Sunday, July 31, 2011

No Nachos No Glory

I did it, I found my corner of Mexican joy. And what's even better is that I get to choose from 2 locations!

Los Pilones is my kind of Mexican, very laid back, great food and excellent cocktails. And last but not least, you can choose from chicken, beef, vegetarian and shrimp! Funnily enough I have never been to Mexico but my time in San Diego has taught me to love any mexican food that comes with shrimp.

The restaurants are in the city centre (Kerkstraat 63)  and in the Jordaan (1ste Anjelierssdwarstraat 6), I can't say which I prefer as they are both nice, the former feels more like a dark mexican bar where you can also eat at the counter, whereas the latter feels more like a restaurant, but with a cheerful and still very relaxed atmosphere.

The margaritas are great but so are the other cocktails, as for food my safe bet is the soft shell taco with shrimp, cheese, peppers and onions. If that just scares you, trust me the beef or chicken options are also delish!

Ambiance: *****
Location: *****

PS: Some say Rosa's Canina is good but my time there was a big disappointment.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Serious about pizza

It's cliché but pizza is one of my favorite things of all and  even though my stomach can handle pretty much any pizza, from frozen to tacky wanna-be-Italian restaurant, I still spend a serious fraction of my time in a new city finding THE pizza place. 

So far I haven't tried enough places to say that Le 4 Stagioni is THE pizza place in Amsterdam, but it sure feels like a good runner up.  The location is great (Oud Zuid), far enough to not be a tourist location and yet very central, the place is a former butcher and kept its antique wall tiles, and when the sun is shining it's lovely to sit outside on the quiet residential square where you feel like a true local. And last but not least, the pizza is really good

My favorite time to go is on a sunny Sunday evening, it just feels like the perfect way to end a weekend. Just be aware that you cannot book a table unless you are 4 or more and the place is often busy!

I still have a couple of pizza places to discover before I can make my final verdict, but this sure is a good starting point.

*** (can vary a lot)
Ambiance: *****
Location: *****

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tough time choosing

It was hard for me to pick which place to talk about first, an equally difficult pick is deciding when to go to Bazar. Will it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner? The choice is difficult as all of the above are good and the menu has a lot to offer. In Amsterdam, Bazar is located in an old synagogue on the Albert Cuyp and serves North African and Middle-Eastern food. The place is big and incredibly loud, so I definitely wouldn't recommend it if you are looking for a quiet intimate dinner. Service can also be quite slow and table bookings aren't 100% error proof, but despite all of that, if you are looking for a special setting with a casual feeling to it with generous and tasty portions, then this is your place!

As I mentioned the menu is vast but my obsession is the Tavuk Sis Kebab, which comes with a curry mayo that is delish!  The mornings are far more quiet and relaxed and you won't be able to eat for the rest of the day.

Here's me having a tough time choosing....

Ambiance: ****
Location: *****

New city, new discoveries, new blog...

I love cities, I love the buzz the noise and the chaos. My favorite thing to do is to discover cafes and restaurants and of course, shops.  But for as much as I love the city buzz, my moment of utmost pride is when I find a hidden gem, in  a quiet spot, where you can drink a good coffee, or eat a great meal or shop for something special.

In March I moved to the beautiful Amsterdam, it wasn't our first encounter, growing up I certainly wasn't fond of her, much like the tourists who end up in the wrong spots. A lot has changed since then, Amsterdam and I get along just fine, I grew to discover that she has exactly what I love in a city; a huge variety of restaurants and cafes and all sorts of trendy shops spread around in different neighborhoods.

My plan is as follows, as I discover new places I'll share these with you, restaurants will be rated with a max of 5 stars. So that if you live in the Dam, this may be of help,  and if you plan to visit the city you can avoid the tourist traps and may just fall in love with her just like I did.