third trip, first report, part 2

A forum where you can read the great
adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.

User avatar
GT
power poster
power poster
Posts: 368
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 10:45 pm
Location: magically bored on a quiet street corner

third trip, first report, part 2

Postby GT » Fri Mar 14, 4:03 pm

Part Deux, The Sequel
Wednesday morning, our 5th day in town...After breakfast (see part 1 for the mouth-watering description of breakfast) we went to Internet City to do some research. Our mission - Harley gear & those excellent chocolates we stumbled across last year. We kept going back to this ISP partly because we had unused time there, & partly because they had a fast connection, nice machines, were not crowded, and were near several of our favorite shops. We couldn’t remember the name of the chocolate shop, making it harder to find. Better luck with the Harley stuff; there’s apparently a dealer way south sort of near the end of a tram line, and there had been a thread or two on the channels indicating that there were some bars and a store called Big Red Machine that might have some HD stuff (the joke around here is that “HD” stands for “hundred dollars”, go into any dealership & see for yourself). I jotted down addresses for the bars Excalibur & The Other Place for later reference.

We then hopped a tram down to the Albert Cuypstreet market to wander around & look at the goods. Those seafood stalls just freak out this ol’ farm boy. It’s weird enough to realize that some of these creatures exist on earth; it’s incomprehensible to me that some people actually eat this stuff. Ah well, more steak for me. Last year there was this little musician guy wearing a beret, standing on a pallet, playing an upright acoustic bass, tambourine under his arm, beating bass drum beats with his foot, & singing. I guess this year it was too cold for entertainment; in fact, this trip featured the coldest weather we had experienced in A’dam. Still, it was warmer than home.

I knew that Katsu CS was somewhere in the neighborhood & was keeping an eye out for it, but we didn’t see it on the way through. Coming back, tho, we were motivated by our shivering to find some warmth, and spotted it on a cross street south of the market. Katsu proved to be a cozy shop, a warm oasis. We checked out the menu & I decided to splurge on the Water Hash (B+, awfully pricey, I think 12 euros for .5 g). The Plumber got some Super Afghan bud (B)...everything came pre-packaged, which I don’t care for. The dealer girl would leave the bar & go to the back to get each order. I can see how this system gives better security to the owner, but when I saw what was happening, I curtailed my purchases.

Now adequately warmed inside & out, we trammed over to Spui & walked Kalverstraat back to the room. Somewhere I read that Kalverstraat got its name as an area for slaughterhouses & butchers in centuries past, “kalver” meaning calf. My cows will be calving soon, it’s a fun time, the babies are cute little mini-cows. They hang here all summer, & in the fall go for a ride to a place where they are fattened up for a few months, and, well, you know the rest.

Back at the hotel, we asked the concierge for some help finding the elusive, magical chocolate shop. Not having the name was quite a handicap, but the concierge thought he knew what we were talking about and steered us to the Waterlooplein area. This jived with my fragmentary memory, so we trucked on out on our search. We checked out the Waterlooplein flea market & walked right by Big Red Machine without noticing it because we were in the inside aisle of stalls. A dalliance at a head shop-type stall earned the Plumber a “psst, hey buddy, I’ve got something to warm you up.” No, don’t get ahead of me, she wasn’t a hooker...he checked out her goods, some black hash, 2gr. for 12 euros, best deal of the trip. I suspected this was illegal; later on when we had found Big Red Machine (straight across from this stall) & learned that it was a Hell’s Angel’s store, it seemed obvious to me that Hell’s Angels sells more than t-shirts...but I digress.

Still searching for chocolate, we walked on looking high & low...well, mostly high ;-). This was the neighborhood that the concierge had indicated. No luck on chocolate, but we did find the famous Bluebird. The place was busy, a two story shop, open & airy, light, with many window seats looking out on this busy shopping street. We were lucky enough to go in just as some folks were vacating a nice, 2nd story window seat which we snagged and enjoyed for a while. We had adequate wares, and the line was long, so we didn’t sample any smokables there. All in all I found it to be a pleasant place that I would enjoy more with fewer people.

