recovering at home from jet lag. My husband and I have discovered that the best of Amsterdam isn’t to be found in expensive eateries (though I am sure the food there is good), but in farmer’s markets and small independently owned restaurants.

Every day (except maybe Sunday) there are at least two or three or more street markets somewhere in the city, and the range and variety and quality of food simply cannot be beat.

From a little place called Gary’s Deli in the Oud West section on Kinkerstraat – blueberry pancakes, light and fluffy.


My husband got the plain pancakes (they also make banana & walnut pancakes).


There is a very small chain of restaurants called Burgermeester. They source their beef from one breed of cattle (Blonde d’aquitaine). They don’t serve fries because the owner doesn’t like the smell of cooking oil. But they make incredible hamburgers and innovative burgers and sides not seen in the US. Below is a Merguez (spicy lamb sausage) burger with yogurt, fried onions, and sauteed red bell peppers.


A trio of mini-burgers: a Manchego (salty dry Spanish cheese) burger with pear-guava compote), a falafel burger with green peppers, green olive tapenade, and a portobello, and a lamb burger (locally raised lamb) with chorizo and Jalapenos.


Baked potatoes are usually eaten because they take up space on the plate, but the baked potato at Burgermeester is worth it all by itself. They use Dutch yellow potatoes and creme fraiche. They’re amazing.


We visited Burgermeester twice, and could have easily gone back several more times. Below is a tuna burger with Chinese broccoli and ginger mayonnaise, which resembles a tuna melt the same way a filet mignon resembles a Big Mac.


Below, the Spanish lamb burger with red onion compote.


Grilled corn and their potato salad that knocks American potato salad on its ass: potatoes with carrots, apples, basil, and more creme fraiche.


Okay, we didn’t eat at Burgermeester all the time. We went to cheese shops too. Below are two photos from Kaasland.DSCN0627


The cheese shops and many bakeries sell something just called Cheese sticks. Puff pastry baked with Parmesan cheese,


I promise you: after you have eaten cheese as it is meant to be eaten – rich full-fat cheese, young and oozing milk or so aged that salt crystals have formed – you can never go back to Kraft singles.

More on Amsterdam food in another post!

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