The Last Meal in Holland: Pancakes! Amsterdam

My last day in Ams­ter­dam I fig­ured that since I don’t smoke pot, didn’t ride a bike and am not 6 feet tall, I should do some­thing that is Dutch. So I decided to try pan­nenkoeken at Pan­cakes! Ams­ter­dam.

A 10-minute walk from Lei­d­se­plein, this cute, white-washed break­fast spot serves, you guessed it…

Now, a thing about pan­nenkoeken — or is it pan­nekoeken? (per­haps my Dutch friends can inform me as to whether or not I’m using the cor­rect plural form). Every cul­ture has its ver­sion of a thin, flat cake pre­pared on a flat sur­face. Amer­i­can pan­cakes, bli­nis, crepes, etc. In the US, of course, we (well, not me per­son­ally, but those who enjoy eat­ing sweet things for break­fast) eat them cov­ered in real maple syrup or berries or with choco­late chips and whipped cream or some other dia­betic ver­sion they serve at IHOP. In Hol­land, there are savory, which obvi­ously is the way my palate tends to lean.

The Dutch pan­cake itself is usu­ally made with noth­ing more than flour, eggs and milk, and is a bit thicker than crepe but slightly more dense and moist than an Amer­i­can flap­jack. Pan­cakes! (oh, I’m going to keep using the excla­ma­tion point) uti­lizes organic, sus­tain­able and local ingre­di­ents, with its flour sourced from de Eerstel­ing mill in Hoofd­dorp as well as apples from an apple plan­ta­tion in Zeeland.

I went straight for a deluxe offer­ing for my first course: bacon, mush­room, cheese and paprika (note: paprika here is a lit­eral red pep­per. not the ground red Hun­gar­ian pow­der. that was con­fus­ing when it arrived).

And here’s the bacon. Streaky bacon, ya yobs.

I don’t know if it’s a result of my sense of smell being slightly dulled dur­ing my trip, the nature of Dutch food to my over exposed palate, or if they sim­ply salt every­thing less in Europe, but I needed this to really get any­thing out of this pancake.

(By the by, Ams­ter­dam: Cholula. Look into it.)

It’s not that I didn’t like it — it was fine, but it didn’t really do any­thing for me. When­ever I really need to eat a savory pan­cake (which is almost never), I always think of a Korean seafood pan­cake or a Chi­nese green onion pan­cake. Maybe I’m just lacist when it comes to flat, savory dishes.

To fin­ish, I went as tra­di­tional as pos­si­ble with apple pan­cakes. Also about the size of a din­ner plate, this ver­sion, while not exactly sweet, made more sense in my lit­tle skull as to what pan­cakes should be, even before I slathered it with syrup and pow­dered sugar.

Pan­cakes! for sure is a great stop for a tra­di­tional Dutch bite that will get you away from the masses. I guess it makes more sense if you, unlike me, actu­ally like pancakes.

Pan­cakes! Ams­ter­dam
Beren­straat 38
1016GH Ams­ter­dam
pancakesamsterdam.com

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