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Sep 302015
 September 30, 2015  Restaurant reviews 4 Responses »

Piet de Gruyter (Lunch and brunch) 5 Star Rating
Van Limburg Stirumplein 4-6 (Westerpark), 020 682 3597, website

Yes, I realise that’s quite the claim. But it comes from the woman whose experiences with Dutch lunches inspired her to write a whole cookbook more or less slamming the humble kaas broodje in this country, so maybe it’s not such a grand claim after all…

But just look at this thing of beauty:

Reubens sandwich

Possibly the best sandwich in Amsterdam… ever (from Piet de Gruyter)

It’s stuffed with pastrami, sauerkraut, melted cheese and a smattering of green stuff (lettuce and gherkins) and is warm but not hot. I imagine it’s loosely based on what I believe is called a “Reubens” (I only discovered this term recently and have been on a quest to find more Reubens sandwiches ever since) but then with pastrami instead of corned beef and regular bread instead of rye. But the menu makes no claims to the Reubens name, so purists need not be alarmed. It’s the perfect combination of salty and tangy, textured and soft. It’s neither too big to be unmanageable, nor too small to remind you of the sad boterhammetjes from your office canteen. And I cannot get enough of it.

Where can one find such sandwich pleasure? Why, Piet de Gruyter on Van Limburg Stirumplein (mercifully close to my beloved Westerpark). I am giving this place five stars for this sandwich and this sandwich alone – which is what you must order when you go there. However, they also make good chips ‘n mayo and pour a decent glass of beer (they have several of my favourites on tap, and from the looks of the website a whole lot more besides).

So, over to you: what’s your favourite sandwich in Amsterdam? And where can I find it?

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Sep 232015
 September 23, 2015  Food for thought 1 Response »

According to Mashable, I don’t exist. Apparently, the word “foodie” died with Rachel’s haircut in Friends. And, if their new-fangled terms are to be believed, I now fall into the “Roadeater” category of food lover – a term which, as some astute Twitter follower pointed out, makes it sound more like I eat roadkill than enjoy tasting the local food on my travels.

So screw it. I’m a foodie. And I don’t care what Mashable or anyone else says about it. (Including chefs, by the way, who seem to hate the term and all who go under it.) Only the thing about foodies is that everyone expects you to be the size of a bus. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard things like:

“How do you eat out in all those restaurants all the time and still stay your size?”

“If you ever decide to internet-date, just make sure you include a full-length photo. Otherwise guys will take one look at your description (about your food obsession, no doubt) and assume you’re obese.” (Hmmm, would I want to date these guys anyway?)

Amsterdam foodie dating profile

How about this for a dating profile pic?!

Let’s just be clear here, readers. I’d still qualify as a plus-size model (if, you know, I was younger and prettier). I’m no ripped-up gym monkey, and I’ll never have what the mainstream media describes as a “beach body”. (Although I much prefer Hadley Freeman’s version, which goes something like: “Do you have a body? Are you going to the beach? Congratulations – you now have a beach body!”) I do, however, have a healthy BMI and no one has ever mistaken me for being pregnant. Given my job, I’ll take that as a win. (Actually, I’ll take part of that back: I once posted a photo of myself in front of a huge feast of food and wine in the Loire Valley in France with a caption about how I was pregnant with twin food babies. Unfortunately, several of my friends plus my own mother believed that I was actually pregnant with an actual baby. Still, crashing on…)

It was my boyfriend who suggested I write this post, and I must say I feel a little odd about it from a feminist perspective. Just for the record: when I write this, I’m not trying to fat-shame, skinny-shame or fit-shame. I honestly don’t care if you eat a lot or not, if you put on weight or lose it – I’m notorious for not noticing when my friends are pregnant/dieting/sick/wearing a bag on their heads. I’m writing this because people have asked how it’s possible to combine a lifestyle of eating and drinking with retaining some semblance of health and well-being. This isn’t diet advice (I don’t do diets) and it isn’t rocket science – it’s based on nothing more than my own experience, which essentially comes down to common sense. But still, here goes…

10 Ways to Eat, Drink and be Healthy(ish)

  1. When you cook at home, cook from scratch – No foodie goes out every night, no matter what it might look like from their Instagram feed. And in fact, I wouldn’t trust a foodie who couldn’t cook. So when you do cook, throw out the sauces-in-a-jar and packet mixes; they have far more fat, salt and sugar in them than anything you’re likely to make yourself.
  2. Set at least one night a week when you don’t drink (or eat chocolate, or whatever your weakness is) – Believe me, this is the toughest one.
  3. Drink water, lots of it – Staying hydrated is good for all sorts of reasons, and it obviously helps with cleaning out your pipes. But water is also just a good idea as a drink to go with food – Coca-Cola and OJ aren’t good food pairing combinations with really anything.
  4. Use your body to get from A to B – If you hate gyms, don’t waste your money signing up to a membership you’ll never use. Instead, walk up the stairs to your apartment/office, bike to work, run to the supermarket – whatever gets you moving. (And if you live in Amsterdam, this one comes with no excuses!)
  5. Do some “real” exercise a couple of times a week – In addition to the general walking/biking around, doing a proper workout even just once or twice a week really helps. Again, it doesn’t need to be a gym. I don’t exactly love running, but it’s extremely quick, convenient and cheap to throw my running shoes on, do a lap round the park, and be back at work again in 30 minutes (give or take shower time). If you hate running, go swimming or dancing or whatever you’re actually going to feel motivated to do.
  6. Skip dessert (sometimes) – Admittedly, this isn’t going to work for all foodies. I don’t have a sweet tooth, which makes it relatively easy to avoid tonnes of sugar. Pudding fans are no doubt endlessly disappointed by my lack of regard for their favourite course of the meal in my restaurant reviews (by dessert, I’m usually too drunk to remember what I’m eating, or I just get the cheese plate and have done with it). For this I can only apologise.
  7. Maintain a balance – If you know you’re going out for a big dinner, keep lunch simple. If you’re going for a foodie weekend away, stay in for a couple of nights beforehand. One calorific meal (or even several) isn’t going to make any difference – it’s the overall amount you eat and drink in a week or a month that’s going to cause real physical changes.
  8. Don’t snack between meals (unless the snacks are like, really, really good) – In most cases, snacks are just “empty calories”. You’re a foodie, goddamnit – not a glutton. If the food isn’t worth it, don’t eat it.
  9. Listen to your mum – Or rather, listen to my mum. Her motto is “everything in moderation” and she’s now 74 years old and extremely healthy (touch wood). She eats absolutely everything (including lots of out-of-date stuff, which I swear is why she has the immune system of a superhero) but she always knows when she’s had enough.
  10. Be happy with what you’ve got – As I said at the start, this isn’t about getting a beach body or being a supermodel. So whatever you do, don’t diet. Denying yourself the pleasures of food is the one sure-fire way to make you want to indulge – and probably even more than you would were you not on a diet. Besides, one of my other favourite mottos is: “Dieting is self-cannibalism”. Touché.
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Sep 182015
 September 18, 2015  Restaurant reviews No Responses »

Chef's Podium (International) 4 Star Rating
Jan van Galenstraat 92 (Oud-West), 06 3457 6243, website

One of my (admittedly numerous) pet peeves in restaurants is unnecessarily long menus. The kind that, were you to in fact study all gazillion dishes on them, would mean losing 45 minutes of your life – not to mention valuable friend-catch-up time. If there’s going to be choice, I want it to be a choice of three dishes, not 300. And to be honest, no choice is absolutely fine too.

Naturally then, I loved the concept at Chef’s Podium. Three ingredients; three courses; one chef. No decision-making. No breaking off your conversation after the second time the waiter comes over, with “Ok, let’s just look at the menu and order, then we can chat.” No menu at all, in fact. Just the chef, Mehdi, popping over to your table to explain the concept.

Chefs podium Taleggio

Filo rolls stuffed with Taleggio – the first course at Chef’s Podium

So here it is: each week on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, Chef’s Podium gets in three key ingredients. A different chef on each night of the week is tasked with turning those ingredients into dinner. And because there’s no choice, there’s very little wastage either – which means that three courses will only set you back €20. There’s a recommended red and white wine to go with the chef’s creation for only €15 a bottle (or €2.50 a glass), or you can choose from a wine list if you prefer something higher priced. It’s so simple, it’s a wonder no one thought of it before.

The Friday night we were there, Mehdi was in a kitchen stocked with delightfully stinky Taleggio cheese, haddock and wakame. It felt slightly like the goodie bag on Ready Steady Cook (Italian cheese with Japanese seaweed? Hmmm) but any doubts I had were quickly allayed.

Chefs podium haddock and wakame

Haddock with wakame stamppot and salsa verde

First up was something that looked like a giant spring roll, or those Turkish sigara böreği. It was essentially filo pastry stuffed with the Taleggio cheese, served with a salad involving finely sliced apple and beetroot. At first, I found the texture of the filo a little soft and underdone in the middle, but by the end it seemed to ooze naturally into the Taleggio – a comforting blanket of dough and cheese. It tasted like the start of autumn, which is exactly what it was.

The fish was up for the main dish, with a sort of chunky salsa verde and a stamppot made with the wakame. It had a few other Asian-fusion style ingredients thrown in too (sesame seeds, soy sauce) and, again, I was unconvinced at the start but won over by the end. The portion size was just right too: satisfying, but not over-filling.

Chefs podium dessert

A simple parfait for dessert

Dessert was a simple vanilla parfait with chocolate shavings and a fruit coulis – perfectly pleasant but nothing inspired. Perhaps Chef’s Podium could add a fourth, dessert-oriented ingredient to their weekly grocery list and continue the chef’s challenge into the third course?

While it wasn’t the best meal I’ve ever had in Amsterdam, for €30 each it was amazingly good value. The service is pleasant, the water freely refilled, and the staff seem genuinely to believe in the concept. I was sold on the lack of menu from the start – but now I’m sold on the three-ingredients-lucky-dip thing too. Good job, Chef’s Podium – you’ve won yourselves a fan.

PS. Fussy eaters need not apply.

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Sep 112015
 September 11, 2015  Foodie travels 1 Response »

I once wrote down a quote (I can’t remember who it was by) that went something along the lines of: “Sex is like Shakespeare: even when it’s bad, it’s still a damn sight better than the alternative.” The same is probably true of food in Rome: even if you’re in an over-priced pizza joint that’s equidistant from the Vatican, Colosseum and Spanish Steps, it’s still not going to be that bad. And yet, like everything, there are degrees: there are thinner, crispier pizzas and fatter, flabbier pizzas; there is better value for money and worse; and not all carbonaras are created equal.

spaghetti alle vongole - Rome

Spaghetti alle vongole from Osteria der Belli in Trastevere

And while it may be easy to sort the guanciale from the bog-standard bacon outside the tourist centre (the Romans will undoubtedly see to that), in the tourist traps it’s not so simple… Hence why, on my most recent trip to Rome (my third this year), I devised my guide to where to eat near the top tourist attractions. As always, thanks to Maria from HeartRome and all the bloggers at Eating Italy for their wonderful tips and insights into being a foodie in the Eternal City!

Where to eat near the Colosseum

I stayed in Celio (the district just south of the Colosseum) for the duration of this trip, so needless to say I found the most hidden gems in this area. For ultra-thin Roman-style pizza, head to Li Rioni – as we discovered on our first night after a delayed flight and an apartment check-in process that took an hour (I kid you not!), their oven is fired up till nearly midnight. Phew.

Possibly my favourite find of the trip was Divin Ostilia: a tiny wine bar that sells all sorts of Italian wines by the glass (including an excellent Montepulciano d’Abruzzo). Very sweetly, the guy who ran the place invited us to the bar’s four-year anniversary a couple of days later. We had to turn him down because we would be back in Amsterdam by then. But I felt like I’d acquired my own local in the few short days we’d been there – he treated us like regulars even though we weren’t. I didn’t get to eat at Divin Ostilia, but the Honey Badger did one night and declared their Melanzane di Parmigiana to be the best he’d ever tasted. So there!

Oppio Caffe - Colosseum

My view of the Colosseum from Oppio Caffe – sweet!

If you want to get really close to the Colosseum (i.e. have an actual view over it), while you’re tucking into some Italian fare, stop by Oppio Caffè at Happy Hour between 5.30 and 10 pm. You pay €12 for your first drink, but it includes unlimited food from the aperitivo buffet. It’s nothing special, but handy if you’re on a budget and still want to make the most of the major sights!

Finally in the Celio area, if you’re looking for cocktails, head to Propaganda. It has a hipster vibe that you don’t get nearly as much in Rome as you do in Amsterdam, so it feels modern more than traditional. Bear in mind, though, that the Italians like their cocktails bitter: Aperol, Campari, Martini Rosso and assorted bitters are the order of the aperitivo time of the day. Those with a sweet tooth: you have been warned.

Propaganda - Rome

The somewhat hipster Propaganda

Where to eat near the Vatican

Continuing the aperitivo theme, at drinks o’clock near the Vatican head to La Zanzara. Again, get your Aperol Spritz on, but this time you can expect a raft of little snacks to follow. I’ve not eaten dinner there, but La Zanzara was one of my favourite aperitivo experiences in Rome. Probably because, had we stayed, we’d have been too full from all the snacks to eat dinner anyway!

Aperitivo - Rome

Free food at aperitivo o’clock!

Speaking of dinner, afterwards we moved onto Il Sorpasso: a restaurant specialising in high-quality cured hams and Italian cheeses. You can get your pasta here too, but the menu is a little more creative – so it’s worth branching out into beef tartare (surprisingly popular in Rome) or one of their salads.

Where to eat near the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon

I didn’t spend a lot of time in this area, but I did find one hidden gem: we stumbled across Il Bacaro while wandering through some backstreets looking for flip-flops to buy (mine had broken; the Honey Badger just forgot his). It’s half-covered in a canopy of green, leafy, trailing plants that form a soothingly cool natural shade right above the restaurant’s outdoor tables. The prices were extremely reasonable for the area (you’re still not going to pay above €10 for a bowl of pasta, and frequently less), and the house wine by the glass was delicious. I loved their smoked beef carpaccio. I liked the mosquitoes rather less.

Il Bacaro - Rome

Leafy shade outside Il Bacaro

Where to eat near the Spanish Steps

Another tip from the lovely HeartRome, Ginger is a bustling lunch spot on the street running between Via del Corso (shopper’s heaven; claustrophobe’s nightmare) and the Spanish Steps. They don’t take reservations; you simply turn up, give your name to the person at the front desk, and wait for your table – usually only around 10 minutes. Efficient, fresh and simple, they have plenty of lunch options – including this hearty porchetta sandwich.

Porchetta panini - Ginger - Rome

Super-size porchetta baguette for lunch at Ginger

Where to eat near the Campo de’ Fiori

The day I hit Campo de’ Fiori (a square featuring a market that’s sort of touristy and sort of authentic-feeling at the same time), I was all Italian-ed out. So I shunned my usual diet of pasta and pizza for a good old burger. Open Baladin serves just that, plus lots and lots of craft beers on draft. It all tasted good – I was just a little shocked by the prices. €5 for a beer, and €14 for a simple burger in a bun? Ok, it came with bacon and cheese, but no chips ‘n mayo? I guess you pay a premium for having a non-Italian day!

Open Baladin burger - Rome

Burger and beer at Open Baladin

Where to eat in Trastevere

Another “stumbled upon” moment was Cajo & Gajo – a simple Roman hosteria not far from the touristy Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere. We had fabulously crispy fried artichokes, a Roman speciality – but don’t make the mistake of trying to drink wine at the same time; artichokes make all wine taste like mint. Weird. The Honey Badger then had what he claimed to be the best carbonara he’d ever tasted, while I went for the cacio e pepe: another Roman speciality involving nothing but pasta, pepper and Pecorino. Luckily, these went great with the local Lazio wine. Crisis averted.

Also worth popping into (if only for their sea bass carpaccio) is Osteria der Belli, close to the same square. Their fish is excellent – including the aforementioned sea bass, octopus carpaccio, and spaghetti alle vongole – as well as their ravioli.

Osteria der Belli - Trastevere

The sea bass carpaccio at Osteria der Belli is SO good

For a drink beforehand or afterwards, try Baylon Cafè. I ordered one of their cocktails (the Tex Mex – not cheap at €9), but they also do plenty of wines by the glass and aperitivo-style drinks. The food menu looked nice too (they have various whole legs and shoulders of ham hanging above the bar) but as I didn’t eat any of it I can’t vouch for it. If you try it, let me know!

More information on the places mentioned:

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Sep 032015
 September 3, 2015  Restaurant reviews No Responses »

De Japanner (Asian) 4 Star Rating
Albert Cuypstraat 228 (De Pijp), 020 233 9939, website

Last week, I got a call one lunchtime. It was from a presenter for NTV Noord Holland asking if they could interview me about Amsterdam’s food scene. “Sure, when?” I replied. “In about two hours. Do you speak Dutch?” Gulp.

It was probably good that I didn’t have much time to think about it. I like to believe I’m fairly eloquent on a microphone – but in Dutch, my lips turn to jelly and my Gs get stuck in my throat. Still, it’s taken me countless Dutch courses, an NT2 exam and several failed relationships with Dutch guys to get me to where my Nederlands is today – surely it was worth giving it a shot?

So I did. You can have a listen here if you like. My friends were very sweet and encouraging about the interview, but I was fairly mortified. I’d planned to talk about the parallels between Indian food in England and Indonesian food in the Netherlands; about how AA Gill was my food writing hero; about how my Dad taught me to cook at home and to appreciate dining out in the hotels and restaurants he worked in. But somehow none of that came out – or it got lost in the final edit.

I listened to the interview once, and decided to stick to the day job (well, the night job): eating out and writing about it (in English) rather than talking about it in Dutch. With no time like the present, I made a plan to head out for some pre-Uitmarkt food and drinks. Nothing like a few glasses of wine to lessen those Dutch-language insecurities, eh?

De Japanner opened very recently in de Pijp as the first Japanese, late-night, street-food joint in Amsterdam. They serve food until 1 am on week nights and 3 am on weekends (although the kitchen closes at 2.30, I believe) which, as anyone who’s tried to eat anywhere in Amsterdam after 10 pm knows, is very late indeed around here.

De Japanner - salmon tataki

Salmon tataki with freshly grated daikon – delish!

The atmosphere is buzzing and gezellig, the menu inexpensive, and the range of choice refreshingly small for an Asian restaurant. As in, if you’re with a couple of friends, you can probably get through most of the menu in one evening – if you eat as much as I do, at least. So that’s pretty much what we did.

First up was the chicken katsu curry – recommended by our waiter “because he likes chicken”. Well, fair enough. It was good, though – reminded me of a Japanese hole-in-the-wall I used to go for lunchbreaks in London back in the day. We also tried the gyoza – two kinds: one with veal, the other with kimchi. As a huge kimchi fan, I adored the pickled spice of the latter, but I was pleasantly surprised by the former too.

De Japanner - gyoza

Two types of gyoza: veal and kimchi

We also tried tempura batter filled with sardines and umeboshi, served with a light dipping sauce. It was probably my least favourite dish, but not because there was anything wrong with it – I just found the sardines a little over-fishy in that context, and the umeboshi didn’t come through. Salmon tataki (just-seared and dressed slices of fresh salmon) were to-die-for, however, especially with the added tang of grated daikon.

De Japanner - tempura

Sardines in a tempura batter – fishy and crunchy!

On the sushi side of things, our king crab California rolls were a hit with everyone – including my LA friend who is a sushi afficionado. Just for good measure, I finished up with a skewer or two of chicken teriyaki – sweet and savoury with their umami glaze, they were just what I expected but nothing to write home about.

De Japanner - sushi

King crab California rolls were a hit with everyone

Dinner came to €25 each, which included three or so glasses of wine. And while the food may be “snacky”, we certainly felt like we’d had plenty of it by the time we left. If I lived in de Pijp, I’d probably be here every time I forget to eat dinner before 9.30 – which is quite often. As it is, do I think it’s worth the trek from the Spaarndammerbuurt? Very much so. Eet smakelijk, as they say in Dutch, or Oishi – which means something similar in Japanese!

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Aug 262015

Duende Dos (Tapas) 3 Star Rating
Nieuwe Willemsstraat 1-3 (Jordaan), 020 427 0204, website Book now

Vlaamsch Broodhuys (Lunch and brunch) 5 Star Rating
Van Woustraat 78 (De Pijp), 020 400 4555, website

7.15 am: I am rudely awoken by the Honey Badger’s alarm. I pretend to be asleep. It’s useless.

7.30 am: The Honey Badger presents me with a cappuccino. This is quite literally the highlight of my day and I go “Yeahhhh!” on a regular basis – like I’ve never seen a cup of bloomin’ coffee before.

