consolation prize.

So, Sunday, I woke up at 5am or something similar, and after a couple hours of trying, realized that I wasn't going back to sleep. The sun was blazing (at least visually) by 8am. Before I could talk myself out of it, I packed a bag and headed to Central Station and the beach. I mean it's not like I was going to be flying anywhere.


No one believed me when I later told them that the beach had been practically empty except for fishermen and dogwalkers. I wouldn't have believed me either: sunny Sundays are normally pretty hideous. But this picture was taken when it was 1) early and 2) not exactly warm.

For lunch, fried sardines: four pretty hefty specimens for just under a euro each, served with lemon and pickles. Great salty, greasy, caveman beach food, and a surprisingly good value (they were big fish).

Then I came back to Amsterdam to meet la Zora, but my schedule was a bit ahead of hers, so I walked around a bit. I ran into Karin and Vatcher, and they recommended I try Captein & Co. for a non-mob scene terrace.

And they were totally right. The clientèle was unusually heavy on the Belgians (my assumption based on the fact that the couples spoke French to each other and Dutch to the waitstaff), and this is normally a good sign from an eating perspective. The food, basic eetcafe stuff, looked and smelled good. Two possible cons, depending on your needs: the service is indeed very slow and the opposite of proactive, and the sun is gone by 16:00 or so.

So, walking south from Nieuwmarkt past our old apartment, this used to be our number-one terrace when we lived around the corner from it: De Engelbewaarder. Good beers, good sun, and it's kind of the longtime default hangout for the Amsterdam jazz scene. It's just a great bar.

And then later, a terrace I never ever considered, but one that turned out to be a perfect way to end the day (credit to KK): Het Ketelhuis. The sun only shows up after 5pm or so. But when it does, you're suddenly in a peaceful, unmobbed little oasis of calm and beer. Do not tell anyone else.



Zora said...

Ah--Engelbewaarder! It was in the back of my head as a goal yesterday! If it had been in front, I would've been more focused and met you earlier. Still--worth it to discover the very hush-hush Ketelhuis...

MEM said...

There were no free tables when I passed by, or I would've ended up there first. And yeah, I too am glad we ended up where we did...