Although the breakfast at IKEA was ingenious and delicious, it, of course, was not the only thing we ate on our roadtrip. In fact, as I had mentioned before, it was so rainy in the last leg of our trip that we didn’t get to do much, except eat.
What’s in Rotterdam and Den Haag, you ask? I actually just took the opportunity to visit some old friends who have now moved there. And what do you do when you meet up with old friends to catch up? Well, you eat. So below is a list of what we ate in the Netherlands, in case you’re hungry.
After we had our first delicious IKEA breakfast, we drove to Rotterdam and headed to the Rotterdam Market next to the river – this was in 2013 before the Official Rotterdam Market Hall was built and…well…the thing is, I freaking love markets and I don’t even know why. I suppose it’s because I love cheap food that smells delicious and can provide me with immediate satisfaction of shoving the food in my tummy, and I also love browsing cheap everyday items – this market was busy and absolutely perfect. We roamed around and we found stall that was filled with cooked mussels, we learned from one of my friends that in Dutch, if you like something, you have wave your hand around your ear and say “lekker lekker”
After roaming around Rotterdam for a bit, we made our way to Dean Haag where my childhood friend is practicing law at the international tribunals. She took us around town and then we ended up at what us Canadians calls the Marché Restaurant of seafood – basically Simonis feels like a food court where there are different stations cooking up different things. You order the food and take it on your tray and pay for everything in the front.
This was one of our favourite places to eat on the whole trip – they had live seafood stations and frozen ones and fried ones. Matt got a live whole lobster and I got some frozen seabass. Meanwhile lePMP saw in the fish and chips station that there were plenty of poon so he had to go for this (little did we know at the time that they are a type of bottom-dwelling fish, with a heavily boned head and three finger-like pectoral rays, which it uses for searching for food and for walking on the seabed.) Not gonna lie, it was surprisingly tasty.
The night after we ate at Simonis, we checked into Amsterdam and had again another rainy day – which included ingesting things that only allowed me to remember that De Klos has the best ribs ever. We were recommended there by a friend and at the time we had no idea how well-know ribs are in Amsterdam. Cafe De Klos is one of the favourite spots but since then, we’ve discovered that as long as you do your homework, you can get pretty decent out-of-this world ribs that’s tender and juicy with the seasoning completely seeped into the meat.
Dutch Pancakes are basically ginormous crepes that can be eaten savoury or sweet. The first morning in Amsterdam we hunted to find a good pancake house in the pouring rain and ended up at the Pancake Bakery, which was really a choice because it was closest to the Anne Frank’s house which we happened to be near. It was pretty decent but not too memorable.
Waffles got the Canadian (bacon ham cheese onions mushrooms) even though he’s the only one out of us who is not Canadian. I persuaded him to get the Mexican instead (none of us are Mexican) so we ended up sharing the two. Matt, the rebel, decided that because his parents are not around and he’s over 21 he can get the banana rum and whipped cream one for BREAKFAST. Needless to say, his turned out to be the best. LePmp got an omelette because it’s breakfast time. I no longer know who he is.
The day after, we headed over to Zaanse Schans, which used to be an industrial area filled with Windmills. There are ten now in preservation and and ended up eating at De Kraai there. The cool thing about this place was that not only their pancakes are much better, they have a pancake making machine inside an old 18th century barn! Although I would generally avoid eating right where the tourist attractions are, this one I definitely think you should check out.
Although I live in France, I do not like most of the French cheese. In fact, having been born in Taiwan, I had refused to eat any type of cheese growing up. When our girl scouts group went camping and everyone had grilled cheese sandwich at the campfire, I had a grilled cheese sandwich without the cheese…yup, two pieces of bread.
Since then, my palette has opened up and I enjoy pretty much all types of milder cheeses (your usual mozzarella, cheddar, string cheese, american jack, etc.), but it wasn’t until I was in the Netherlands did I realize that my favourite types of cheese had always been and continues to be Dutch Cheese! Did you know that Gouda, Edam (Babybel!), Emmental, Mimolette are all dutch cheeses?
To be honest, I don’t actually know what type of cheeses are sold in all these giant Cheese shops, but the flavours are insane! There’s garlic, wild herbs, pesto, wasabi, hot pepper, mustard, truffle, arugula…and on and on and on – you can find some examples here. I definitely buy at least three giant wheels whenever I’m there.
And then, of course, there is the stroopwafels that are more easily found across Europe (even in Starbucks), but Matt was told to buy some for his friends and we were able to try some deliciousness.
This completes this trip series. Now I need to figure out which trip I want to write about next. Maybe I should write about my next trip to the Netherlands, which involved more tulips than rain!