Imagine it’s Friday night and you are making plans with your friends. You are thinking about going out for dinner. Someone suggests, “I fancy a curry, let’s go for Indian food.” Another says, “No, I want a burrito, let’s get Mexican food.” Someone else says, “How about Italian? I love pizza.”
But no one in the history of mankind has ever said, “It’s Friday night, let’s go for Dutch.”
Now before my Dutch readers go on the defensive, please don’t get me wrong – one thing I truly love about Holland is Dutch food (even if people continue to laugh at me when I say this). I have written numerous posts about all the foods I love to eat in Holland – bitterballen, haring and other fish, French (err, Dutch) fries, Dutch pancakes, and all the guilty pleasures of snackbars such as frikandel. Not to mention all the sweets that the Dutch excel at – stroopwafels, vlaai, oliebollen, and uncountable pastries. So, I’m not trying to dis Dutch cuisine.
It just came to my attention recently because my step-Dad visited and, as it was his first time in Holland, we wanted to take him out for Dutch food. But where to take him? Our Dutch friend, who has lived in Utrecht for ages, declared “There are no Dutch restaurants in Utrecht.”
I thought about it for the first time and realized that in France, there are loads of French restaurants, and in Italy, there are loads of Italian restaurants. Even in England, there are plenty of places serving traditional English fare, from pubs to “cafs” to more up-market restaurants. But in the Netherlands, there is a notable lack of Dutch restaurants (or at least, restaurants that openly market themselves as being Dutch). This is in despite of their being a very wide variety of restaurants to choose from in general.
In the end, we took him to Graf Floris, a traditional-looking place that appears to be “Dutch” (to us foreigners at least). We had lunch there and ate bitterballen and aged cheese sandwiches, followed by a moist applegebak and coffee for dessert. It was all very tasty, and I really think we should “go for Dutch” more often.