It’s no secret that airplane food isn’t all that exciting, so Will and I decided rather than choosing between so-so chicken or pasta that we’d opt for White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clif bars instead.

While delicious and very filling, one can only have so many Clif bars before you’re desperately craving real food. So after having one for the overnight leg of our flight and one for breakfast the next morning in Frankfurt and another one for a snack before boarding our flight to Amsterdam, we were starving by the time we finally made it to the Land of Bicycles. So after checking in and throwing on something a little better than sweats, we immediately made our way to our hotel’s restaurant where I had the best fish & chips of the trip.

There’s a lot of really bland, overly greasy fish & chips out there, so when you find a perfectly seasoned cod filet alongside perfectly seasoned potatoes, it’s a pretty remarkable feat. But aside from the right amount of salt and pepper and crisp batter, what sent this batch over the top were the little details, namely a vinegar-y homemade pickle, a charred lemon to squeeze over the fish and a tangy little sauce that I liked with the chips in particular. And considering how hungry I was, I gobbled in down in mere minutes and wished for seconds.

IMG_2920The next morning, we crashed one of the coffee shops that came highly recommended where I tried my first of two Dutch apple pancakes of the trip. Lemme just say this picture doesn’t do the experience justice.

The pancake was so light and full of tart green apples and adorned with a dusting of powdered sugar, a thick molasses syrup and a side of salty bacon. I liked it so much, in fact, that I ordered exactly the same thing the next morning. Plus, the coffee there was totally on point too. I had the first of many, many cappuccinos, which turned out to be my European coffee drink of choice. Unlike my Starbucks order, my coffee didn’t need more than a cap of milk and the smallest sprinkling of sugar to be absolutely perfect.

Last but certainly not least, this dish, pumpkin goat cheese lasagna, was the real surprise of dining in Amsterdam. When I saw it on the menu at Restaurant Van Puffelen, I knew I had to give it a try. The best way to describe it is like Fall, or better yet, Thanksgiving, on a plate with the slightest hint of sage in the sauce. It’s not exactly the most conventional of combinations, especially when you think “lasagna,” but it totally hit the spot. Everything at this eatery was really fantastic, in fact, so if you’re ever visiting Amsterdam, it’s definitely worth giving a try.

Finally, one funny story for you on the eating front. We tried a modern Italian restaurant that really put the “modern” in modern Italian cuisine. Will and I decided to give the tasting menu a try because it offered a diverse variety of yummy-sounding dishes, and I was feeling a little more adventurous than normal. What I wasn’t expecting, however, was the world’s tiniest food for a not-so-tiny price. Trust me, even a human Barbie would’ve been hungry after these immaculately presented but oh-so-precious nibbles. Whether it was a trio of beets (literally, two micro-slivers of beet, along with a sprinkling of stems in a micro-pool of sauce) or the lemon risotto (a tablespoon of creamy rice with lemon zest) or the fish they poured a tiny pitcher of broth over, we were never quite so hungry after seven courses. That said, we did get a good laugh, figured that’s how Tom Colicchio must feel when judging the frou frou cuisine on Top Chef, and of course, more than made up for our tiny Italian meal when we visited Italy later on.