round town.

Tonight we got a wild hair and went to four places, count 'em FOUR PLACES for drinks. Brief notes follow.

Bridges is in the space where the old Cafe Roux used to be. When we were at In de Wildeman on Friday, we asked a chef friend of ours if he had any recent eating tips and he told us that Bridges seemed nice and that they hadn't blinked at his shabby attire when he dropped in (though in retrospect it was unclear if he'd actually eaten there or just had drinks), so we decided to check it out tonight since we were kind of in the hood.

The decor (pictured, kind of, above) seemed cold and modern at first but actually kind of grew on me as we sat there. It was not our preferred crowd really, maybe it's that wines by the glass were (by my standards) extremely expensive for Europe, up to 16/glass for reds. I did a flight of Pinot Noir (15 euro), because I am FUCKING SOPHISTICATED (and because it made me feel like my glasses of wine cost 5 each), and it was interesting but I didn't fall in love.

The gratis bar snacks were poorly chosen enough to make me not want to order any other food there: twenty roasted cashews (plus two rogue almonds); four huge green olives; and several sticks of julienned courgette, carrot, and daikon served with a curry aioli, which was just totally ill-conceived and called into question the soundness of the entire menu's Asian fusion-y leanings, especially at these prices (most of the apps were above 20 euro, including a 26 euro miso soup). So we finished our drinks and left.

We went down the street to Van Kerkwijk, which used to be a favorite back when we lived nearby a few years ago. We sat at the bar, and immediately realized that things had changed somehow. They only had Brand and Amstelbok for beer and only merlot by the glass (the horror!, i know, but still), the music was shitty, the bartender half-heartedly tried to wipe off the bar when we sat down, but there was this hardened piece of goat cheese stuck on there and she just mushed it around a little and then kind of shrugged and left the crusty part there. Some limp and boring-looking salads sat at the pass the entire time we were there. I don't know, something was wrong, nothing about it filled us with confidence, so we finished our drinks and left.

By this time we were actually getting hungry, so I suggested that we just find something comparatively cheap and greasy like Pasodoble in the Jordaan. So that's where we went. But on the way there we passed De Zagerij (strangely outdated website, no?), which I thought looked kind of promising, so we went in. The menu looked OK, almost really good, and it was a welcoming room, the music was good (old Elvis [Presley]), but yeah, the bartender was giving off this strangely disinterested vibe (imagine that, in Amsterdam). And the menu wasn't sealing the deal, although the smells from the kitchen were pretty yummy. So we finished our drinks and left.

Our high spirits were somehow undiminished by the time we got to Pasodoble (I think our expectations have been permanently lowered, yay!!!). And if you go there, your expectations should be low, something like "well-seasoned, garlicky, decently-fried food in a friendly setting", and then you won't be disappointed. I don't think you could call the food here anything better than OK, but it made us quite happy at the time, way more than any 26 euro plate of scallops and foie gras would have, IMHFO.

I mean, yes, I'm pretty sure their calamari and patatas bravas come out of a bag from the freezer. But I would SO MUCH rather do this than be disappointed by some sloppy, overcomplicated yet careless, mis-seasoned train wreck for twice the price. And there are some nice things here, one especially delicious homemade-seeming thing we had was a chef's special croqueta di jamon with goat cheese, and their gambas pil-pil were good as always. The wine was surprisingly drinkable, the service was friendly and competent as usual, and so yes overall, mission very much accomplished. And then we finished our drinks and left.


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