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

1Jan/111

Happy 2011!

New Year's Eve "hutspot" quiche

New Year's Eve was spent in Amsterdam's Jordaan, with friends, great food, a little fireworks to ward off the evil spirits for 2011 and this: my homemade "2011!" quiche.

The filling was inspired by good oldfashioned Dutch hutspot. It had potatoes, roasted carrots, caramelised onions, bacon bits and cheese (the cheese is not a hutspot ingredient, but Levi insisted there be cheese).

It tasted as good as it looks!

Happy 2011 everyone!

18Oct/101

Latei on the Zeedijk

Latei on the Zeedijk, signThis place near the Nieuwmarkt with oodles of charm used to be a favourite, back in the day when the coffee was still cheap, the pies always available and they didn't forget we were there. Lately though, the service at Latei has gone way down and every tourist knows where to find it. The shine seems to have worn off a little.

If you are patient, Latei on the Zeedijk can still have its moments. On a busy day like last Sunday though, patience was the key word. Sadly, not even patience could save Latei then. We went there with a friend, I was looking forward to the fantastic lemon cheesecake, Levi was looking forward to the apple pie.

uptairs interior at Latei on the Zeedijk in Amsterdam centreThe place was packed, but we found a table upstairs. We decided what we wanted (two carrot/beet juices, one coffee. One lemon cheesecake, one chocolate brownie and one of the huge apple pie pieces) and Levi went downstairs to order, knowing from experience that it's faster and easier that way.

brownie at Latei on the Zeedijk in AmsterdamOut of nearly everything
The staff is friendly and quirky, but not always fast. Sunday's waitress kept bringing things to our table that we hadn't ordered (a sandwich with cheese, orange juice...). After some time Levi returned with one chocolate brownie and informed us that this was all there was. They were out of cheesecake and apple pie and this was the last brownie to boot. There was an apple pie in the oven, but it was going to take some time.

Half an hour later we'd long since finished the one brownie between the three of us and got tired of waiting for our juice. The waitress who had previously wanted to bring us stuff we hadn't ordered did not show up with what we had ordered and so we decided to call it a day. We went downstairs and paid for the one brownie.

I said to the girl at the register "Since the juices we had ordered never arrived, I'd just like to pay for the brownie please." And all she said was "Oh. That will be 2,25." Not even an "I'm sorry, we must have forgot." Nothing. She didn't even ask her colleague about it, she just rang up the brownie and that was it.

Nothing to write home about
Needless to say I am disappointed in Latei. I've been there with Levi countless times before and I was expecting to be able to tell you guys about the great cheesecake and other scrumptious goodies (the menu is modest, but most of it is very good), but they never delivered.

window front at Latei in AmsterdamThe interior decoration is ecclectic, and everything's for sale! From the retro chairs you sit on and the tables you eat off of, to the fabulously ugly lamps hanging from the ceiling and the tacky embroidered art on the wall. There's also a selection of vintage wallpaper.

Latei is open:
Monday through Wednesday 8am - 6pm
Thursday and Friday 8am - 10pm (after 6 they serve Indian food)
Saturday 9am - 11pm (Indian food after 6)
Sunday 11am - 6pm

Latei
Zeedijk 143
1012AW Amsterdam

http://www.latei.net

29Sep/103

Sweet lemon pie at Bakken met Passie

lovely lemon pie at Bakken met PassieSummer is over. Rainy days and watery sunny days alternate this mercurial September. Real warmth is hard to find. With this in mind,I am declaring my ice cream days over and I am switching to reporting to you about pies, tarts (not the prostitute-kind), cakes and good coffee in Amsterdam. First up is one of my absolute favourites: Bakken met Passie. The name means "Baking with passion", but can also be translated as "Loads of Passion."

This shop slash tearoom is located in De Pijp, near a McDonald's and opposite De Burgermeester (great burgers, I owe you a review of that place). I keep coming back here for the scrumptious lemon pie: sweet and tart, with a crumbly crust. Levi and I love to try new things here. This time he's opted for a small pecan tart. The crust is covered in a honey caramel layer, with pecans dotting the top. It's ok, but not fabulous. I won't be ordering it again.

Noooo, but other favourites include the French apple tart, the Tuscan almond squares with their lacquered chewy tops and sandy crust, and the 'saucijzenbroodje' which is the Dutch version of a pig in a blanket: seasoned minced meat (veal in this case) in puff pastry. One of the best 'saucijzenbroodjes' in Amsterdam!

Levi has ordered plain coffee (on the pricey side at E2,50 for a tiny cup) and I have opted for a latte (E2,70 for a small glass) when suddenly a row breaks out. A woman, stylishly dressed, slim, with brown hair, argues with an older gentleman over whose turn it is. She is adamant he is being served out of turn and she completely loses it. The shop attendant tries to steer the gentleman out of the woman's way, while she insists on kicking up a shitstorm. In the end, the woman has to be shown out of the shop, because she won't stop yelling and screaming "It's just because he's thirty years older, isn't it?! It's ridiculous! I won't stand for it! It's not fair!"

The crazy thing is, even if she were right about the man cutting in line, if she would have just shrugged and kept her mouth shut, she would have had her turn, the man would have had his turn, everyone would have had their pastries and the world would be a happy, harmonious place. All in the same time (or less) it took her to go to battle.

Anyway. Bakken met Passie: Loads of passion! Gorgeous pastries, strong coffee and live entertainment to boot.

Besides pastries, Bakken met Passie also sells freshly baked bread, brioche, sandwiches and many many other good things. Service is friendly and is recognisably dressed in passionate red.

Bakken met Passie
Albert Cuypstraat 51-53
1072 CM Amsterdam

There is no website to speak of, but this is their telephone number: 020 6628309