Raiding The Pantry


AMSTERDAM 39Hidden among a crowded narrow street of bars, restaurants, and cafes, Amsterdam is hiding a great little place known only as The Pantry.

Unassuming from the street, small inside with only a handful of small wooden tables, it strikes you as one of those places that could either be a big mistake, or a great unique experience. Lucky for us, we found it to be the latter.

From their website: Furnished with wooden tables and chairs, the interior is what the Dutch would describe as “gezellig”. A cosy atmosphere created by dim lighting and Old Dutch paintings. Reflecting the culture of decorating the room with old things, it seems more like a Dutch living room than diner.

A helpful chap at the Sir Albert Hotel was kind enough to call ahead for us and get a great table right on the only window out to the street. We got the great night breeze, a front row seat of the action down the block, without being out there in the line of first with scooters and drunk people walking around.

We kept if very traditional, and it paid off. We had a goat cheese croquette appetizer which was kinda like a fancy mozzarella stick. We also had one of my fun new discoveries on the trip – Bitterballen beef croquettes. We almost passed on what seemed like a simple dish, bread with herb butter, but it was the best of the three starters for sure. The butter was crazy good.

CAN I EAT ALREADY?!
CAN I EAT ALREADY?!

For main courses, I opted for the Hutspot, which was mashed potatoes mixed with stewed beef, carrots, and onions. It was topped with a smoked sausage (could have picked that or a meatball), and gravy. It was a great, hearty meal and I wasn’t disappointed. Mine came with 3 scoops of the Hutspot, but you could also opt for 1 scoop of each of the 3 varieties, one with Kale and another with sauerkraut. I might try that if I ever go back.

Jen ordered the Oven dish with cauliflower. This was basically a giant shepherd’s pie, and even better and more flavorful than my Hutspot.

I enjoyed the meal with a Trappist Tripel and Jen with a good red wine.

 

Somehow we found room for dessert, when The Pantry totally won us over.

We got the Cheese Plate, with a goat cheese (eh), one with cumin (eh), and two others that were excellent. One was called Old Amsterdam, kind of a swiss or jarlsberg flavor to it. The other was a middle-aged Dutch cheese called a Beemster, that was the star of the show.

That was, until, Jen’s profittjes arrives. These mini pancakes soaked in butter and powdered sugar are mini pancakes soaked in butter and powdered sugar. The pancakes are mini in size. And they are soaked in 2 things: butter is one of those things, and powdered sugar is the other one. I’m not really expanding on this food beyond the ingredients because, well, do I have to? It’s a plate of mini pancakes swimming in melted butter and powdered sugar.

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