Amsterdam, Netherlands – Daddio and I have had some lovely, delicious and romantic dinners while on work-ation (without twins) in Amsterdam. But we are here for more than a week, so we can’t go out for fancy meals all the time. On the off days, we seem to be filling up on fare that the twins would approve of.
I admit that the Netherlands is not known for its cuisine, but as far as kids are concerned, they’ve got you covered.
Bitterballen & Kroketten
These are essentially deep-fried meat ragout, creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside, dipped in mustard (optional). The bitterballen are small snack balls, often served as an accompaniment to beer. The kroketten are slightly larger logs, served on bread. Both are irresistible to kids because, well, they’re deep-fried. Here’s your authentic local alternative to chicken nuggets.
Pannenkoeken Dutch pancakes are as big as the plate that holds
them, and a guaranteed kid favorite. The sweet or savory flavor (fruit,
cheese, meat) is usually cooked right into them. The most traditional
offering is apple syrup, but nowadays anything goes. And the local
pancake houses usually offer dozens of options. If this sounds familiar
it’s because I was just feeding my family Russian pancakes last week.
In English we call it corned beef, and I never knew it could taste so good. We walked into this old-school Amsterdam sandwich shop–Van Dobben
–and I was in heaven. But of course you could make this at home. It’s just thinly sliced pekelvlees piled high on a hamburger bun. It was so good that we went back for more, but the second time around we ordered halfom, which adds sliced liver to the mix. (Don’t tell your kids what it is: just give it to them; they will love it.)
Never fear, vegetarians, there is plenty here for you to eat. Street markets, cheese mongers and tourist shops abound with local cheeses, and they always offer samples. Pick one you like, buy a baguette and you’ve got yourself a meal.