My Amsterdam Recs
Thanks to this board for some good recs-let me start by saying I am not a Dutch food expert.
We tried Mothers - mentioned frequently on this board - and it was fantastic. We were the only tourists, everyone else were young Dutch couples happily eating the sampler main course. The lobster soup was better than soups at more expensive restaurants and Mother's salad with cured beef - which was a soft, luscious tasty breasola-type meat. Too jet lagged for the sampler meal, I got the hotpot - which had great gravy with mashed potatoes and vegetables (that day it was mashed endives, which were really good) and ok sausage and meat. My husband got some vegetarian option - skip it. Next to us, I saw couples tuck into plates with hotpot and side plates of braised beef, red cabbage and a type of meat hash. How I envied them. No more pancakes for dessert (as recommended on this board) but a very good apple pie. Mothers is near the chic Jordaan section but far enough away not to be too touristy.
There are good herring stalls, but I can't enjoy herring standing up. So go to an unmarked small place - at the Dam, face central station while at the beginning of Damrak street - the second alley on the left (called south street I think) has a bakery on the corner. The next few doors in on the right is the herring place - you can sit and order new herring in fabulously light yet crunchy rolls, with pickles and onions. There is smoked makerel, eel and herring about 5 different ways. The man is nice and will help you pick out a breakfast platter of great smoked fish.
Von Dobbin serves the ultimate Dutch croquet - it is on Cort Reguliersdwarstraat with is near the Rembrantsplein, and is off Reguliersdwarstaat- a bit hard to find. Get there before noon if you can, it gets very busy. You order croquets, which come right from the kitchen, hot and crusty on the outside, molten on the inside. We got ossenworst (ox pate?) and roast beef sandwichs, as for the hard bread. Many people got the hot pork sandwich topped by a thick gravy. No tables, just stools.
Got taken out to Five Flies - nice decor, ok food. Went to Tempo Deloue (sp?) for rijjstall. Not impressed. Very expensive and the dishes began to merge together in taste. Ordered some ala carte apps which were great - maybe that's the key. Went to LePecheur for nice fish - very agreeble. The mussels and the Dutch oysters (which were overpriced) were fabulous - the sole was quite good, avoid the cheese plate. Luxembourg Bar is pleasant but not sure why it is so famous. La Walem Bar, highly recommended by Frommers, was ok not great. Pancake Bakery in Jordaan was very satisfying - both the cheese pancake and the apple pancake was good - but tell them to skip the powdered sugar. They had the best cider that we tried in A'dam - just slightly alchoholic. Try the cassis soda (raspberry).
The airport gift shop had lots of gift dutch chocolates in fancy packages - less expensive than the shops in the city.
I ate at Mothers last night on this boards recommendation. Atmosphere was super cute, charming, it was busy but intimate and very cosy. Wait staff adorable. Everything was great . . . but the food.
The crayfish (which the enlgish menu calls lobster) soup was very good. Everything else was basically enormous portions of very heavy, dutch standards . . . felt more like something you would get at a cafeteria than a restaurant. If you want a large portion of meat and with potatoes and cabbage and gravy than I suppose it is okay, but i think you might fare better at one of the cute places we passed on the walk from the dam to Jordaan, serving things like escargot, oysters . . . other tasty treats.
Van Dobben also makes a great rosbief uitsmijter-- three eggs sunny side up with roast beef and cheese on buttered toast.
If you like Kroketten, I'll recommend a bakery on the Vijzelstraat (south end) called Bakkerij Holtkamp that probably has the best ones in Amsterdam. Their most famous one is garnaal (shrimp) and you have to order them from the conter help because they're made to order. The cakes, cookies and sweets from Holtkamp are fabulous and beautiful as well.
We went to Tempo Deloe, a couple of weeks back, and I quite agree.
All the dishes began to taste the same.
Although we had Rij. for one, and then ordered individually,
was very exciting, but great wait staff.
Helped us with choices, as we do not eat Indonesian food often.
Very friendly and accomodating.
It was a fun experience.