We did have some outstanding food in Amsterdam.
The gouda is everywhere. I grew up picking the red wax off it, but now I much prefer stinkier French cheeses. Gouda is just kind of bland and creamy and inoffensive. However, if you find yourself in possession of 2-4 year old Gouda, do yourself a favor and try it. It's one of the best cheese I know.
We found a market at the Neuwmarkt that had beautiful produce. They do a lot of year-round greenhouse growing here, so you always get brilliant red peppers and delicate leafy greens while the rest of Northern Europe is on a rutabaga and potato diet. This mushroom seller had so much beautiful varieties, I wished I had a kitchen to operate out of.
Oh, and you can get the coyly marketed "truffles" here as well, but from what I hear they taste terrible.
One thing that we were looking forward to was dinner at Tempo Deoloe. It is an Indonesian restaurant that was recommended to us by three different friends of ours. You can't ignore that kind of endorsement.
The move is to order a rice table.
It's a serious of dishes- vegetable, tofu, seafood, chicken and meat- that start out nice and savory.
Then you move on to the second platter, and that's perhaps a bit warming.
And finally, on to the third platter, where you turn into a snotting slobbering mess as you realize your mouth is on fire, and the really nice staff brings you lots more coconut rice to help you soothe the burn. It was a unique kind of heat that I have never experienced before. It starts out really strong, but it builds over the next three minutes and gets more and more intense and you can only sit there and squirm until it dissipates. Wow, just wow. I never felt like I deserved ice cream after a meal so badly. If you are in Amsterdam, do yourself a favor. Even if you don't want to try the super spicy food, the regularly spiced food was unique and excellent, but call a few days ahead for reservations as it was packed.
Another great find this trip was Greetje.
It was a cozy canal-side place serving fairly traditional dutch food with locally sourced ingredients.
Everything was beautifully presented and tasted amazing, in a new twists on old classics kind of way.
It was one of the most perfect meals I'd ever had.
The very first time I went to Amsterdam was the time before the miracles of the internet really made itself useful as to guiding you to the right places. I remember being decidedly non-plussed about the food there that first visit (cause, you know, what the hell does Dutch food entail anyway?) but it was really because I was flying blind, maybe picking up an odd recommendation from a fellow travler or guide book here or there. While I'm all for being spontaneous while I'm traveling, I find myself putting maps together before every trip I take to give myself some guidance. It turns out that it's a really good city to eat well in, which is exactly my favorite kind of place.