Thursday, March 09, 2006


FINALLY! Allow myself to breathe a sigh of relief; after all the build-up and anxious anticipation, I finally ate some "proper" Dutch food and it was totally proper and I give it much props.*

Before taking the train back into Amsterdam, I started the day off good n' healthy with some strawberry yogurt and meusli. Dutch yogurt comes in the same pourable cartons as milk does in the States, although it's the same consistency as American "container" yogurt. Weird, right? I thought so.

I wanted today to be special, so I made my first real attempt to keep to an itinerary and to use a map, and both helped me Take It Over The Top and Reach My Goal. My Goal being to Eat Dutch Food And Enjoy It. Interesting side note: I LOVE reaching Goals, guys, I really do!

So, map in hand, (written entirely in Dutch, no less), I found The Van Gogh Museum. This is a food blog, so I won't spend too much time talking about art and tourist attractions, but I was very impressed with this Vincent. Did you know he began as a self-taught TOTAL AMATEUR, and his painting career only lasted ten years? TEN YEARS. And then he shot himself in the chest, dying from his wounds two days later, and now we revere his art. As we should.

Nothing whets the appetite like tragic, ephemeral genius, so I was ready for that Dutch Pancake I'd heard so much about. But first, I needed to visit another coffeeshop,

one owned by a New York expat raised in my hometown. I met his mother-in-law, the co-owner of the coffeeshop, and his two young children, the eldest of which kept blowing a balloon until it popped out of her mouth and fell to the floor, from which she would pick it up and put it back in her mouth. Repeatedly. At a certain point my face froze in a mask of disgust and finally her father dreamily asked her would she mind maybe sweetheart to stop putting that dirty dirty balloon back in her mouth? For Poppa? Yes, she DID mind, Poppa, she WILL keep putting this balloon in her mouth until she contracts floor herpes or typhus or Dutch rickets. Ah, kids today! Their immune systems have the strength of ten titaniums. In the interest of full disclosure I will admit that in spite of the coffeeshop's lax attitude towards germs and hygiene I could not resist trying its homemade brownies, which were delicious and really did taste "homemade."

Interesting side note #2: I love a personal touch! And that long brown turd is actually VERY ILLEGAL in the U.S.A!

After what seemed like hours but was really only thirty minutes later I reached my destination: The Pancake Bakery. Yes, it's a tourist trap, but "yes-and" it offers over SEVENTY kinds of pancakes, both savory and sweet. I'm helpless to resist such an abundance of choice, so I ordered a savory bacon, cheese, and mushroom pancake

and a sweet banana, rum, chocolate sauce and whipped cream pancake to share with my oldest brother.

Be still my beating mouth: they were like the Krispy Kreme of pancakes! They were light, airy, completely delicious and gone too soon, like a single precious night of love with the one you've desired for far too long, when you feel grateful to get even only a few hours with your beloved. Eating these pancakes was JUST LIKE THAT!

I think of them now, so fondly, and I feel close to tears. I knew I loved them! I KNEW it wasn't just blind infatuation and anticipation! They were worthy of my desire! They came through better than I could have ever imagined! Thank you, Dutch Pancakes, and thank you Pancake Bakery: today I became a woman for the very first time. Whatever food is eaten by me next will be eaten by a REAL woman forever changed by the Dutch Pancake experience. Wat magie!

*If I'm beginning to sound at all like a stoney stoned stonestofferson, it's a total coincidence, okay kind dudes? Whoa. I just thought of something awesome: coincidences. They are so amazing, aren't they? Wow. They are crazy! They are CRAMAZING! Whoa. Did you see THAT, my awesome kind friends? What I just did there? I totally just invented some new language! Like Shakespeare did! Whoa. Think about THAT! Shakespeare was so AMAZING, wasn't he? He totally was. He. Was. Cramazing. Whoa. Word.


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