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't Smalle: Neighborhood Brown Bar ...
It was a cold winter night, raining, very close to snow and the restaurant we wanted to try that night was full. We decided to stop in a small place we had passed earlier on our way into the Jordaan.
The windows are what first caught my eye. They were fogged over like those in Christmas cards or Hallmark holiday television specials. But the fog on these windows was not sprayed on, it was generated by the crowded room of locals on a Sunday evening, meeting in their neighborhood brown bar for a few beers, maybe a bowl of pea soup with speck and potatoes, something warm and hearty to keep out the damp chill of winter in Amsterdam. We scooted into seats at the dog-leg end of the bar, just at the front of the room, near the door and next to two late middle aged women cuddled together in the corner booth. I ordered a cold pilsner, she a hot spiced wine. We both tried the pea soup with speck and potatoes, a side of bread and cheese and then proceeded to have a most enjoyable and romantic night just being in this room.
I have played the tape of that night in my mind a dozen times, particularly on nights like this, cold and damp and almost snowing.
Favorite Dish: Pea Soup with Speck (dried, cured ham)
t'Smalle: Canal side Amsterdam cafe
The best brown cafe I have ever visited in Amsterdam - the Dutch equivalent of a traditional English pub but apart from English Norfolk Broad pubs I have never seen an English pub with a platform over the water. As my photo shows you can sit right on the canal side and watch the world go by. It was a hot day the day I was here and I do not like the heat so I opted to sit inside the brown panelled interior and watch the locals enjoy their lunchtime snacks and drinks. Its at times like this you wish you understood the language more and could understand the banter and general chit chat. So a good mix of tourists and locals although in early June 2009 overseas tourists were thin on the ground and the clientele was mainly locals.
The coffee was very good as was the toasted sandwich I had - a very enjoyable 25 minutes. Clean but cramped rest rooms but this is a very old building and extension would be impossible.
Favorite Dish: I had a ham and cheese toastie - service was quick and it was hot as it should have been. There are cheese, ham and liverwurst sausages as well as salads and other toasties. Nice Dutch apple pie with cream too.
Cafe 't Smalle: A real step back in time!
This is a tiny little cafe, more like a pub really. It is like stepping back in time and has a really rustic feel to it. There are also tables outside if the weather is nice. We were given a very good welcome. There is a menu in English and we enjoyed our visit. We will certainly go back for lunch on our next trip.
Toasted sandwiches cost 3 euros. Tea was 1.70 euros and coffee 1.90 euros.
Favorite Dish: We had tomato soup and freshly baked bread. The soup had some meat in it and was absolutely delicious. It cost 4.25 euros each.
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