Day 0 trip/ Destinations/ Food Porn/ The Netherlands/ Travel/ Western Europe

Day 107 – Amsterdam, the Netherlands – You sexy minx.


Amsterdam is a lot like Burning Man if everyone decided to put their clothes on. Everyone rides around on bikes or funny little “cars”, the smell of weed and booze is in the air, and there’s a general collective bent towards revelry and good will. And it’s expensive and mostly white. But you can’t have everything I guess.

I’ve been to Amsterdam a few times before. It was the first international trip I took on my own. And it will always have a special place in my heart. The food, the canals, the general will to party. I love the practical, direct, but still goofy Dutch culture. The town is pure magic to me. So when my daughter asked if we could meet up there instead of us coming back to the States, I was more than happy to oblige.

I’ve already written a blog talking about Dutch food, and another blog talking about discovering the canal rings and centrum. So I thought this would be a chance to take a break from documenting and just enjoy the city. But as it turns out there’s still lots to see and do and I’ve amassed lots of new content I can share, so why the hell not. Third Amsterdam blog!

I also had the pleasure to introduce everyone to Dutch food so I got to revisit some classic spots and snacks.

Gratuitous photos of a beautiful city.

























Herring sums up in many ways what I like about Dutch cuisine. It’s simple, not too fussy, practical, and it tastes wonderful. They have a good thing and they don’t fuck it up. I love herring. I love herring stands. I love the little oblong paper plates. The flag toothpicks. I love the pseudo-pornographic posters of hot dutch women holding herrings up to their mouths. It took a little while to get everyone to try it but I think the consensus was that it was tasty once you get past the presentation. I also introduced everyone to smoked eel which I was surprised that everyone liked, maybe more than the herring. I could eat this stuff every day.


A selection of herring and eel from Rob Wigboldus Vishandel


Rob Wigboldus Vishandel cold case.


Herring from a stand at the Pijp street market.


Herring from a stand at the Pijp street market.


Herring stand near the Jordaan.


This is sexual right? Is it just me?


Haesje Claes

I’ve been here twice already but I thought it was a great place to introduce people to the broadest array of traditional dishes. Plus I like the atmosphere. It’s got a real cozy living room vibe, shiny wood, candles, but not too upscale. I feel comfortable there. And they don’t mess with the recipes much. In the summer they’re serving 300+ but it’s fairly empty in the winter.


Dark bread and butter.


Pate with pickled onions.


Mixed sampler of fish starters including pickled and smoked herring, smoked eel, smoked salmon, dutch shrimps, etc.


Traditional hotchpotch stamppot. Vegetables mashed with potatoes, bacon, sausage, and dutch meatball with gravy and pickles.


Rice pudding.


Stamppot of potato, applesauce, and onion, bacon, and “Granny’s stew”.


One of the dining rooms.


A creepy ghost doll they kept in a cabinet by the bathroom.


One of many dining rooms.


Various other food

I’m not going to bore you with all the stuff we ate but I did manage a visit to van Kerkwijk and Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs and enjoyed some traditional fare at a few new places. Just a quick list of highlights.


My usual pate salad at Van Kerkwijk.


Katy’s club sandwich at Van Kerkwijk.


My daughter fell in love with these custard tarts.


Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs


Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs


Frites with stew from Café Thijssen in the Jordaan.


Bitterballen from Café Thijssen in the Jordaan.


Stamppot of potato, carrot, and sauerkraut with dutch meatball at Proeflokaal De Kruis.


Split pea soup with sausage and ham on buttered bread at Café De Blauwe Druif.


Dutch meatball sandwich with pickles at Café De Blauwe Druif.


“Coffeeshops” here sell coffee but they also sell marijuana. A great combination.


A cappuccino, a beer, and a shot of jenever. How I like to start my lunch.


Frites oorlog from the Chypsy King! Mayo, peanut sauce, and onions.


The Bicker’s Plank at De Bicker (awesome bar in de Pijp). Tapenade toast, bacon wrapped dates, gorgonzola, watermelon, prosciutto, olives, radicchio.


Zaanse Schans

Katy found this traditional Dutch village outside of town so we took a train out to see the still-functioning windmills. It was a bit colder and greyer than Katy had planned but I had no expectations so I thought it was cool. It was a bit theme-parkey for our tastes and even on a miserable off-season day there were loads of people. We had a good meal in town before heading back.









I always like to take pics of the local graffiti. I think it says a lot about a town. Amsterdam has some great pieces here and there but honestly I thought the work in the trainyards, especially near Dusseldorf, were more spectacular.







Drivable calliope

We happened upon this awesome gadget in our neighborhood. It’s a full merry-go-round calliope that’s being powered by a motor hooked to a generator and mounted on a trailer the size of the machine. It parks on street corners and two guys walk around collecting donations. The best part is that he’s mounted an engine on the front tire of the trailer so that he can just drive it around from corner to corner. Brilliant! That is if you can get your hands on a functioning calliope.






Happy to finally see my kiddo

I feel very blessed to spend some quality time with my awesome daughter. I’ve missed her horribly over the past 4 months. It’s so easy to take special moments for granted. I really enjoyed sharing such an awesome place with her. I always love our adventures.


Katjia gets the Halver Hahn in a Köln brauhaus. Photo by Katy.


Katjia gets to try herring! Photo by Katy.


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