I recently attended The Blind Man’s Ball—the most epic, hedonistic, Japanese-beer-fueled Halloween party. Very few things will cause New Yorkers to leave the city for a party, but we arrived in costumes and masks by black car and bus to the sprawling 22-acre, once-abandoned country estate in Yonkers. From the moment I stepped into the main hall and viewed the bejeweled revelers and fallen chandeliers lining the entrance, I knew this night would be special.Read More
One pleasant surprise about Amsterdam was the great food. We ate out for every single meal, and every single meal was outstanding--even in the most touristy areas. There was a definite emphasis on quality and freshness of the ingredients. The street food is wonderfully fatty--often fried. Unless it's spring/early summer, in which case "street food" is smoked herring. There is also a lot of great Indonesian food (the Dutch colonized Indonesia).
Indonesian Rijstaffel (rice table): One popular way to eat Indonesian food is the rijstaffel. There are numerous side dishes (normally about 40)--kind of like tapas. We went to an Indonesian restaurant and the food was pretty tasty and VERY spicy. It was so spicy that I could hardly eat it (and I'm a Louisiana native--so I normally have a high tolerance for spicy food!)
We had a very pleasant experience at the most adorable soup shop. The soup was freshly prepared and just really outstanding! I'd be remiss not to mention it.
Gouda: Gouda is the traditional process that is used to make Dutch cheese. You can use cow milk or goat milk. The longer it ages, the more taste it has. We stopped by a Gouda tasting.
Stroopwafels: These are little snacks that consists of two wafer-like "waffles" sandwiching a caramelized syrup. They are soft and chewy and delicious! I've seen them for sale at many grocers in the U.S. (like Trader Joe's), but I can't vouch for their quality or authenticity.