Rested & refreshed, we continued our search for the special chocolates in vain. We walked quite a while, & finally, tired & discouraged, we decided to check out a couple of pints & some bitterballen at the Majestic, an upscale bar on the northeast corner of Dam Square. It has a good view of Dam Square & a lot of window seats. As a beer lover, I had hoped to see more variety than the ubiquitous Heineken - I don’t even care for Heineken that much at home. The Majestic had a dark beer on tap much to my delight, Moreeke. Vermeer later opined that Moreeke ranked near the bottom of his rather long list of Belgian brews, but this evening it made a pleasant change.

The Plumber went to the room, & I tracked down Excalibur, a biker bar/coffeeshop in the RLD. I ride a Harley, & lots of my friends wanted some kind of HD gear. Excalibur was a fairly large place for Amsterdam, and had two bikes mounted on the wall. One looked to be a mid 60’s sportster, raked & stretched, with a western style horse saddle for the seat. The other was really old, maybe a 1920’s or 30’s model that had more in common with a bicycle than it did with my ride. The interior also had several pieces of armor on display, and huge sword suspended from the ceiling. The music was second only to that at DeKuil for my taste. I heard a rocking acoustic cut that I didn’t recognize, and asked the bartender who the band was. She said “Oh, it’s a local band, maybe you’ve heard of them, Golden Earring.” “Hahaha, sure,” I said, “They’re pretty famous even out on the farm.” It turned out that Golden Earring had recorded a live, acoustic cd about 10 years ago. I looked for it the next time I was near a cd shop, & found it right away for 7 or 8 euros. I have been playing it a ton since I got home. The staff at Excalibur was friendly & humorous, and as I was well stocked, I didn’t try their wares, but I did peruse their menu, which was a book featuring samples of each kind in a small bag stapled to each page. Now there’s a book I need for MY library.

We rested up a bit, and time rolled around to meet Vermeer. Our rendezvous in the hotel lobby was timely, and we exchanged the cigarettes & small talk for a bit. Vermeer asked what I wanted for my trouble, & I asked him to show me a good bar with some interesting beers, I was tired of Heineken. He said he knew just the place, and off we trudged, right towards DeKuil, to the bar In de Wildeman. It seemed to be a typical neighborhood bar at happy hour, full of locals just off work & partaking of a relaxing brew. That perception changed when Vermeer started talking about their beer selection, something like 200 kinds. Wow! I left it to him to order & he got us a succession of the most delicious beers, mostly those made by Belgian trappist monks. Vermeer was kind enough to send me the following list of recommended brews:
Hi GT,
Yes we had some nice beers that night, here is what I remember;
Chmay Blau (dark, 9.0%)
Westmalle Tripel (light, 9.5%)
Westmalle Dubbel (Dark 7.0%)
also try;
Chimay Grande Reserve
Leffe Blond
Leffe Dubbel
Leffe Tripel
Westvliteren 8
Westvliteren 10
Duval
La Trappe Blond
La Trappe Dubbel
La Trappe Tripel
La Trappe Quadrupel
All, very nice beers.

Thanks, Vermeer, very educational & fun. He also introduced us to an English couple presently living in Amsterdam, Howard & Alison, both sweethearts with whom we had a lot of fine conversation & laughs. The five of us stood for at least an hour by the bar, then grabbed a table in the back corner as it opened up. The night flew by. A rather tall, beefy, curly haired Nederlander overheard us speaking & was interested to talk to some Americans. I think he was surprised to find that we were A- nice, friendly people and B- not packing weapons, screaming for war, or showing any of the other terrible stereotypes Europeans seem to expect from Americans. I think we did our small bit for positive foreign relations; I genuinely liked this guy I’ll never see again. Those high alcohol beers take their toll, and I don’t remember much about how the evening came to an end, except that it was a happy time and we got home ok.

