Friday, June 21, 2019

Amsterdam Vacation - Stroopwafel, Chocolate, Fish, Fries, and Cheese

One food treat I definitely wanted to try while in Amsterdam was a fresh, warm stroopwafel. My wish finally came true when we went to Albert Cuyp Market and found Original Stroopwafels
I couldn't decide between chocolate and plain, so of course we bought one of each.
We huddled under the umbrella and ate the chocolate dipped one first. Yum! Warm and gooey. Next up we ate the plain one:
I can't decide which I liked better. The syrup inside was not too sticky or chewy, which was nice. As expected, I got chocolate and the syrup all over my hands, raincoat, lap. It was worth it.


After we toured Anne Frank House, we set off walking around towards to the north area and Winkel 43 (but sadly didn't get to try their apple pie) and then I don't really know/remember where we were because we just kept wandering. Eventually we found this chocolate shop:
Puccini Bomboni. We went in planning to purchase, not just browse. There were a lot of flavor choices:
We each chose three. I chose mint, coffee, and cinnamon.
I don't remember which three flavors SP chose. I think one was port. We snacked on our chocolates in the evenings after we returned to the hotel room and we enjoyed them all.


Earlier in the day, before chocolates, we had to find lunch and we didn't have anywhere in mind. So we just started walking from Dam Square and the Royal Palace towards Anne Frank house, hoping to find lunch along the way. Naturally, it was actually lunch time and everyone was out looking for lunch. We came across Bagels & Beans but they were not wheelchair accessible and all the outdoor tables were taken. So we kept walking. We walked a bit more and ended up crossing the street to grab a sandwich at a bakery. What a mistake. I wasn't really feeling the place, it looked kind of dirty and yucky, but we were really hungry and didn't have time to debate and walk. Also, I hate when SP stops us in the middle of the sidewalk while he tries to Yelp up a suitable lunch place, which he had done, so add irritable and bickery to the list with hungry and thirsty.

So, crappy bakery that we did not find on Yelp, just that we saw. We decided to share a ham & cheese sandwich. That seemed safe. Unfortunately, what was not listed in the description was that there is a very garlicky pesto spread on the sandwich. It had already taken an absurd amount of time to get this crappy sandwich (horrible service, and we were 1 of 2 people there) and by that time, since I had been sitting at the table outside, I had discovered that the screw holding the footrest to the wheelchair leg was falling out and I was not happy because we didn't have an extra screw/nut (though I did have the Allen wrenches) and I was about to lose the footrest.
Solution: SP would eat the garlicky sandwich and return to Bagels & Beans to get me a sandwich that I would pick out online and text him while he walked over. I chose the Warm BLT Bagel (with Bacon (Livar), Lettuce & Tomatoes with a mayonnaise dressing & pine nuts).
I even got a nice little note and smiley in my bagel box! Also, it was a darn tasty sandwich. So, tip, Bagels & Beans is a good bagel chain for breakfast/lunch in Amsterdam.

I ate as fast as I could while SP looked up hardware stores in the area. We found one, hustled over, and lucked out because as the guy told us, he was one of maybe 2 hardware stores in the area selling English nuts/bolts. That never even occurred to me (the last time this happened on vacation we were in OR). He took it apart, compared everything, found that right stuff, and put it back together with our Allen wrenches (yes, I carry 2 in my purse when we travel), sold us an extra nut/bolt, and charged us like 2 euro. The hero of vacation! In about 10 minutes we were off again and headed to our ticketed time at Anne Frank House. 

One day we took a tour of the country side. One stop was Volendam, an old fishing village. It's on a lake and it was so nice to walk along the edge of the lake, past shops and cafes. It was a four hour tour and at this point we were at hour three and it was 1 pm and we were hungry. SP bought me frites with cheese sauce. They were yummy though as expected my fingers became a cheesy mess.
Our tour guide got himself the traditional raw herring with raw onions & pickles while SP opted for fried fish (kibbeling), which he really enjoyed.


Another day we went to Keukenhof Gardens to see the tulips. There are, happily, several buildings where you can be inside (out of the cold, out of the rain) and have lunch and/or a snack. We did eat lunch but I forgot to take photos. I remember I got a chicken and cheese panini. We made sure it didn't have pesto/garlic. It did have a curried mayonnaise, which surprised me. At first I was like hmmm, what is that? It's yellow. Is it curry? Ugh my tummy might not like this. Hmmm wait this is pretty tasty. I can't stop eating this. I like curry mayo!
A bit before our scheduled departure, we decided to dry off and warm up with a snack. We both got hot tea and we shared a slice of lemon cake.
It was pretty darn good lemon cake!


Lastly, but not least, cheese. There are cheese shops everywhere in the touristy canal ring area.
Our first day, hours after landing, at the Floating Flower Market, SP was checking out cheese. The shops here were not accessible.
The cheese shops are what you'd expect, shelves and shelves of cheese and cheese samples and people eager to talk about their cheese and sell their cheese. We did not purchase our cheese until the day before we left. We were in the Dam Square area and went in one of the Old Amsterdam Cheese Shops. It was accessible and the guy was so nice, explaining all the different cheeses and having us sample so many cheeses. We bought three wedges, an aged one so it's quite hard/crumbly, a medium aged one, and a young one, aged just 2 months, which is my favorite and is so smooth and creamy.

Did we do a cheese tasting? No, not because we didn't want to, we most certainly did, but the cheese tasting rooms at the various cheese companies were not wheelchair accessible. Does the cheese need to be refrigerated? Won't it spoil before you get it home? I had read online that it'd be OK but I asked the cheese shop guy anyway and he said it doesn't need to be refrigerated for, I want to say 3 months, but I might be wrong. Point is, even if we'd bought it 10 days earlier, it'd have been fine. We did put it in our carry on bag, not checked bag, on the flights home. The luggage did get pulled aside in Amsterdam and in Detroit for extra screening. They actually took out the cheese wedges and examined/scanned the wedges even though they were store wrapped and stamped with the store seal.

We've been slowly eating and enjoying our Amsterdam cheese.

And so this ends the Amsterdam posts. I'd like to go back for the food - kaas, stroopwafel, stamppot, poffertjes, croquette, Dutch apple pie. And to just wander around the canals and get lost!

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