Bzzz-eeypp! The door chime proclaims another patron joins the ranks here warm at the eight stool wooden bar. I look towards the window noting the continuously fallen snow and frost, yet it is still toasty inside the mellow confines of CafÃ© Prins.
Actually, mellow doesn't properly describe where you and nearby figures, melt into the walls, as easily as the12x14 paintings and photographs of winterized canals, displayed overhead and between tables, but you get the point; it's low key.
I recall my first time at CafÃ© Prins, August 26th, in the 'Dam with no hint of the snow which later grants me time for summer recollections. Sun still high in the sky, I am beckoned inside by need to appease thirst, and further entertain what's behind the brilliant smile bestowed upon me by the brunette working outside, now heading in with an armful of dishes.
Hereditary that smile; original passed down from her salt and pepper grayed father. The male version greets me from behind wooden bar, a mass of silver drafts with well worn handles. She confides, he is owner of this little cafÃ©, sandwiched perpendicular to house-boat filled canal, Prinsengracht… and her name is Martina.
A platter passes me, both first glimpse and scent of Dutch cuisine; Amsterdam meatball nestled in opaque steaming brown broth, reminding me the joy of meat which looks to rend to the touch. I order it as well, and male smile morphs to full teeth, claiming it a great typical Dutch meal.
It arrives. My utensil cuts deep into six inch circular mass, now gently stirred in with spicy mustard, and bits of the tiny pickles it comes with. Magic happens. The kick of the mustard-pickle mix atop the juicy meatball astounds. Its simplicity reminds you, done right; basics still surprise.
It is only a meatball, but cooked to the perfect medium state; juices lock in keeping delicately salted flavor ever present. The small slices of wheat bread with garlic butter easily sop up the divine broth from this meatball mixture and does not disappoint. It becomes one of my favorite meals in Amsterdam.
Sitting two steps up from the bar, and around me, other full wooden tables reveal patrons feeding off each other's plates, each lit by single white candles. I smile in the presence of greatness: I've stumbled upon my first fixture in my new Amsterdam life.
CafÃ© Prins, place of easy conversation, recommended dishes and glasses with exactly two fingers of head, delivered whenever staff wishes me to sample the latest seasonal brews. My extended cooking family ensures each visit provides opportunity to partake in truly Dutch cuisine.
Fellow travelers, I highly recommend stopping in at anytime when visiting Amsterdam. For those looking to truly "Touch the Dutch", you can do no better than to stop in for a pint and a bite. Here you learn why wooden shoes, windmills and weed, don't begin to represent all of Amsterdam. Prost!!
Neftalie Williams is a writer and photographer here for us at in the know traveler, but don’t think being whisked off to remote locations and wining and dining in the best places on earth, is all he has on his plate. He is a also a regular writer and photographer for several publications including, YRB Magazine, Vapors Magazine and Transworld Skateboarding Magazine. In these outlets he’s consistently delivered interviews keeping pace with the
pulse of our time. Quering personaes ranging from some of Hollywoods newest rising stars like Jason Lee, to the king of the musical underground Peanut Butter Wolf, he keeps his finger on the trigger and isn’t scared to pull it,
as long as it keeps his readers in the know!