Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Singel 404

I’ve been away. After about two weeks of sleeping in foreign beds and waking up to a hammered jet lagged feeling; I’ve just made it home.

The feeling of being home is a strange feeling. You can be perfectly alienated at home and at home in a completely foreign environment. This trip I went back to a place that I called home for a while, parts of it still looked foreign and other parts looked and smelled familiar. The supermarket that was a seven minute walk away from my then home, my supermarket, had the same smell that it had five years ago. Thankfully not one of those bad smells, but just a distinct smell that was strangely reassuring.

After walking down the aisles of the Albert Heijn and reacquainting myself with the delights of pindakaas (the Dutch version of peanut butter that taste nothing like the smooth Skippy’s/peter pan types that I grew up eating), stroopwafels those waffles that justify are thin enough to hold the maximum amount of caramel, speculaas a Dutch spiced biscuit that I was seriously addicted to and the cheese, I started feeling more at home.

Old cheese with egg, sun dried tomatoes, honey mustard, sprouts, avocado, garden cress and walnuts

Once I pulled myself out of the supermarket, I did the next thing that was top on my priority, to eat at my favourite sandwich shop in Amsterdam. Anyway, the Singel 404 is small, so you need take any choice table that you get and if the sun decides to come out, sitting along the Singel to watch the boats, bikes and people pass it a great way to spend lunch. The menu here is huge – with nearly fifty different bread + ingredients options ranging from the failsafe toastie, club sandwiches, and my personal favourite section: specials where they have great combinations – it is hard not to at least one option that you would like. Or the last option is for you can be an impossible person like me on my first visit where I insisted on creating own sandwich despite the dizzy array of choices, but I am not too sure if this option is still available.

This trip I made it to the Singel 404 twice – for lunch and brunch. In the peak lunch hour, it is annoying having to stand around and to watch people eat whilst you are starving but in a seriously twisted manner, there is perhaps a magnified sense of gratification when you grab a choice table and savour lunch with conversation. For brunch, I made it there really early and so I enjoyed a full twenty minutes of quietness from me being the solo diner in the lunchroom. Everything I’ve ever had in this place is good. Everything. That and I’ve had fabulous memories at this place. Needless to say, I love it.

Singel 404
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tel: +31-204-280154

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you meant "stroopwafel" instead of "stoopwafel", stroop means syrup.


3:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, on first glance of the title, I thought you were introducing a new telephone service.

4:04 PM  

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