van Linchotenstraat, Amsterdam, January 14, 2013—
Out for an hour's walk today, a very cold day — through these Westelijk Eilanden, then down to Prinzengracht and along that canal to Leidsestraat. Along the way we got too cold to ignore a bit of hunger, so simply dropped into one the first cafe to present itself. It's really more a bar, even something of a bruincafe, an old-fashioned place for drinking beer and spirits, eating pretty much at your risk. Lindsey had a tuna sandwich she said was quite okay; I had gehakte, pretty much a meat-loaf sandwich on white bread, with pickled onions and gherkin, mustard and mayo, and a basket of too many Dutch fries on the side. House red.
• Cafe de Prins, Prinsengracht 124 Amsterdam
We cooked dinner at home, and that was a pleasant change from all these restaurant meals. We bought some organic veal scallopini fillets at Marqt, the Dutch equivalent (though much more to my liking) of America's Whole Foods concept, and a box of bread crumbs, and some little potatoes, and a small tub of arugula, and we had a couple of lemons on hand. Everything else we found in our well-equipped kitchen.
We pounded the veal flatter and dredged it in crumbs, then cooked it fast in a skillet. Lindsey cooked the potatoes our usual way, diced, then boiled with a little oil and salt, then lightly mashed. The arugula was simply dressed with oil and lemon juice. Our dinner guest had brought three delicious pastries from Vlaamsch Broodhuijs (108 Harlemmerstraat), and on the whole we ate very satisfactorily.
Vino rosso d'Italia, "Emozione," Azienda Borgo Passione: okay, light; bought from the local pizzeria