Thursday - BIIIIG head this morning. Moving slow so it doesn’t hurt so much. Remembering why we usually smoke more than we drink. Man, it was a fun evening, tho.

User avatar
GT
power poster
power poster
Posts: 368
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 10:45 pm
Location: magically bored on a quiet street corner

thanks

Postby GT » Fri Mar 14, 4:05 pm

thanks to all who responded to my first post; your encouraging comments helped me to keep writing. this is taking longer to write than i thought so i'm posting what i have so far.

User avatar
Bohannon
mega power poster
mega power poster
Posts: 15970
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 12:30 am
Location: "Hiding my leg from the humpers"

Postby Bohannon » Fri Mar 14, 4:28 pm

Another great report. I am inspired (next trip I will take notes, LOL). Too bad you didn't find the chocolates though. Didn't Vermeer know where that place might be? I love In de Wilderman also, so much so that one time I stayed at the Citadel because it was an easy stumble from that cafe! BTW The Big Red Machine has an online shop (at the Excalibur I think), you can order T-shirts and stuff, I have done it (they have an amusing but ultimately annoying sound track of a Harley revving, be prepared to turn your speakers off, LOL).
Thanks again for the report.
Pax

amst
regular
regular
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 10:03 pm

Postby amst » Fri Mar 14, 5:40 pm

GT, thanks for this. It is of special interest to me as I am booked into the same hotel next month- I was going to skip the 20 euro breakfasts until I read your reports! I am very glad you are finding the time to write them - and the longer, the more detailed, the better!

User avatar
BlueBerry
super power poster
super power poster
Posts: 1540
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 12:19 am
Location: www.myspace.com/blueberryams
Contact:

Postby BlueBerry » Fri Mar 14, 6:15 pm

just another fine day in the 'dam:))

thanks GT, good report

waiting for more!

BlueBerry

amst
regular
regular
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 10:03 pm

chocs

Postby amst » Fri Mar 14, 8:37 pm

btw GT, the chocolate shop you were directed to I think is in Staalstrat - runs from the Doelen Hotel/Kloveniersburgwal to Waterlooplein.

User avatar
Padruig
power poster
power poster
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 5:08 pm

HD dealership

Postby Padruig » Fri Mar 14, 9:21 pm

Next time in town try Harley World Schepenbergweg 8, it's a trek but they have some good tee's and other HD regalia.

User avatar
modern roots
super power poster
super power poster
Posts: 2280
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 7:19 am
Location: U.S.A.

Postby modern roots » Fri Mar 14, 10:11 pm

GT

Maybe the Puccini chocolates? Two locations--Singel 184 and Staalstraat 17.

User avatar
GT
power poster
power poster
Posts: 368
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 10:45 pm
Location: magically bored on a quiet street corner

nice detective work

Postby GT » Sat Mar 15, 1:30 am

thanks again to all for the positive responses.

sorry about the suspense...for the record, we did find both puccini locations . they make, hands down, the best chocolates i have ever had.
thanks amst, padruig, modern roots for your help...will check out the harley shop next time around.

part 3, the funale (typo for finale but i liked it so there) features the other white meat, chocolates, and the anti war/bush/american protests that saturday.

User avatar
Porkchop
power poster
power poster
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 11:52 pm
Location: Illinois,USA
Contact:

Mr.T

Postby Porkchop » Sat Mar 15, 1:43 am

Fabulous!

'nuff said

Porkchop

User avatar
Dogbreath
super power poster
super power poster
Posts: 1146
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 3:00 pm
Location: Vermont

Bier

Postby Dogbreath » Sat Mar 15, 2:26 am

Yes, that chimay bleu beer is *soooooo* good. And I rarely drink beer. Powerful, too.

Keep the field reports coming , please........

:-) Dogbreath

User avatar
a bollocks
mega power poster
mega power poster
Posts: 5745
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 12:32 am
Location: Not A'dam dam'it..... a traveler, a heart, no woot for you.

