Sunday, December 07, 2008

OUD HOLLAND - Amsterdam

Oud Holland (Old Holland) is a few blocks off Damrak in Dam Square. Oud Holland is located in a 2 ½ story house built in 1649. Yes, 1649. This house became a café in the late 19th century. It was THE place to meet for editors and journalists on Holland’s “Fleet Street” in the 1920’s. The very comfortable and charming space has flocked paper on the upper ½ of the walls and wood paneled lower walls, with beautiful Dutch antiques throughout. The wooden tables are covered in bright red table clothes with red & white checkered cloth napkins.

For my starter, I chose the Kippe/Groenstesoep (Chicken Soup). The clear chicken broth had the most intense chicken flavor with just a hint of bay leaves. The tidbits of potato, carrot and chicken breast were not overcooked – still slightly chewy. The slivers of white onion, celery, & bits of parsley enhanced this incredible soup that was served in a large metal soup cup.

I had the Ptuttelpot (Beef Stew) as my main dish. The large pieces of beef simmer for 8 hours prior to serving. Chunks of carrot and onion, bay leaves and chives are added near the end of the “simmer” creating a thick, very satisfying meal. The beef stew is served in a large flat metal bowl-like plate with a mound of coarsely mashed potatoes. This incredible stew is served with a side of slightly sweet carrot balls in a light butter sauce as well as a side of steamed brussel sprouts tossed in butter and a hint of garlic. The veggies are to be eaten as sides and not combined with the stew.

A small metal bowl of slightly tart applesauce that comes as another side with the stew is the perfect end to this fantastic meal. This amazing stew & sides are only 16,40 EUR (approx $21 USD).

Geyser, the café’s house cat, quietly moves among the diners for some TLC. Believe me, this cat is not deprived of attention! No… he is not a tabletop jumper.

As I was eating my way through Amsterdam I quickly learned that if you want to add a tip to your card, you need to let your server know up front or leave money on the table. Adding it when you sign the receipt is not an option at any of the eateries where I dined. Another learning I had is that soda refills are not free and often cost 2,50 EUR (approx $3.20 USD) each.

Robert, my extremely friendly server, was always ready to answer a question or provide a suggestion in perfect English with a very sexy accent and a huge smile!

I asked 2 different hotel concierges for their recommendation of a great local café serving outstanding Dutch food – both told me to try Oud Holland. I agree!

Mmm, 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!”

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