We had made a few plans and some dinner reservations for our visit to Amsterdam but not for the the first night. We weren’t really sure how we would feel– hungry, tired, or what. After spending the day arriving, eating pancakes, wandering the museum, dodging Dutch people on rusty bikes, sleepily riding on a canal tour and checking in to our hotel we were definitely in the what category. What? We decided we should take one more walk to catch some dinner. What dinner? Since we had no real plan we totally relied on social media (thanks Foursquare) and found a close by restaurant serving typical Dutch food. Since it was called ‘The Pantry‘ how could we not go?
The Pantry is in the Leidseplein area close to our hotel. It had about ten tables or so and only one was occupied. As there were very few people on the street and we felt we must just be too early for dinner. We ordered from the fixed price menu and were each served three courses of Dutch specialties. I had a starter of thick pea soup that was hearty and warm-total comfort food. It was flavored with smoked sausage wheels. For my main course I tried a combination of hutspot, zuurkoolen and boerenkoolstampot with a smoked rookwurst sausage. What? Three varieties of mashed potato-one with kale and crispy pork bits, one with sauerkraut and one with carrots and pot roast. So, many potatoes!! I couldn’t know it then but potatoes will become a defining foodstuff of this trip. I liked the kale one best although the carrots were sweetly delicious. And finally dessert-vlaflip. What? Unsweetened vanilla custard with unsweetened yoghurt with about a teaspoon of some unsweetened pink (fruit?) syrup. It felt like my standard Greek breakfast yoghurt but lighter. I liked it.
100% comfort food. All fighting against wind and water and riding a bike in the dead of winter with no gloves. At some point I realized that no clearly Dutch person had gloves on – either walking or riding their bikes. Why don’t the Dutch wear gloves? Once I realized I looked at every person. No one. What? Why?