Amsterdam City Blog restaurants, shops, people and life in Amsterdam

26May/122

A Summery Friday list

Taking a moment every once in a while to think about what you're thankful for can make a big difference in your outlook on life. So here's this week's edition:

* How can I not start with the weather? May's moods have been mercurial to say the least. A week and a half ago I was still wearing my winter jacket, it was only 11 degrees! The last week it's been a steady 25 degrees however. Time for sunglasses, short shorts and skimpy tops. Everything's just better when the sun shines.

Picnic at Rembrandtpark, Amsterdam* Talking about sunshine: yesterday we had a picnic at Rembrandtpark. I hadn't realised just how close it is to our home. Just look how glorious it was.

* We looked after our neighbours' cat while they were away for a weekend a few weeks ago. Yesterday, after we came home from work, we found a cute plant with lovely little purple flowers on our doorstep: "Thank you for looking after Bobo!" How thoughtful. That just makes me smile!

* That little plant brings me to another little thing that I am thankful for: our balcony, where we can enjoy the sunshine from around 2 in the afternoon until around 9 in the evening. I've never had my own 'outside' before. I'm hugely enjoying decorating the place with all the attentive green gifts we got for our housewarming and now from our neighbours. With a homemade cappuccino, or a plate of seafood pasta, life just doesn't get much better than this.

* I got a coupon for a place called Fior di Gelato for my birthday. Levi and I headed over to their tiny place on the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat to see what they had to offer. They are really nice, really Italian people, who make real Italian ice cream. And no skimping on filling up the cups, I got a good cup full of amarena and strawberry flavour!

The amarena was nice:creamy with tart, tangy bits of cherry in it. The strawberry was even better though. With strawberry icecream, you always need a little tang of lemon to pick up the flavour. And this ice cream had the balance between sweet, fruity and tart exactly right.

Great ice cream at Fior di Gelato in the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat in AmsterdamLevi really liked his chocolate milkshake, but found his stracciatella ice cream scoop a little too sweet for his taste. All in all, a very nice experience. If we are ever in the neighbourhood and craving an ice cream again, we'll definitely remember Fior di Gelato!

* While looking for a guide to start us off on our holiday in Italy in a few weeks, we ran into this place called A La Carte, on the Utrechtsestraat. Nice staff, good selection and hey presto! We found exactly what we were looking for!

Also, I saw that they sell something I am a great fan of: the Mighty Wallet. They're made by a company called Dynomighty and I think they're just absolutely brilliant. I have the one that looks like an airmail envelope. They sell that exact same one at A La Carte, plus assorted other travel-related designs (13,50 Euro I think they were, might have been 13,95 Euro).

And on that brilliant note I leave you. Have a great Pentecost weekend, enjoy the sunshine!

 

26Jul/100

IJscuypje is taking over Amsterdam

IJscuypjeAfter my April post on IJscuypje on the Prinsengracht, in which I mentioned that they also have a branch in the Albert Cuyp area in Amsterdam, I have seen another branch pop up on the Haarlemmerdijk and Levi spotted one on the Amstelveenseweg (direction of Amstelveen). It looks like IJscuypje's franchise is taking over Amsterdam!

The www.ijscuypje.nl website was still under construction when I posted about them last time, but now it's up and running. Here's a link to the page with their exact locations in Amsterdam.

1Jul/1012

Metropolitan Deli: a girl’s best friend

outside Metropolitan DeliMy friend Matt took me to Metropolitan Deli in Amsterdam's Warmoesstraat for a welcome home treat. We had lunch at another place first, as he explained to me that the deli is more of a place for coffee, sweets and goodness. And boy, is it good.

From the outside it looks fresh, the bold black and red letters of the name invite you in. The store itself is light and airy and is stocked to the rafters with goodies. Chocolate, icecream, chocolate cake, fresh and dried fruits dipped in chocolate, coffee, fruitshakes, I'm like a kid in a candy store, it all looks so good, I want something of everything!

coffee menu at Metropolitan DeliMatt makes us pace ourselves and we have a cup of coffee first. We sit at the bar on the long wall, watching tourists and locals in breezy tops and shorts contemplate the mouthwatering ice cream selection. My latte is seriously good: flavoursome and creamy. Matt's doppio espresso is sour, then intense, warm and deep, with a longlasting smooth aftertaste. The coffee is relatively affordable too, at E2,25 for the latte and E1,60 for a single and E2,60 for a double espresso.

Lots of organic chocolate
In the back of the store is the organic chocolate selection, with brands like Pacari, Original Beans, Becks Cocoa and Ã…kesson's. There are also items by Metropolitan Deli's chocolatier Kees Raat himself: chocolate coated marshmallows, dried orange slices dipped in chocolate, marble sized rice crispy balls, chocolate covered almonds and more. If you haven't had enough of the brown gold by then, you can also lather yourself with Dutch Cacao body lotion.

