A Taste of Amsterdam

Amsterdam-pic

31 Mar A Taste of Amsterdam

I received the best birthday gift ever this year: traveling with my little sister (and a couple of friends) to Amsterdam, one of my all-time favorite cities on earth. The first time I traveled there I was a 22 year old baby. Healthy eating and living was a mere statement and nothing else. Still, I recall my culinary experience to be disappointing to say the least.

 The second time I enjoyed the beautiful city was about 6 years ago. I was at the very beginning of my Real Food venture, knowing maybe a tenth of what I know now. I came mentally prepared, knowing I shouldn’t hold my breath when it comes to food. I was there with a close friend, one who now lives the same lifestyle as I do, so it was easier to pick a place to eat, yet still it wasn’t anything to write home about.

This time I ended up in Amsterdam with my eyes wide open, looking desperately not only for healthier choices, but hoping they’d actually be delicious too. My findings were mixed, but I’m happy to say I did finally find a couple of places I’d happily return to next time I get the pleasure to return to the gorgeous Amsterdam. I’ll tell you all about them, as well as the other ones, just because I feel like sharing it al with you 🙂

Egg-Benedict

Eggs Benedict

 

On our first morning, we went to a place my sister heard about, and it was absolutely adorable. The Lobby is really pretty, and the food was not bad at all. I went for my usual, eggs Benedict. The only complaint I would have was that I was missing a bit of green on the plate, otherwise it was a really lovely experience.

 

 

Worst-Food-Ever

Worst Food Ever

 

 

After a nice tour of the city, we ended up in China Town, and decided to try dim sam. My sister and I are suckers for it, and the two other girls have never tried it. We ended up at probably the WORST place I’ve ever been to. The dim sam was very disappointing to say the least and tasted as if it was frozen and the microwaved to warm up, the noodles weren’t cooked well, and the shrimp tempura was fried in oil that wasn’t hot enough. We had a bad feeling as soon as we walked in… We should have listened to our gut. Luckily we didn’t order (or eat) much, and could already plan on our next pit stop.

 

 

 

Walking around the beautiful city, we couldn’t help but walk inside cheese shops to taste what they had to offer. Soon enough we found out that pretty much every cheese shop has the exact same cheese. Same sticker and everything. Seemed like one big monopoly to me, but it didn’t stop me from bringing back some gorgeous aged sheep cheese.

Schnitzel

Schnitzel. Next time, sauce on the side

 

Ok, now I don’t know how this happened, but the girls ended up dragging me to Wurst und Schnitzelhaus… Yes, the staple food here in Switzerland and Germany. And pretty much my least favorite. But, I toughened up and went in with them. I was desperate for a proper meal, and went for a schnitzel with mushroom sauce, and sauerkraut on the side. My sister went for the camembert and cranberry topping, and her girlfriend ordered a vegetarian schnitzel which turned out to be delicious. The conclusion we came to, was that we should have ordered the sauces on the side, because they ruined the lovely crunchiness the schnitzel had (which was cooked to perfection).

 

 

 

The next morning, as we had to stand in line for the Anne Frank House (a definite must if you’re there!), we just grabbed some sandwiches and baked goods, from a bakery down the street. As I remembered, their pastries looked delicious and were far away from being that, and oddly enough also all looked the same as in every other bakery. Odd… The sandwich I took was delicious, but the guy looked at me really weird when I asked for both tuna and egg salad, with more egg (can’t get enough eggs), tomato lettuce, and NO meat OR cheese. Unfortunately I have no pictures of the food, as we were standing in the rain, eating, and slowly moving down the line.

SUSHI

For lunch we hit De Hallen, an indoor market area, and food court, with a huge variety of cuisines from all over the world, and all come in small enough size that you can try a few in one sitting (except for the burger, that was huge). My sister got herself a beautiful beef-burger, that of which I was too late to take a picture of, as I was getting a sushi roll for myself which was delicious. I also couldn’t help but try this interesting offer:
WEED-BURGER

I really had high hopes for this burger (and bun), but unfortunately it was a bit disappointing. The burger was too soft in the middle, and was lacking in flavor big time. Shame, as the idea behind it is awesome. 

Outside De Hallen was an adorable market with everything you could ever wish for. Fresh fruit and veg, dried fruit and nuts, olives, and lots of cheese, finally without the sticker the others had.

Market

I simply love the idea of sticking rosemary and garlic inside the cheese. Yum!

 

 

That evening was one of my happiest ever. We found a DELICIOUS place to dine; Miss Korea barbecue. They had pretty strange and strict rules, but the food and experience was totally worth it. Each table has a little grGrill-Actionill in the middle, and you get to choose from a big variety of meat and seafood (all beautifully marinated) to put on the grill. There is also a great selection of foods that are already cooked, and all was really good. The only but (and it’s a big BUT), is that afterwards I noticed just how much sugar was in all that food… It’s not a big deal for me as I usually don’t have sugar, but the rush I got just from eating there was extreme, so the amount of sugar in the food was probably pretty high…

Birthday-Breakfast

 

 

On the morning of my birthday, I set out on the search for organic and healthy clean food, juice, something. This was not an easy task to say the least. The first place I encountered was Juicebrothers. It was a lovely little place that offered superfoods, smoothies and so on. I got myself a chai pudding with goji berry, coconut and fresh sliced banana. They also sold young coconut which I can’t say no to, so I grabbed one of those as well 🙂

 

 

 

Cora Sandwiches

Sandwich menu at Cora

 

This kept me going pretty well, while I kept on marching for a few more hours before finally finding Cora, an adorable little delicatessen. The place was packed to the max, so in stead of going for a delicious sandwich, I decided to just stock up on healthy snacks and got on my way. I grabbed a bag of chips which ended up in the trash just outside their place (and I’m not one to toss chips!), a beetroot, apple, pomegranate, lemon and spinach juice (yum!), and a couple of other delicious fruit and nut based snacks. They offered great looking sandwiches. Notice they have one vegetarian option, and no vegan ones though…

 

 

Vietnam-Pancake

 

 

That night – for our last meal in Amsterdam – we found the AMAZBALLS Taste of Vietnam. My sister and I shared a chicken Pho (one of the best I’ve had), and I got myself their Vietnamese pancake with shrimp and chicken and bean sprouts, beautiful chili sauce and fresh vegetables. It had the perfect balance of egg-iness and dough-iness. I was enjoying the food so much, I didn’t even notice what the other girls took… True story. All I know is that once again everyone was super happy with the food, a perfect end to a perfect long weekend (we did a lot more than just eat, I promise!).

Best-Pho-EVER

Best Pho EVER!

My final conclusion about this trip would be that I still have a lot of work out there in the world, alongside other Real Food foodies out there. Bringing more awareness and understanding to the importance of nutrition to our bodies, health, and soul. But if you search hard enough, you can find a good and healthy place to eat, no matter where you go 🙂

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