amsterdam trip firm but questions linger

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Feb 25th, 2004, 11:23 AM
  #1
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amsterdam trip firm but questions linger

i've pretty much firmed up a trip to amsterdam beginning on the 8th of april. it's been 30 years since i've been there (and if any of you were like me back then, i don't remember a whole lot beyond "the paradise").

i've got six free days in ams and plan to drive from there to brugges for one night, antwerp for an other and exit via brussells. that's nine total free days.

#1 i've already got reservations at the hotel washington in ams, but need a recommendation for brugges and antwerp.

#2 i'd like some personal favorites for "odd" things to do in ams. i already know how to get to the museums and the dammrak (a flea market would suit the wife).

#3 i made a ridiculous post about ams not being known for its food in order to get some reactionary reviews which might help. it didn't work. i need some restaurants that you've RECENTLY and PERSONALLY been to that i might try (price is no object, but i'd like to know the damage factor up front).

other than that, i've gotten scads of info from this board. i try to contribute what i can and really enjoy and use what i'm able to take with me....

thanks for any help!
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Feb 26th, 2004, 12:42 AM
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ttt
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Feb 26th, 2004, 05:31 AM
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I'm very much in a similar boat: first trip to Amsterdam was in '72, hearing wonderful (and true) stories of all sorts of vegetable matter flowing through the streets.

Anyhow, I had a wonderful dinner recently at the Café Roux, twhich is the restaurant at the Sofitel Grand hotel (about 2 or 3 blocks from Dam Sq). Both my companion and I had wonderful meals -- French-influenced cooking, with excellent ingredients and prepared exquisitely. The dessert was especially memorable -- I had a strawberry and champagne 'soup' with mascarpone ice cream that was worth doing cartwheels over. The atmosphere at the restaurant was relaxed and not nearly as stuffy as a similar restaurant might be in Paris, and the personnel were all helpful and pleasant. I don't recall the exact prices -- it obviously wasn't €12 per person, but it was €100 per person or some ridiculous amount, either.

Also, if you're traveling solo, this is a good place because hotel restaurants typically are much more solo-diner-friendly than other places.
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Feb 27th, 2004, 07:58 AM
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Hello subcon,
In response to your request for "unusual" suggestions, here's one I've been saving for my next trip to Amsterdam: de Poezenboot! It's a barge moored on the Singel which is a shelter and adoption facility for homeless cats. I think you can visit at least a part of it, for a small entrance fee (I'll just volunteer my services as a cat socializer!). However, if you and the wife are not cat lovers, forget I ever suggested this.
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Feb 27th, 2004, 08:56 AM
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Just back from Amsterdam (favourite European city, after London, of course, where I live). Had a great meal at a place called Zuid Zeebrugge on Herrengracht - think it was about 50-60 euros per head. My favourite brown cafe - with good, inexpensive food (say 20 euros) - is De Reiger in the Jordaan. Gets busy. Best odd place I've visited there recently is 'Our Lord in The Loft' - 17th century house in the Red Light District with a full-scale 'secret' Catholoic church on the top two floors. Hiring a pedallo-boat is a nice way to pootle around the canals and, of course, a bike to go proper Dutch.
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Feb 27th, 2004, 10:35 AM
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thanks for the replies....

i'll put the restaurants on my list.

i'm more of a dog person, dovima, but i like cats too. the problem would be that since all of my dogs have been "pound puppies", i'd never get out of there without a cat in tow (and, subsequently< under foot.
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Mar 1st, 2004, 08:19 AM
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Subcon, cheers to you for your compassion towards our four-legged friends. I'll report on the Poezenboot after my next trip!
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Mar 1st, 2004, 10:16 AM
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Cafe de Klos, Kerkstraat 41 serves great ribs and is popular with locals and particularly airline flight crews. Portions are huge so if there is only 2 of you you might consider ordering only one.
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Mar 1st, 2004, 11:06 AM
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We were just in Amsterdam in late December and our hotelier recommended a slew of restaurants. We tried may of them and were very happy.

If I remember correctly, the Hotel Washington is kind of 4-5 block behind the Rijksmuseum and a block or two east (behind the Van Gogh Museum). I only remember because the following restaurant wanted to know if we were staying there. If you are there, this place is just to the left out the front door of the hotel and then a few blocks down on the right on the corner. We loved it so much the first time we actually went back again (something we NEVER do). It's a neighborhood kind of place and very lively. They've got about 8 starters and 8-10 entrees on a big chalk board. Your choices of sides are mixed salad, frites, and potato salad. Wine is 8-10 wine and red between 14-26Euros. Their specialty is a melt-in-your mouth 8-9 oz filet mignon at about €14. You'll need to get there, give your name and wait at the bar and watch the fun. They'll probably remember us since we closed the bar with the staff (and our 8 year old daughter) and then left the great waitress an extra special tip a few nights later.

31 20-6249998 Haesje Claes Restaurant Spuistraat 275

Another place we found on our own was about a 10 minute walk from the new performing arts center. They had very innovative food (bistro style and all the décor had been removed from various churchs and court buildings. We kind of rushed in and out on the way to the ballet but the food was great starters €6-8 and entrees €12-15 (and very American sized portions!)

This was:

31 020-626 91 39 't Fornuis Utrechtsestraat 33

We also ate at Andrapurra on the Rembrandtplein for the Indonesian rice table thing. It was wonderful and also featured a great pianist who we danced to after dinner. (the second bottle of wine may have had something to do with that.) The dinner was €38 per person plus wine and a lot of food. Totally ethereal lobster with a spicy coconut sauce as a starter,. mmmmmm

I would suggest asking your hotelier where they eat. They may give the best advice unless you're looking for the "bigname" kind of places.

If you send me your email I'll try and find our total list of restaurants and send them along. I'm at [email protected]

The hidden church (in another listing above) was very interesting (right off the red light district which was kind of tricky with an 8 year old daughter. There was also a temporary exhibit in the Neuwe Church from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg which was fantastic. We also found the Shipbuilding Museum very interesting but kind of our of the way.

Anyway, have fun. Don't forget to check all your pockets before getting to the airport. Any goodies can always be left as a tip 

Via con dios
Brian
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