Eating and Drinking, Amsterdam
Favorite thing: I am not much of a chocolate eater, but European chocolate is much better than anything you can buy in the states! I had to stop in this shop on Singel to buy Ethan Kit-Kats (sooooooooo much tastier than the ones here!), so I picked myself up a German candy bar with coconut in it! Very creamy....not too sweet! I think Americans ruin it with too much sugar!!
I personally prefer English tea strong with a bit of low fat milk
The dutch seem to prefer either weak black tea or herbal / fruit teas or if all else fails coffee with koffie melk (similar to unsweetened condensed milk)
So be sure to request normal milk with your tea
Usually they will bring you a selection of tea bags for your selection pleasure
Asking for milk in dutch is "met melk graag" (with milk, please)
Favorite thing: The narrow streets that comprise the Oude Zidje (Old Side), which includes the infamous Red Light District, contain enough bars, cafes, bistros and coffeehouses to satisfy anyone's desires for just about anything. Becky and I just stuck with beer and a rijstaffel (an Indonesian supper comprised of many (dozens) small intensely spiced dishes.
Fondest memory: After a long day of walking in the cold, we stopped in this cafe for something warm to drink! I decided on hot chocolate. The server was VERY friendly and was sure to ask how much whipped cream I wanted!!
Favorite thing: Don't buy bottled water, if you have to, buy it in supermarkets. It's much better (and cheaper!) to refill your bottle from the tap. The tapwater is excellent drinking water! Really, no germs or chloride or other unwanted ingredients.
Is there anywhere to write about worst memories? Well, anyway, mine was watching the Ireland v England rugby decider in an Irish pub on Rembrandtplein. Ireland and England had beaten all the other teams in the six-nations and this was the Grand-Slam winner take all match.
Ireland hadn't won the GS since 1948 so this was a huge game for us. I was sure we were going to win as the game was in Dublin, we had been playing well all year, and the build up to the game had been phenonomal. In the pub beforehand there had been a good mix of Irish and English to watch the game and one of the funniest moments was during the anthems. The guy who owned the pub turned down the volume for 'God Save the Queen' and played ' A Nation Once Again', an old Irish Republican song. Normally I'd find this a bit childish but not today!
It looked good for the first 40 minutes as it was fairly even but after this England took control and in the end won at a stroll. I don't think I've ever been as disappointed after a game - not since last summer anyway when Spain beat us in the football world cup...
Amsterdam is such a diverse city - you will certainly meet plenty of different nationalities, and be allowed to do things that may be forbidden or frowned upon in most other major cities.
It is a large city, however most of the action is centred in or around a fairly small area, the visitor attractions like musuems are away a bit from the red light area - well there are a couple of museums there too, but they aint dedicated to Rembrandt or Van Gogh !!!
Fondest memory: I am paricularly fond of a liitle bar almost on Dam Square - it's proper title is Cafe de Dam - also known as Louis Bar, just as you enter Damstraat from Dam Square. It has a sign saying it is one of Amsterdams Smallest Bars - no doubt about that, but it is full of life, nice staff and it gives you a chance to see the colours of your favourite football team. Although it slightly favours Newcastle and Liverpool it has a scarf from just about every British football team and lots of the main European ones also. Serves excellent bier and an assortment of everything else from coffee through all spirits, even has a little terrace for warmer afternoons & evenings. You can even get a chance to leave your mark in the pub, sign your name on the back of a beer mat, then try to find somewhere firm to secure it to the wall - but beware, if it falls off - it goes in the bin !!!
Makes a good meeting point and there is always someone to talk to.
Favorite thing: Put simply, vla is custard. This is an extremely popular pudding. The most common flavours are vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, or a combination of two. However, other unique flavours include bitterkoekjes.
After getting a rest in our hotel room, which was typically small and clean (and up one more flight of spiral stairs), we headed back out to eat dinner at Rimini's on Lange Leidsedwarstraat, a restaurant that we had spotted on our first foray that advertised "half price pizza and pasta". I had also read about it somewhere on the Internet. The pizza and salads were pretty good, one small beer apiece, we paid 14 Euros for dinner. We went back to the hotel, watched BBC on the television for a little while, and went to sleep.
Fondest memory: We were happy with dinner, but encountered something we had tried to forget from our first trip to Europe, something a couple from California rarely has to deal with--cigarette smoke. It was occasionally really annoying, and I have realized that perhaps this would be less of a problem if we visited during the spring or summer, when tables outside on the street are very common. Some places have better ventilation than others.
500 gr wheat flour
1 l milk
4 medium eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tblsp oil
1 tsp sugar
It can be hand mixed or put in a blender. For a blender, combine all ingredients and blend. Hand method: Put flour in a bowl, make a little hole in the middle. Pour in some milk in the hole and start stirring. gradually pour in all milk, making a smooth batter. mix in the eggs, one by one, add salt, sugar and oil and mix again until the batter is smooth and not lumpy. The pancakes should be baked in a large wide frying pan (a french crepe pan is ok too) preferably in butter (or oil, if you don't like cholesterol). The butter should be very hot. Pour in some batter (about 2 or 3 tabelspoons) and bake. Turn the pancake when the upper surface is dry and bake the reverse side for approx. the same amount of time.