When we've finished our coffee, we go for some ice cream. I opt for the Black Mamba and Lemon Cake flavours. Matt gets three scoops and goes for the Black Mamba, Campari Blood Orange and Rhubarb varieties. My Lemon Cake indeed tastes of lemon, but is more sweet than tart and fluffily creamy to the point where it reminds me a little bit of marshmallows. Good, but I don't think I will revisit it.

Black Mamba ice cream at Metropolitan Deli in AmsterdamBlack ice cream
The Black Mamba is made of cherries, all natural and... seriously black. It is an enigma to my eyes and tastebuds. Traditionally, food that is black is either burnt or spoiled, so my eyes tell me: "That can't be right!" But it is sweet and tart and fingerlickin' good. I am also in love with Matt's Campari Blood Orange ice cream and steal more than one little spoonful from his cup.

Matt also got me a  bag of the chocolate rice crispies I'd been ogling. They make you think of Maltesers, but without the overbearing sweetness. Very nice!

This place ought to have 1. a suggestion box so that 2. I could suggest that they sell an 'all you can taste'-voucher, for people like me, who want to try everything in the store. As it is though, I will have to come back here many, many times (with Levi! He will love the coffee here) to revisit the amazing black ice cream and try new things.

Metropolitan Deli
Warmoesstraat 135
1012JB Amsterdam

www.metropolitandeli.nl

1May/102

Gorgeous yoghurt-cherry icecream at IJscuypje

IJscuypje on the PrinsengrachtHaving just put the thumbcrews on a wellknown French actor at the Ambassade Hotel I decide to reward myself with an icecream on the way home. I stop at IJscuypje on the Prinsengracht. I've passed by here a hundred times on my way home from the centre, but I've never gotten around to trying it out. This cloudy/sunny/cloudy/sunny day is the perfect opportunity.

I opt for the chocolate cookie icecream and then decide to splash out and get the yoghurt-cherry too. The scoops are huge (as well they should be, for the hefty sum op E1,50 for one or E2,75 for two). You can get a cone or a cup, but there are no kiddie cones (as opposed to everywhere else, like Monte Pelmo).

The yoghurt-cherry flavour is divine. The cherries are tart and plentiful, the yoghurt full but fresh. The chocolate cookie icecream is creamy, with swirls of a crunchy cookie consistency and a nutella-like chocolate and nut flavour. The cone it all comes in is a bit thick and doughy for my taste. I prefer the silly light kiddie cones, as they don't interfere with the taste of the icecream. If ever I return here, I must remember to get a cup instead of a cone.

Perfect location on the Prinsengracht
And I may well come back, because as in real estate, there's one thing that is crucial: location, location, location. And IJscuypje is very well situated in the heart of Amsterdam.

When I was once in De Pijp, I noticed that there is a branch there too. As it is near the Albert Cuyp market, I am assuming the chain started there. But I can't find IJscuypje on the Internet, so I can't give you any additional addresses besides the one I got off the Prinsengracht branch's businesscard. (Stupidly, the website listed on the card is: www.ijscuypje.nl, but it doesn't contain anything to do with icecream)

IJscuypje
Prinsengracht 292
1016 HJ Amsterdam

14Apr/100

Fantastic icecream at Monte Pelmo in De Jordaan

Monte Pelmo in De JordaanSo I was having dinner in the Westerstraat with Matt. Afterwards we went to look for an icecream place that I thought was nearby and had always wanted to try. I was, however, mistaken: it turned out not to be where I thought it was. While we were wandering rather aimlessly, hoping to still run into the joint, I saw a man eating an icecream. He claimed it was very good and pointed us to a little street. "That's not the one I meant!" I told Matt, but he figured icecream that I did not mean was better than not finding any icecream at all. And boy, was I not sorry!

Monte Pelmo is situated in a charming little street called the Anjeliersstraat in the Amsterdam neighbourhood called De Jordaan. They have a selection of around thirty different favours of icecream. Mundane ones, like lemon sorbet, strawberry and chocolate. But also more exotic ones, like lemon cheesecake, after eight, and a pretty pink bubble gum flavour.

The bubble gum, I am astonished to report, tastes exactly like bubble gum. I had the inclination to stick out my tongue to blow a bubble when I put it in my mouth! The lemon cheesecake flavour also tastes exactly as a good lemon cheesecake should. The strawberry is also very good: sweet, but fragrant. The lemon sorbet is fresh and tangy. What a wonderful discovery!

And a great way to end an afternoon in the sun and a lovely dinner with a friend.

Icecream at Monte Pelmo in De Jordaan in AmsterdamMonte Pelmo
Anjeliersstraat 272
1015 NJ AMsterdam
www.montepelmo.nl