Al fresco Amsterdam: Portugees, Pilones and probably the best terrace in the world

One of my blogging pet hates is when bloggers write posts beginning something along the lines of: ‘I’m so sorry I’ve been dreadfully remiss of late and haven’t posted anything recently. I’ve been so terribly busy… but forgive me, I’ll make it up to you’ – as though their reader is a jealous lover, waiting impatiently for their next missive. It seems arrogant, not to mention unrealistic. And if you’ve got nothing to say, why not just wait till you do have something to say, instead of telling everyone that you’re not saying anything?

Anyway, that was the (arguably hypocritical) preface to me saying: I have got lots to say, but not much time to say it in, so sorry for bundling my three recent restaurant reviews into one clumsy post. It’s the usual summer affliction: too busy having fun to make time to write about it. Which, I suppose, is the right way round…

De Portugees: Portuguese restaurant (obviously) on the Zeedijk, this is unsurprisingly chockablock with tourists. We had simple grilled swordfish (which was a little overcooked) and sardines with too-oily vegetables, although everything tasted fresh enough. It was hard to tell from just the main courses, but I’ve eaten better Portuguese food elsewhere.


Los Pilones: Renowned for their margaritas and Mexican food, Los Pilones’ two outlets have become something of an Amsterdam institution. After the first (generous although not overly alcoholic) margarita, I forgot to take a photo of my food, which was a shrimp enchilada covered with chipotle sauce. My chef friend had a chicken enchilada with mole, and complained that the menu had changed (i.e. declined) since the last time she was there. The sauces tasted appropriately smoky and chocolatey to me (though I am no expert on Mexican food) but everything was a bit cold and lacklustre. Still, time for another margarita…


Spanjer en van Twist: Home to possibly one of the loveliest terraces in Amsterdam, Spanjer sits on the side of the Leliegracht with tables almost falling into the canal. My squid, fennel and asparagus salad was a bit greasy and un-put-together (if that makes any sense at all; I guess I mean that the parts were greater than the sum) but the individual elements were well cooked and fresh. And on a sunny Friday at 5.30 pm with a white beer on the table, who really cares?

Squid, fennel and asparagus salad

all the info

Los Pilones (Mexican)

De Portugees (Portuguese)

Spanjer en van Twist (Dutch eetcafe)


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