A night on the town

Last Friday my wife and I went into Amsterdam for a couple of drinks and something to eat to celebrate my 32nd birthday. The plan was to go for a cocktail first, then food, then beers.

That last bit got cut short a little bit by the sheer distance the restaurant we picked was from anything else. We could have taken the tram but usually we prefer walking places.

Appetizers. Great stuff

Appetizers. Great stuff

Anyway, we had a cocktail at Tales & Spirits, which is the best cocktail bar I’ve been in The Netherlands so far, maybe even Europe. Keep in mind that I have not been to many of those…

I had a Gin Lane and Anneke went for the T&S. For some reason she usually picks the better cocktails… The benefit of the Gin Lane is that it’s fairly easy to reproduce. I believe it’s Botanist Islay Gin, Bittermens Boston Bittahs, Simply Syrup, a cinnamon stick and some lemon zest. Tasty stuff, though.

For dinner we went to Bar Brouw, which is a barbecue restaurant that focusses heavily on the American style of slow cooking your meat (is there any other style of barbecueing?). They do tasting platters with some sides, so in the end we had almost everything on the menu. A short review:


  • Pulled Pork: YES
  • Brisket: yes, if your cut is a bit lean
  • Ribs: yes
  • Pork Belly: no. The fat wasn’t properly rendered so it was just a grease bomb.


  • Baked Beans: YES
  • Tomato salad: not really interesting but nice and fresh
  • Potato salad: no. Taters weren’t properly cooked. Undercooked potatoes are just not good.
  • Cole slaw: yes


I had some random beers from BrewDog and Anderson Valley. Their selection is rather impressive, as is their selection of whisky. Quite a varied range of Scotch whisky sits on the shelf, but also a rather sizeable set of bourbon is available. Especially that last bit was refreshing.

After some great cheesecake for desert we started walking back to the city center for a few beers. The goal was to go to ‘t Arendsnest, but that was rather busy and we were ready to sit down for a brew instead of standing while drinking it. By then my wife remembered that some former colleagues of mine were in town as well and we met up with them at De Brabantse Aap. This bar used to be called De Beijaard and was a beer-staple in town, why the new owners renamed it still baffles me.

Anyway, a great night out with the misses and no screaming kid around us gave us some time to ‘reconnect’. The fact that there is great booze to be had helps too. Bar Brouw wasn’t all I had hoped it would be. The Pulled Pork was stunning, but the rest not so much. Still a decent meal for a decent price.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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2 Responses to A night on the town

  1. Billy says:

    Barbeque in the UK is based on the idea of burning the outside of a piece of cold meat as quickly as possible so that you don’t have to stand outside in the rain for very long, before taking it inside and leaving it to go cold again as everyone’s too scared to eat it for fear of food poisoning.

    We do good food in the UK.

    • The Dutch generally only barbecue in the heart of summer.

      They then grill some really tiny peaces of meat since meat is very expensive. Because they do tiny peaces of meat and lighting the grill generally takes too long we stuff ourselves on potato salad, bread and other condiments. Then, when the meat is done nobody is hungry anymore.

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