So Amsterdam… was not the first idea.

Finally it was a birthday present for us with my boyfriend from us… Cool thing, we born in the same day at 1st of July (i am so sh*t to remember all the dates and anniversaries – but its not really gonna be a problem in this case :)…

I was keen on to find the perfect restaurant in London to book a table and celebrate there spending lots of money… Keep searching – keep searching, asking friends for advice etc etc to find the very best place with yummy food and brilliant atmosphere… at that time a was really angry again and again, because any time i found a place just needed to check the opening times. And the people in London so f*cking lazy to be open on Sunday… non of the places i really wanted to try stays open on the last day in the week.

One night in the bed i was getting angry and disappointed again when i just click one icon on my screen`s corner and `voila`… easyjet…. was it a faith or…. After this it was not a question which city we would like to visit for one day. (Obviously i kept my huge list about the best restaurants in London to check it out later – NOT ON A SUNDAY – at least!)  So come on Amsterdam!!!

It was just 2 days and 1 night there – get the first flight on Sunday morning and back with the last on Monday. Was enough. And i am thinking about everything.

The city itself is really small – not like Malta, but u can easily walk thru all way around in one day without any transportation. Lots of beautiful canals, buildings, house-boats, famous museums… etc etc. Whoever is interested in this stuff, just check on Wikipedia – no more time-wasting, sorry.

The city gastro-wise… really weird. Locals are going to eat in the cheaper `eetcafes` to grab a soup, omelette or a sandwich. The multicultural population changed the city`s cuisine – mostly u can meet Indonesian and Chinese effect, a bit of French or Spanish. Much more easy to find a vegetarian Suriname restaurant then a nice local place (which is open on Sunday :)) with proper dutch food – we needed to ask a hot chick in a pub where to go to get it.

They have a few traditional dishes with nice fresh ingredients and change these a bit in every restaurants. The most popular dish called `rijsttafel` – means `rice table`, normally to share, because the list of ingredients just too long… and could be 15-30 small dishes to accompany it. The most delicious dish called `erwtensoep` – a split-pea soup, which should be as thick to be eaten by a fork and serve it with proper spicy sausage. The classic main course can be the `stamppot` – a kind of heavy meaty stew cooked with lots of vegetables coming with `the very best ever mash`… i dont know any word to describe that pureed potato we tried… more than heavenly, not creamy or buttery just simple and nice. VERY NICE. Need to mention a word about the fish as well – they have a big harbor and fresh seafood all in the year, the `haring` (raw herring) and `gerookte paling` (smoked eel) is the most popular, can find them in every corner of a street.

The biggest surprise; SWEETS… I could never imagine, but the Dutch are really good in sweets, talking about chocolates, pastries, pancakes, waffles, icecreams… I think we had there the best pancake ever in our life (`pannekoeken`) – and it must be true, cause we had a nice spanish tapas lunch before, we were full and still could finish the whole `Brazilian`, a sweet pancake with amaretto, mocha-caramel sauce, toasted almonds and Pecan icecream… just amazing. Before we had strawberry&vanilla pancake for breakfast (1st day) and tried chocolate waffle and a lovely sweet almond pastry with frangipane stuffing (2nd day) before a canal trip. Were munching beautiful chocolate bombon (Pompadour, Puccini, J.G, Beune etc) and local icecream (`Yscuypje`) with milky coffees… (Starbucks everywhere anyway…. )

Oh yes Oh yes Oh yes – i almost forget to mention the most important `holland` product – KAAS, cheese, queso, sajt… and if u think its impossible, in every street at least 3-5 shops just about cheese. Most of them is like a -delicatessen-, so u can buy lovely bread, salamis, salad as well, some of them big, some of them huge. All the shops offer bites of cheese to try with crackers, honey or mustard. In a posh place we cut our tasty bits with proper little cheese-slicer – nobody says anything, u can eat as much as u want, but believe me, u dont need a lot. We have been eating cheese-bits for two days all day long every time, when we checked out another cheese-shop. They are making wonderful product by the way – lots of flavors (herbs, spices, aromas)  with lots of different type of cheese (from cow milk is the most popular but u can find some nice goat-stuff), mixing, smoking, maturating for years and years…

After eating we can start to drink… even now not necessary need to stop eating – most of the bars offer `borrelhapjes` (mouthful with a glass), usually olives, cheese or crunchy nuts, more substantial are the `bitterballen`- fried balls of vegetable paste, and `vlammetje` – little flames as mini spring rolls.

As i saw, the beer is the most popular drink there – obviously, they have all the big brands: Heineken, Amstel and Grolsch – personally my big favorite was the Wieckse Witte (Heineken family member). With a wedge of lemon, less bitterness, less bubbles… more like a `limonade` Netherland -style. Because Belgium is close – there is a few places specialized to `belgisch` drinks – we visited the one which is the most famous of fruit beers – unfortunately was closed ( De Zotte, RAAMSTRAAT 29). Famous old`s cool liquor shop and museum (Wynand Fockink, PIJLSTEEG 31) – a bit of dust and history :)

Wine? I am really sorry… but doesnt really exist.

Of course there is, but i dont think i should talk about the vineyards – compare to the total area of Netherland (1,6 km2 – 41,543 km2). So just forget about it and lets pay our attention to the really crazy stuff…. why everyone is going to Amsterdam… ?

What to buy as a present to take home for the buddies???

Challenge: Growing something? Starter kit? Special seeds, herbs?
For the hungry ones: special cake? Special chocolate? Maybe a sniff of cacao or a special icecream?
For the thirsty ones: cannabis beer, coca-leaf liquor, cacao beer? Or something stronger, like a marihuana rum?
For the kids: funny lollipop or candy floss?

anything anything…

And `coffee shop milky way` from Alpha to Omega…

No more comment needed… :)

Open up your mouth…!

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