DAY 5 - Utrechtsestraat
Again a late start, didn’t leave the room until 1PM. Walked down Spuistraat on our way to Utrechtsestraat. Stopped and had french fries with ketchup at the joint next door to de Dampkring, hit the spot. Then up the Singel to Vijzelstraat and stopped by the doll/souvenir shop run by the old Dutch man and his wife. This is the place to buy souvenirs and gifts for back home. We chose to return later as we had several hours of exploring ahead of us and didn’t feel like being burdened with packages.
Down the Kiezersgracht to our destination at the corner of Utrecthsestraat - Café’ Leeuwen. Sat at the bar until one of the window seats became available and then had a delicious lunch. M had the hearty pea soup while I chose the salad with proscuitto and some sort of hard shaved cheese with a fantastic vinaigrette dressing. Washed it all down with a Ijbock beer and a couple of glasses of tap water. No more bottled water for us, this water tasted as good as ours back home, which is very good. Wandered down Utrechtsestraat and stopped by for some Royal Stixx at where else? The Stixx Café. Very tasty and smooth bud. After a short while, we continued our journey along Utrectsestraat enjoying the great window shopping this street has to offer, stopping at the mega record shop that sells cd’s, dvd’s tapes, as well as vinyl, truly amazing place that was very busy, don’t think this would make it back home. Stopped for a couple of Zattes at the Onder de Ooievar, got a nice window seat and enjoyed the lovely view of the canal and the flower stand with Santa’s sleigh perched atop. Continued our journey through the side streets and back up Utrechtsestraat to the Oosterling pub. Great time here as we met some of the locals including Rudolph, a very nice Dutch man recently retired from his job at the electric company. M had one of her favorites, Brand Urtyp and I had an Imperator. We also tried a 5 year old jenever called Simon at Randy’s recommendation…very smooth.
We left the Oosterling with an extra bounce in our steps and made the long walk across the Weteringschans and up and over Leidsestraat into the Dolphins Bar. M used the facilities and I opted to wait outside as it was way too crowded and smoky in there for either of us. Global Chillage on the other side of Leidsestraat turned out to be a much better option as it was much more welcoming with its very chilled music and atmosphere, nothing spectacular, but a nice spot to stop for a smoke and a cup of tea. After sampling some of the Blueberry purchased earlier, we left and had dinner just a few doors down at Los Pilones. Now this was our first time eating here and it was fantastic. M had the enchilada of the month which was filled with chicken and a guacamole verde sauce, and I had the taco of the month which was a soft tortilla covered with grilled sirloin, corn, onions and mushrooms. Both were outstanding meals and we enjoyed the after dinner stroll up the Herengracht and over to the Café van Daele for another round of Zattes on tap there.
Made it to de Bierkoning with time to spare and selected 8 more bottles of Dutch beers to carry us through the weekend. Then back to our room to drop off our beers and down to the Wynand Fockink for a jenver, a pear liqueur and a de Rijk beer. We sat on a window ledge in the alley with many other patrons as this place was packed tonight.
Off to hear some music at the Casablanca. Another real treat here as we listened to a jazz/funk band called Biggles Big Band. No less than 10 instruments on the stage and filled the back room. These guys were great, had kind of a funky New Orleans sound. We stayed for the entire first set and then headed back to the room as we were getting a bit tired and wanted to get a good night’s rest for tomorrow.
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adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.
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