You can use anythind you like as a filling, use your imagination. Savoury pizzatype fillings are nice and can be put on top of the pancake after it's baked.
Classic fillings are bacon and syrup pancakes and apple pancakes. For the baconpancakes you have to fry the bacon first and then pour over the batter. They are served with dutch syrup, which has a thicker consistancy than american syrup.
Apple pancakes the same : first bake some fine chunks of apple and pour over the batter. These pancakes are great with applesyrup, but syrup or sugar and cinnamon will do as well I reckon.
Fondest memory: Above is the receipe of dutch pancakes. Wherever you come from, once being in the Netherlands please dont miss famous dutch Pancakes. I definitely love them, dutch people can make them so soft and pleasant to your tastes, either with ham and cheese or with nice dutch syrups.The above receipe is just for your knowledge as i tried to do myself and I dont take I will ever get to make so nice ones...;), anyway..try and good luck!
Favorite thing: The 't IJ microbrewery in Amsterdam is a tiny affair too small to export, so this beer is pretty difficult to find outside the Netherlands - the review bottles were bought in an Amsterdam specialist beer shop. This is their tripel-style offering which we also tried on draught at the brewery. It is a clear, golden ale with a bubbly, quite creamy and long-lasting white head. Aroma is of vanilla and citrus fruits (orange zest, perhaps), with a hint of its alcoholic strength. On the palate it is fruity and quite hoppy, with lots of orange-zesty bitterness, hints of darker malt, and an elusive spicy touch. There is also lots of vanilla on the roof of the mouth, which seems to be characteristic of all the 't IJ beers we have tried. The hops are chiefly citrusy in character but, on the downside, tinny notes can be detected. It is quite lively, but otherwise very smooth, with a chalky texture from the bottle-conditioning yeast. Aftertaste is of chalky vanilla, with a little light malt. All in all, the bottles were something of a disappointment after trying the beer on tap at the brewery. The bottled version is perhaps more hoppy, but less subtle and complex, and slightly overcarbonated. On tap it's world class - try it if you can.
I was surprised to encounter a potable water fountain at the Amstelveld.
Well, I know these cast iron fountain poles from my youth, but it seemed they disppeared from the Amsterdam streets.
The first fountain was placed in 1903, but in 2003 all the ones in the inner city were gone.
Luckely a number of fountains are back again after an alderman took action.
Locally the poles are known as "waterhapper".
Amsterdam potable water fountain map.
Be aware that some will be removed when Winter comes.
One can never Leave Amsterdam and the Netherlands without trying which is the most popular National Dish and Streetfood which is the Pickled Herring which are freshly caught Herring which are put in a brine solution and stored cold for 24 hours and is either eaten raw down the hatch or via a sandwich (Broodje Haring) which is most of the Tourist Actually Prefer!
The Herring Sandwich is practically available everywhere in Amsterdam and other touristy towns as well outside the Capital and you order it cold and just a few fillers are added like pickes and you can eat it as a snack or even as a full meal if you want and it cost 3.50 euros for one herring sandwich.
Fondest memory: the herring sandwich taste really fishy and peculiar but one still has to try it though.
The Dutch do delightful dairy products and superb sweet snacks, but traditional main course Dutch gastronomy gets a bit heavy and meaty. Thanks to the sizeable Indonesian, Chinese, Surinamese, Turkish and Italian communities there are plenty of spicy alternatives. Vegetarians are not terribly well catered for, but most restaurants will have at least one meat-free dish. The national fast food is frites (chips). If you ask for frites met (chips with), you'll get them with mayonnaise just like a real Dutchie. Kroketten (croquettes) and other hot lumps of meat are dispensed by vending machines, à la the Jetsons. Beer is the staple drink, served cool and with a head of froth so big it would start a brawl in an Australian pub. According to Heineken, this is to 'capture the flavour bubbles which would otherwise fly away' - yeah, right! Double and triple strength Belgian beers are very popular in the Netherlands - beware. Dutch gin (genever) is often drunk with a beer chaser; the combination is known as a kopstoot ('head butt').
Anyone who's worth their weight in bongwater knows that you can buy wacky tabacky in shops in the Netherlands. Marijuana is not officially legal, but you are able to buy grass, hash, loose joints, smoking paraphernalia and seeds in registered 'coffee shops'. Magic mushrooms are also available. This doesn't mean that every Dutch person is a pothead. On the contrary, only about 5% of the population indulge (less than in France where drug policy is much stricter), and it's definitely not on to light up on the street or a non-'smoking' establishment. There's no shortage of hard drugs around, but you're likely to be ripped off if buying from street dealers, and be warned that the penalties are as severe as in other European countries.
Favorite thing: Remember Holland is as flat as a witches tit and if you go at the wrong time of year, we last went in October, it can be very cold and tourists a bit thin on the ground which is why i'm the only person outside this cafe (looks like a picture from Where's Waldo)In summer its great, very warm and colourful and still very laid back.