Amsterdam Foodie

Meals for Movers: Thrill Grill and The Commons

It probably won’t have escaped the notice of my foodie followers that I’m currently in the throes of moving house. And this means two things: 1) I’m broke; and 2) I’m permanently hungry. Biking between three different apartments (long story) and endlessly carrying boxes requires sustenance – lots of it, and cheap. Cue burgers and pizza. But not just any burgers and pizza – I’m still the Amsterdam Foodie even when moving house, which means that every mealtime is an opportunity to try somewhere new and review it. So this week I bring you meals for movers: burgers at Thrill Grill and pizza at The Commons.

Thrill Grill – “Peruvian Beef Thriller” burger

When I finished Vegetarian January last year, I briefly went on a bit of a burger crusade. I tried Lombardo’s wagyu burger for the first time, and rediscovered old burger favourites like The Butcher, Ellis Gourmet Burger, and the burger at the Walter Woodbury Bar. But there were still more I’d never tried. So last Saturday, finding myself unexpectedly in de Pijp, I was happy we were able to get a table at the Thrill Grill’s Gerard Douplein location. All their burgers are made with Dutch dairy cows and are (in theory) served medium-rare, although I felt mine was more medium than rare. I tried the “Peruvian Beef Thriller” – mostly because of the promise of aji sauce, which I’d grown rather addicted to in Chile. If I’m honest, the aji didn’t really come through for me, but the wasabi mayo and avocado did, and since I like both of those too I was fairly happy.

Thrill Grill - Amsterdam burger restaurant
Thrill Grill’s “Peruvian Beef Thriller” burger

We also ordered the umami fries to share – whose umami was presumably supposed to come from the black garlic mayonnaise (it just tasted like mayonnaise) and the beige powder that coated the chips. I wasn’t sure it was really adding much, but I wolfed them down anyway. Sadly, roasted corn on the cob was rather dry, but griddled courgette was fine for what it was (albeit neither were very shareable). With a couple of glasses of the house red wine, dinner came to a little over €20 per person.

The Commons – “Nduja Chilli Freak” pizza

I am more than a teensy bit addicted to chilli, as evidenced by the fact that I even sell a custom-designed Chilli Addict T-shirt… So when I discovered that The Commons restaurant – right opposite my new abode – served a ‘nduja chilli freak pizza, I had to go check it out within a week. We prepped ourselves with a couple of beers on The Commons’ sunny terrace, and then got stuck into the pizza challenge – so hot (apparently) that it’s served with a glass of milk. The €10 pizza came topped with a spicy tomato sauce, ‘nduja sausage, and fresh red chillies (plus cheese, of course) – and I’ll admit that it was genuinely, properly hot. Like probably the hottest thing I’ve eaten since Bulelani’s atomic chicken wings. As pizzas go, it wasn’t the best – the crust was a little thick, not quite crispy and a tad sweet. But I admire the chef’s decision to own all that chilli heat and make this pizza their signature.

The Commons restaurant Amsterdam
The Commons’ “Nduja Chilli Freak” pizza

We also tried some bitterballen and kroketten with our beers and some antipasti with our wines, none of which were really anything to write home about but all of which were perfectly pleasant in a Friday night borrel kind of way. And given The Commons’ huge sun-drenched terrace, reasonable prices and proximity to my new apartment, I’m pretty sure they’ll be seeing a lot more of me.

all the info

A The Commons (International)

Wibautstraat 131, (Oost)020 262 0491 /

B Thrill Grill (American)

Gerard Doustraat 98, (De Pijp)020 760 6750 /

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