Thursday, December 04, 2008


Al Argentino is located on a tiny side street (Zeedijk 29A) two blocks from Dam Square in central Amsterdam. The street is so narrow that 5 bikers could not ride side by side in the same direction. A short 5-minute walk down Damrak from Centraal Station (train station) takes you to this square bustling with locals and tourists. The square was created in the 13th century when a dam was built around the Amstel River to prevent the Zuiderzee Sea from flooding the city. Hence the name Amsterdam. In Dam Square and on the surrounding streets, there are food stalls, restaurants and shops galore, as well as the Amsterdam Diamond center.

The steakhouse has a western ambiance with stressed barn wood, wagon wheels, hides, and wooden tables & chairs. The long narrow dining space has a few tables near the front, a tiny bar that may seat 4 or 5, a partially open kitchen and another small dining space at the rear. Aah, the aroma of the grill caused my tasted buds to jump in anticipation of a great steak dinner.

I began with a hot appetizer – the Empandas de Carne (meat pastries). The 2 piping hot, flaky puffs were filled with minced steak, onion, kalamata olives and a touch of dried red pepper. These tasty puffs arrived resting shredded carrots and red cabbage. Excellent!

For dinner, I ordered Bife de Chorizo (sirloin steak). The slightly charred steak was grilled to perfection and crusted with minced garlic and black pepper. I ordered a side of the Chimmichurri sauce; it did not have enough parsley and garlic and too much onion, red & green pepper for me. The Seasoned Rice was long grain white rice exploding with the flavors of paprika, onion, cumin and flecks of red pepper. I could not resist a side of the Maiz a la Parrilla (grilled corn). The “caramelized” smoky corncob came with melted butter for dipping. A fantastic meal for $29 EUR or approximately $36 USD (food only).

Al Argentino features a short but nice list of wines and liquors from Argentina.

It was very sexy to hear Mathieus, my stunning & very friendly Dutch server, describe the Argentinean dishes. While I was dining, I heard Swedish, German, Chinese, Spanish, English and obviously Dutch – international diners in a very cosmopolitan city. The background music was a relaxing blend of Spanish and English singers.

Walking through the streets surrounding Dam Square, I was surprised by the number of Argentinean and Indonesian restaurants. It seemed like there was one on every block. This is one Argentinean eatery you should not pass by!

Mmm, Mmm…


$ 10
$$ 20
$$$ 30
$$$$ 40+

+ Stop bothering me!
++ Anyone here?
+++ Stopped when in the area.
++++ As needed and friendly.
+++++ Invisibly perfect!

✦ “One visit too many!”
✦✦ “Convince me!”
✦✦✦ “I’ll be back!”
✦✦✦✦ “Same table next week!”

No comments: