Amsterdam Foodie

Review: Mississippi – more Noord Holland than Deep South

Long-term readers of this blog will know I’ve spent quite some time in the Deep South… It’s where I met Mr Foodie, it’s where my in-laws live, and it’s where the country-music-loving, BBQ-eating, cowboy-boot-wearing Vicky secretly feels at home… (just ignore the politics). Despite being an Amsterdammer through and through, I miss the Deep South in a way that I struggle to understand given that I’ve never actually lived there.

Mississippi Bar & Kitchen, on Amsterdam's Beukenplein
Mississippi Bar & Kitchen, on Amsterdam’s Beukenplein

So when I discovered that a restaurant named Mississippi exists on the Beukenplein – and that it serves hot wings, jambalaya and gumbo – I made a beeline. The weather at the time was suitably Deep South, too – still 30 degrees out at 7 o’clock on a Friday night. Had we been in “actual” Mississippi, we’d have probably sat inside in an air-conditioned bar, but this being Amsterdam it was still (slightly) cooler on the large terrace. Sadly, the wasps agreed.

Insect life aside, the menu looked promising so we ordered a couple of drinks and got stuck into a portion of hot wings (€8.50) – ostensibly with Buffalo sauce and pickles. Now, why anyone would want to eat pickles with hot wings I can’t entirely fathom – surely a cooling ranch dressing or (better still) blue cheese dip makes far more sense? But enough about the weirdly inappropriate pickles – we need to talk about the Buffalo sauce. Never before have I tasted Buffalo wings made with sambal. Let’s get this straight: there’s nothing wrong with sambal; there’s probably nothing wrong with sambal on chicken wings either; but there’s definitely no place for sambal in Buffalo sauce.

Mississippi hot wings, Amsterdam
Hot wings with… pickles?!

Moving on. We weren’t hugely hungry by this point so we decided to split the “krusty crocodile burger”. We’d both eaten alligator several times before, but we weren’t sure we’d ever eaten crocodile – we assumed it would taste much the same. Unfortunately, we’ll never know as the burger was filled out with so many breadcrumbs and topped with so much mango chutney that the meat was completely indistinguishable as a flavour. At almost €20 for a burger, that seemed a shame. Mississippi gets points for their crispy onion rings, though, and the twisted fries were ok too (albeit another €4 extra). But the burger itself tasted more Asian gone wrong than Southern done right.

Mississippi crocodile burger, Amsterdam
The crocodile burger

Back at home, analysing where such simple food had gone awry, we came to one conclusion: Mississippi is just too… Amsterdam. The chefs are pandering to the Dutch palate with their addition of Indonesian flavours to dishes that have plenty of authentic spice in their own right. If I’m feeling brave, I might give them a second chance and order the jambalaya – a dish I love to cook myself at home – but I’m already prepared to be disappointed. They probably season it with bumbu.

all the info

Mississippi Bar & Kitchen (American)
€€

Beukenplein 50, (Oost/Watergraafsmeer)020 223 9234 /

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