Re: Bier

Postby a bollocks » Sat Mar 15, 8:41 pm

Dogbreath wrote:Yes, that chimay bleu beer is *soooooo* good. And I rarely drink beer. Powerful, too.

Keep the field reports coming , please........

:-) Dogbreath


Primer me carucha, Chevy '39.

Doggie, I have yet to express my condolences for your namesake. Here's to Dogbreath. Pooches rule. Once upon a time, I had a 7 year old Saint Bernard. I was moving from Tulsa to NYC. I dropped her off at my best friends house, where her dogfriends were. The next day we found her gone..... from a broken heart. The vet said Saint Bernards are very emotional. I love my 'Ger. Named for Edgar Winter, she had half a mask and one blue eye. My sentiments are with you and yours.

hebe
power poster
power poster
Posts: 210
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2:31 pm
Location: east of eden

trip

Postby hebe » Mon Mar 17, 2:01 pm

nice report.brings back fond memories..

User avatar
buckofive
power poster
power poster
Posts: 418
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 11:38 am
Location: Amsterdam

Postby buckofive » Mon Mar 17, 4:59 pm

As far as the chocolates go, you might also want to try Unlimited Delicious. They are right up the street from the Internet City location nearby Centraal Station. A quick walk down the Haarlemerdijk on your way to Barney's and you will pass it on the right side of the street. As good as or better than Puccini. Plus it is within easy staggering distance from a bunch of shops (Siberia, Doors, Bulldog, Rokerij, and Pablow Picasso.

Give them a try next time you are in town.

Cheers,

buckofive

User avatar
Old Hippie Dave
super power poster
super power poster
Posts: 1377
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 3:39 pm
Location: HUH?

Postby Old Hippie Dave » Sat Mar 17, 4:42 pm

nice
smoke till ya puke

User avatar
smokedpeppers
mega power poster
mega power poster
Posts: 5721
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 10:45 pm
Location: 3rd. rock
Contact:

Postby smokedpeppers » Sat Mar 17, 4:50 pm

good read, ty!

User avatar
Bohannon
mega power poster
mega power poster
Posts: 15970
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 12:30 am
Location: "Hiding my leg from the humpers"

Postby Bohannon » Sat Mar 17, 4:58 pm

Old Hippie Dave wrote:nice
smoke till ya puke
jaysus Dave, too damn much time on yer hands....why not paint the shack?


Peace

User avatar
bongwata
power poster
power poster
Posts: 372
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 5:30 pm
Location: Camp Bongwata

Re: Bier

Postby bongwata » Sat Mar 17, 5:12 pm

a bollocks wrote:Primer me carucha, Chevy '39.


My ship of love, ready to attack!

BW

Martin
participating
participating
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 8:17 am
Location: Woodbridge Virginia

...

Postby Martin » Sun Mar 18, 6:12 am

I noticed the guy working at the doors coffeeshop had an harley davidson t-shirt on.. There is about 3 harley davidson shops within 10miles of where i live.. I would be happy to trade harley t-shirts for trinkets from amsterdam.. Not trinkets that would cause legal issues though.. Maybe a grinder or two.. Just let me know if anyone is interested..

User avatar
hank
power poster
power poster
Posts: 332
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 9:58 pm
Location: California

Postby hank » Mon Mar 19, 4:36 pm

What a cool report. All those Belgian beers are wonderful , did a little beer tour on our own in the south of Belgium last year and you made my mouth water mentioning the ones I love, Abbye De Orvall makes a super good dark, bought a case and kept it in the back seat for easy access.

User avatar
Porkchop
power poster
power poster
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 11:52 pm
Location: Illinois,USA
Contact:

Re: third trip, first report, part 2

Postby Porkchop » Thu May 05, 7:39 am

Oh my, the memories...
GT my man, are you still kickin?

porkchop


Return to “Channelites Trip Reports”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests