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Cologne, Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam

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One day/night in the first 3 cities and 3 nights in Amsterdam...Looking here and elsewhere these are the places I've found. Comments are welcome. travelling alone and not looking for an intimate dining experience nor an 'authentic' experience...Just looking for the best places, the best food and mid-range pricing (under 20 euros per meal)...

COLOGNE:
Peter's Brauhaus
Fruh am Dom
Fruh Haxenhaus

In particular hoping to find schweinhaxen maybe some kraut, spaetzel...what am I missing out on? Pretzels?

BRUSSELS:
La Mer du Nord
Aus Suisse
In't Spinnekopke

I was told bout a plethora of vans with waffles and obviously I need some fries. Where should I head?

BRUGES:
Bistro de Schaar
De Bekoring

I need some help here...

AMSTERDAM:
Pancake Bakery
Small World Catering
Thai Bird
Vlemincky
Kam Yin
La Oliva
De Kas
De Witte Uyl
Restauant As
AsianStreetfood

OK, I have a bunch to choose from and only 3 days, but can you help me sift the wheat from the chaff? Lots of various cuisines above, i know.

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  1. Cologne's not exactly the place for spaetzle or pretzels. That's Bavarian food. Though you may well be able to get a pretzel at one of the brew pubs you're headed to, and Schweinshaxen, as that's fairly ubiquitous German food.

    I know you said you didn't want authentic (and may I add I find that a bit weird if you have a chance to sample regional food.... but hey. to each their own), but standard fare at brew pubs in that area is Himmel un Ääd = heaven and earth = blood sausage, mashed potatoes, and apple sauce. Awesome stuff. Also, Halve Hahn (half a rooster), which is NOT a chicken sandwich, but rather dark bread with aged gouda & onions.

    Prost & guten Appetit!

    3 Replies
    1. re: linguafood

      Interesting that you question my use of the word authentic (or my not limiting myself to authentic) as 'weird' since I've read other posts from you which questioned people who asked exclusively for authentic. Anyway, thanks for the recommendations after the chiding.

      1. re: cpbell14

        It wasn't meant as a chide. And I'd be interested which post you are referring to. My guess is that ludicrous request from someone about high-end German restos that aren't, in one way or another, French-influenced. Which simply don't exist in Germany.

        I was just surprised that you wouldn't be particularly interested in the specialties this region has to offer. My surprise shouldn't be taken for judgment. Sorry 'bout that. Maybe a language issue '-)

        1. re: linguafood

          I think it might have been the Franco-German post. I don't recall specifically. Anyway, no big deal and thanks for explaining. Reading something in lieu of hearing it always has the potential for misunderstanding. I shouldn't be so sensitive)) Actually, I didn't mean to dismiss the idea of authentic as much as downplay it. Thanks again for your reply and guidance.

    2. Admittedly, I'm one of the 'question authentic' types because I see requests for regional foods as something different and authentic as a term stretched to the point of meaninglessness (save for its problematic connotations). Sorry if I've created a problem.

      Au Suisse, a sandwich shop, will definitely come under 20€. And they make good sandwiches. If you're keen on trying frites, I think Friteland (just by the Bourse across the street from Au Suisse-- on the right side if you're heading back to the Grand Place) is good. And there are places to sit.

      Just today, I noticed that the brasserie/resto at the Musee des Beaux Art (Art-Food, or something like that) had a lunch at 20€ and last time I was there-- ages ago, admittedly, they did a nice job with traditional Belgian dishes. A Mort Subite may also be a place to go for beers and traditional Belgian dishes. It's at the other end of the royal galleries by Rue Arenberg.

      But I see you're not asking for additions so I'll say that while not familiar with your choices in that I don't often eat there: they are good and both are in great neighbourhoods. If you go to the Nordzee, you may wish to check out the bakery across the street-- the cramique is lovely, as are many of the little pastries they sell.

      I've been sensing an overall 'downhill' trend with gaufres/waffles in recent years, but I'd recommend a plain one from a Belgaufra stand (there are a few of those, one nearby the Bourse as well) over the vans-- although I just had one from a van recently and it was fine; quite good, although could have been warmer so all the sugar bits were melty. And I'll emphasise a plain one-- in recent years, perhaps with the incoming fleets of tourists, there has been a move to serve waffles with loads of crap on them-- creams, chocolate, etc. Pointless. Particularly as these are Gaufres Liege style and that means they are hefty buggers.

      Yikes, and just saw that you'll be there for only one day and one night. Hmmm. You may wish to have one dinner, and reserve another day for picking. I can't imagine sticking it all in one day.

      And so I come, yet again, to the end of a useless and yet long post. Embarrassing.

      1. Hadn't seen any replies on the Amsterdam list yet. Hope it's not too late.

        Amsterdam is expensive when it comes to food. I'm afraid you will have a hard time finding a good dinner for under € 20,=. And the top restaurants will set you back much more than that.

        So that criterion definitely eliminates De Kas, De Witte Uyl and Restauant As.

        I would also caution against La Oliva. It looks great, but the food is not good and it's expensive.

        Small World is great for lunch. Amazing sandwiches, tapas and other organic snacks. Vleminckx also closes early. Do make sure you stop by during the day for the best French fires in the city.

        Thai Bird is a good option. Great Thai food and probably less than € 20,=.

        For other ideas, you might want to look into Zus en Zus on Overtoom. They do a good prix fixe menu at € 25. That's probably the cheapest good food you will find. Eetcafe Reiger in the Jordaan is also good - mostly steak and fries.

        dutchgrub
        --
        www.dutchgrub.com

        1. We really enjoyed De Witte uyl in Amsterdam. It was unique food which was very well prepared. when we return to Amsterdam, we will return for more 'good eats". Hope you enjoy the same.