Friday, October 31, 2008

Dutch Croquettes @ Van Dobben Croquettes (in Amsterdam)

Well, Free Lunch Week is winding down. I hope everyone is fatter and happier for it. Just to show my commitment I'm skipping my office Halloween Pot-Luck Party and heading out to get something special and tasty (after the costume judging). More posts will follow next week, but today I'm bringing you something special. My friend Kemal in Amsterdam has been participating all week long and wrote an article for the blog. So, today he'll be posting vicariously through me and you'll be eating vicariously through him. Bon appetit:

Amsterdam – No people like gruel as much as the Dutch. The Dutch kitchen has all kinds of raw filets, uncooked fish species and warm meat gruels. My favorite meat snack is the croquette (in Dutch: ‘kroket’). I didn’t want to disappoint my American friend Todd, so I went to the best croquette lunchroom in Amsterdam.

Just in the middle of the capitals tourist area, in a desolate alley, lies lunchroom Van Dobben Croquettes. It specializes in typical Dutch meat lunches: plain bread with cold sausages, Dutch meatballs, and even sandwiches with liver. You name it and they’ll have it over here. Van Dobben is such a famous and good place, that even the royal family buys their foods from here. Therefore, the company can use the Royal logo on their name.

Their all time best seller is the Van Dobbenkroket. This is a fried meat gruel stick, with a golden crust. This thing is a delicious snack and is very popular. People eat them at lunches and dinners. They even fry smaller ones on parties: the so called 'Bitterballen'. These are gruel meatballs with a brown crust. Mmmmmm, meat.

Yesterday I ordered a croquette on a plain sandwich. Though the waitresses’ service is always very direct and sometimes even rude, they serve you well over here. My croquette ended up in front of me within a minute. The croquette was broken into two halves, each one on a side of the sandwich, with some butter under it. Together with some free, real Dutch mustard. Yes, we love our sauces over here.

My first bite went okay. Sometimes a croquette can be way to hot. In that case, you’ll burn your mouth. This one had a good temperature. And the gruel didn’t have too many pieces of meat. This means that the cook has a good mixer and good ragout.

You recognize a good croquette when you can’t guess what kind of meat’s in there. By the way, the thing can have all kinds of meat. Mostly it’s the stuff that butchers don’t use, like hoofs, ears, testicles and other leftovers. But no horse meat. Lucky for me that I couldn’t guess which meats where in my croquette. The only thing I do know, is that it all tasted damn great.

Next I ordered a Dutch meatball. They cut it into two and serve it on a plain sandwich too. Normally the waitresses put some extra gravy on the balls, but today I didn’t get any. It still all tasted good though. My glass of milk made my day. Fresh and cold. It was a good combination for lunch.

Author: Kemal Rijken (

Date: October 31, 2008

Eetsalon Van Dobben: Korte Reguliersdwarsstraat 5, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Croquette sandwich: € 2,25

Meatball sandwich: € 3,35

Milk: € 1,50

Total: € 7,10


Anonymous said...

This might not live up to the Dutchman's croquettes, but I finished up TATKMFL week with a bang. Since sandwiches are my favorite food, I knew the last day of Free Lunch Week had to include one. I went to a place that serves all natural, organic sandwiches, and let me tell you, the quality of the ingredients made all the difference.
I got a turkey club, but this was no ordinary, run of the mill sando. Dried prosciutto, fresh roasted turkey, Swiss Gruyere cheese, avocado, romaine hearts, tomato, jalapenos, and mayo---all on freshly made pretzel bread. Also, they make they're own salt and cracked pepper kettle chips. The best lunch of the week!!

Falcon Steele said...

mmm mmm mmm, gruel!

Falcon Steele said...

mmm mmm mmm, gruel!