Friday, November 19, 2010

Amsterdam! (Day 2)

Pancakes!
Our hotel had free breakfast, but we woke up too late for it, so Baby Boy found a place using wifi on his phone (which wasn't free, cheap hotel people!) called Pancakes! so we headed there on the tram. We got off at the Spui Square stop and then had to cross a few canals to get there. The place was really cozy and cute and we got to pick our own table, which already had a few menus on it. We ended up choosing the bacon, leek, mushroom, and cheese pancake as well as a drunken pears and creme fraiche pancake. Oh gosh, these were really delicious. The texture of the pancake was really awesome. They weren't like regular American pancakes, but I think there was a wheat flour or something in the batter because they were chewy and awesome, not at all egg-y or dry. It was truly an experience. Oh! And to drink, I got a cappuccino (coffee in Europe is always delicious) and a lemonade (the menu said something about it being made from syrup) and Baby Boy ordered a strawberry, apple, orange shake. The lemonade was sweet, not sour, but refreshing and yummy and the shake was really good. We heard them blending and there was no ice in the drink, so we know it was made from fresh fruits.

Tiny car!
Anne Frank Huis
After breakfast, we headed over to the Anne Frank Huis (House), which was only two blocks from Pancakes! We didn't actually go inside. John just snapped a few photos of me standing next to the statue. If you haven't read The Diary of a Young Girl/The Diary of Anne Frank, I recommend it. It's Anne Frank's actual diary (which her father had published after her death - he was the only one of the family to survive the Nazi concentration camps) and it's a really interesting book because it documents a young girl's normal, mundane, adolescent life during the Nazi occupation of Holland.
shopping!
cool little flower shop on the water
view from top floor of Kalvertoren
Afterwards, we walked down some streets (recommended to us by our hotel check in person) that were supposed to have lots of shopping. We perused a bunch of stores (Baby Boy bought himself a slouchy beanie and a pair of underpants) and then we stumbled into the Kalvertoren Shopping Center, which was basically a mall. It was good timing because it was raining pretty hard by that time. At the top of the mall was a restaurant, called Blue. We didn't eat there, but instead used their toilets. The view from there was incredible! I love Amsterdam architecture. It's v. atypical and it's interesting to see how structures are built around the circular canal system of the city.
wasabi peas
plakjes fuet
serranoham roomkaas
We walked around a LOT and decided it was time to head back to the hotel to relax a little. On our way though, we decided to stop by the Albert Cuyp Markt but it was almost 16:00 and the weather was crummy so everyone had already started to close up their stands. We managed to pick up some wasabi peas from one of the street vendors though. Then, we ended up going to a supermarket plaza where we picked up some liquor and some pre-dinner snacks. We found some Plakjes Fuet (plakjes = slices, fuet is like a Catalan salami/sausage), serranoham roomkaas roll ups (serrano ham is a dry cured Spanish ham, roomkaas = cream cheese), babybel cheese, generic cola, jenever (Dutch version of gin), and palm beer. The jenever was actually really good. It was milder than I expected and was actually more like vodka than gin. I enjoyed it. The snacks we got were all really amazing, and I was glad we bought food because I would have gotten retarded on all of the booze we drank.
Drinks!
mini babybel
generic cola
hot lightning
bread
(butter on left, fat spread on right)
pork medallion
anglerfish wrapped in bacon
For dinner, I found another restaurant in my Lonely Planet guide, Restaurant Greetje. John found a way to make reservations online so we had to be there by 19:00. We packed a road soda and we were on our way! It took some tram riding and a little bit of walking to get there, but we made it there eventually (albeit, we were 30 minutes late). We were seated, nonetheless, and handed huge menus which, thankfully, were in English. Baby Boy ordered a beer and the medallions of pork tenderloin with 'hot lightning' (which was special mashed potatoes with apples and spices mixed together) and a sauce of Dutch mustard. I ordered a rose wine with the anglerfish wrapped in bacon (Europe's bacon is different from America's bacon) with savoy cabbage and mashed potatoes with a special sauce. The food was SO GOOD. Oh! And before our entrĂ©es came out, we were given bread with two spreads. One was obviously butter, the other tasted v. savory and yummy. When I asked our waiter what it was, he hesitantly replied, "It is the fat of the belly of a pig with other things mixed in like apples and some vegetables." I'm sure he was hesitant because saying "fat of the belly of a pig," has probably freaked people out before. We, however, thought it was delicious.

After dinner, we headed back to De Wallen (Red Light District) for some more debauchery. We went looking for some trannies (because I was curious). The night before, there were lots of girls in windows trying to lure men into paying them for their services. That night, however, many more girls were occupied, probably because it was Thursday and the weekend had already begun for many.

We ended up going back to Wonder Bar where we got another round of the coca leaf liquor before heading back to the hotel for some more sleep.

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