Never Roam Alone

While we knew we had our flat Stanley gnome with us along our journey, we never expected to pick up another fella.  But alas, on the first night we met our new gnome friend, La Chouffe.  A lovely, light Belgian beer, La Chouffe and I were BFF’s by the end of the night.

But the night started out with fondue.  I had always known fondue to be Swiss so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Dutch take equal pride in their fondue.  As I am a huge advocate of melted cheese in any format (and I have yet to find a culture that doesn’t have some form of melted cheese in their repertoire) we tracked down and found ourselves at Cafe Bern in Nieuwmarkt.  It is a most unassuming place.  We were told to make reservations, which we did, but when we walked in there were barely five people in the place, counting the staff.  Sure enough though, by the time we left it was packed.

We went for the cheese fondue, which was excellent.  But also found the entrecote to be the real favorite.  Our waiter was excellent and steered us perfectly to a couple of salads, fondue for three and entrecote for two (there were five of us).  The beef cooked just right in the pesto-y herb mixture and went perfectly with the cheese fondue.  As it is one of the most popular places we were forewarned that our reservation would end promptly at 7:30, which it did.

We are staying at the Mint Hotel (most recently taken over by the Doubletree, more on the hotel in a later post) which boasts a sky bar.  Clearly the hipster place as we were told that it was “full” and we wouldn’t be allowed in.  That sent us on a scavenger hunt for a place to drink; being down by Centraal Station doesn’t leave us in the most happening neighborhood.  Working off of the concierge’s recommendation we found Cafe Batavia, Donny the bartender and the La Chouffe gnome.  Despite having a great time, we need to leave this area tomorrow and find out where the action is.

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