8.30 am: After half an hour reading the news, I am at my desk. My clients all seem to either a) live in the US; or b) like working at midnight for some bizarre reason. So there’s always a mountain of email to get through (I am attempting not to answer mails after 7 pm in a bid to spend less time glued to screens – success is limited). I get in a good couple of hours of serious writing/editing/blog-posting before the social media ADD sucks me in…

…And suddenly it’s 11 am: I go for a run (on a good day) to work off all the food and wine I will later consume. I am pleased if I don’t hate it too much.

12 noon: I am, once again, starving hungry. Most days, I eat leftovers from the night before that are all tupperware’d up in the fridge. But today, I meet a friend who’s got the day off for lunch. We’re on the Van Woustraat and I have vague recollections of emails, Facebook posts, comments on my blog, press releases – all informing me of great places to eat in the area. I fail to remember any of them and instead we wander into the Vlaamsch Broodhuys. I am annoyed that I’m not trying anywhere new (I’ve been to the Vlaamsch Broodhuys on the Haarlemmerstraat before) and that with five locations it’s essentially a chain. But by this point I’m too hungry to care.

Vlaamsch Broodhuys Amsterdam

Lunch at Vlaamsch Broodhuys – quite the spread!

12.30 pm: The service is such that we are actually eating within 20 minutes of sitting down. I don’t have to wave my arms around – not even once – to order my lunch. It is a minor miracle! The food is decent as well: we order two things off the menu to share, but what arrives is a whole board-load of food with a basket of different types of bread. There’s a small caprese salad (the mozzarella is some of the best I’ve had this side of Italy), artichokes in bulgar wheat, smoked mackerel rillettes that remind me of holidays in Cornwall, a nicely dressed green salad, and a generous blob of hummus. The latter is the only thing I’m not too keen on: it’s so smooth it tastes almost buttery, and is tinged with green (basil?) rather than tahini which is completely lacking. That aside, the rest is delicious, and the coffee is excellent too.

1.30 pm: My email has been beeping at me with requests for translations of job vacancies for a Dutch bank, edits to a food story being pitched to an online magazine, and press enquiries from a Norwegian travel publication looking for insider tips to Amsterdam. I’d better get back to my laptop before my inbox implodes.

6 pm: It’s time for a beer. It must be time for a beer – right? I head to Checkpoint Charlie, this funny-looking new place that’s sprung up just south of the Westerpark (because, as we all know, if there’s one thing I like more than a drink in the evening, it’s a drink in the evening close to my house). I’m meeting a lady called Megan who does a pop-up called Pinch. This feels like a two-birds, one-stone situation: I get to try someplace new AND it’s always fun talking to foodie entrepreneurs.

8 pm: We’re two beers down and it’s clear that neither of us feels like going home to cook dinner. I peruse Google Maps, hoping to spot somewhere to eat that I’ve never been before. This is tough – as I said, we’re only a couple of blocks from Westerpark. I finally alight on Duende Dos – it’s a tapas place that I tried to go to once before but they were closed for a private party. It’s also 300 metres from where we’re sitting – bonus.

8.30 pm: Due to equally good service (I’m on a roll today), we’re halfway into our first glass of wine. By this point, Megan and I have covered pop-ups, politics and boys, so we’ve clearly not looked at the menu. Instead, we ask the waitress to bring us a few dishes of whatever she thinks is good.

9 pm: From the kitchen come a dish of merguez sausages and a spinach salad with plenty of fresh goat’s cheese. They’re both good, but nothing life-changing. The roasted vegetables are a little too sweet and oily for me, and the chorizo comes in rather unsatisfying thin slices rather than meaty chunks. Cheese in manchego-shaped slices appears (you know what I mean) with a block of membrillo; only it’s not manchego – it’s kind of rubbery, like a cross between a young gouda and a hard goat’s cheese.

11 pm: We spend about €30 each, including a full bottle of house red, and I feel bad that I already know I’m only giving this place three stars. The waitress was an absolute gem, and I wish that I’d decided 8 years ago to split out my ratings for food and service. Then I figure that Duende Dos has probably been in business longer than my website has, and I doubt they care all that much what I think. Good for them.

11.30 pm: I drag myself up the four flights of stairs to my apartment, wondering whether to pretend to be more sober than I am. Screw that. The Honey Badger wisely opts not to bother berating me for getting home so late without telling him where I am – we’ve been through this so many times before, he’s given up.

12 midnight: In bed. Ugh – this hangover is going to suck tomorrow. Rest and repeat.

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