Halloween is coming early to Amsterdam! At least for this girl it is. Will be checking out Nightmare on Rozengracht this Friday and I’m sooooo excited.

Nightmare on Rozengracht is a pop-up bar and Halloween Spookhuis from 18 October to 2 November. From their site:
More than a Spookhuis and scarier than a show, Nightmare on the Rozengracht is a journey into terror and unique in Amsterdam. It takes about 35 minutes plus waiting/drinking time in Bar117. There is no cover to enter the bar. Snacks and food by Hotmamahot. Courage Bar by Jägermeister.

This Friday, I’ll be attending as a Yelp elite there but there may still be slots left through the Discover Amsterdam Together meetup. Check out the event details here and sign up!

Will post pics after the event including my costume!


Nightmare on the Rozengracht @BoomChicago – Friday, are you here yet?

Amsterdam, Things I Ate

4 Stars: Cafe Bern

Entrecote fondue. Garlic salad. Nom nom nom nom.

That’s right – went to a fondue restaurant but didn’t have the typical dip veg, bread, meat into melted cheese fondue. But that’s ok. Better than ok. Instead the entrecote fondue is rare steak served with a cooled, herbalicious sauce. Placed on the flame, the sauce melts and the steak cooks just a lil bit more. Frankly, I thought the rare steak was served perfectly but I like my cow still mooing when I eat it. I just barely swished the steak around in the sauce, just to warm it slightly. Mmmmm.

They do serve a LOT of bread with dinner. I sopped up the garlic dressing from the salad with the bread. And mopped up the remainder of the fondue sauce. But all in all, I’m pretty sure I ate a half a loaf of French bread so I’m not sure how full I would actually have been if I were less of a carbaholic and just ate the salad and steak/fondue.

The decor inside is simple. The service is fast. It really was a pleasant dining experience and will definitely be back.

Read more about Cafe Bern.


Southern & Smoked w/ a side of Brits

Sampled HRC Amsterdam’s Southern & Smoked menu last night. Yum. Yum. Yum. May I suggest you add scrumptious and make it an alliteration trifecta.

The Texan.

While most of my fellow diners ordered the triple combo of ribs, pulled pork and bbq chicken, I ordered the Texan pulled pork sandwich and shared an order of the ribs. When “pigging”out, why waste room with chicken? The Texan is pulled pork with Chipotle and Hickory Bar-B-Que sauce, cheddar cheese, crispy jalapenos and crispy onions. (I did look up the calorie count but won’t repeat it here. The portions are large enough that you could easily share one sandwich plate with two people so if you’re on a diet maybe you should share it with 3 or 4.)

Cheddar is a rare commodity in Amsterdam. (No my Dutch friends, that American cheese junk you try to pass off as cheddar is NOT the real thing!) Plus the sandwich came with crispy jalapenos AND crispy onions. Sold! Verdict: Yum. I would definitely order this again.

Now I know it’s not the cool thing to be a local and go to touristy Hard Rock but seriously the food here is pretty good. If you’re hungry. Craving a little Americana. Just go. Eat. Experience gluttony the true American way! And if that’s not enough reason, go for the music and the heavy-handedly poured drinks.

We were lucky enough to catch Ben Montague and James Walsh last night. Here’s James performing his last number of the eve – one my faves, Lean On Me:

Ben Montague’s trumpet solo:

Other photos from the super fun evening:


4.5 Museums in One Day – Culture Crawl Recap

Two blocks. 4.5 Museums. A whole lot of culture. Challenging myself to get the most of my Museum Card so I’ve started planning culture crawls. First one was yesterday. Check it out.

Stop 1: Museum van Loon
Worth the visit just to see the garden. 

Stop 2: Geelvinck Museum
I was not impressed. The exhibit on slavery was interesting but there are better canal house museums including the other two visited on this crawl.

Stop 3: Foam Cafe
This was more of a pit stop as we all needed a caffeine boost. Had we known how beautiful the cafe was going to be at the Tassen Musuem we would have skipped this. I am a big fan of Foam though and it definitely is a must visit for photography fans. Tip: You can eat at the cafe without paying for museum admission. Good for a quick bite and free wifi. Passcode is appeltaart. 

Stop 4: Tassenmuseum (Museum of Bags)
I’m not a purse fanatic but I did enjoy this museum. The big surprise was how beautiful the cafe was. Made a mental note to take my mom to high tea when she comes to Amsterdam again. 

Stop 5: Museum Willet-Holthuysen
Since we added the bag museum to the itinerary at the last minute, we almost didn’t check this museum out. So glad we did because I enjoyed it the most. If you’re going to check out a canal house, I highly recommend this one.