Texel on a Bun

Last summer Lonely Planet labelled the isle of Texel as one of the 10 best European summer destinations. It takes about one and a half hour (car, boat) to get from Amsterdam to Texel. Sweeping white-sand beaches, cute villages, massive nature reserves. Breathtaking in summer, spring, autumn and winter alike. And, man, do they have good food out there! I discovered that at Texel Culinair, a popular, but intimate food event in the summer where you can taste the best Texel has to offer. I couldn’t get enough of the local oysters, smoked fish (sliptong) and most of all the famous local lamb. My favourite food truck, The Bully & Peek, served lamb bites I still dream of: lamb croquettes and Indian bread with lamb pastrami. Since my visit to Texel I was desperately seeking in Amsterdam for the taste of that tender lamb with its refined, mildly salty flavour. Raw pieces of that meat are offered by butchery extraordinaire De Leeuw in de Utrechtsestraat. A bit further, at Burgermeester, I feasted on ready-to-eat Texels lam on a bun. I choose for the classic lamb burger, the one with a confit of red onions, instead for the one with chorizo and jalapeños. A lamb like this doesn’t need much to excel. Except for maybe a glass of that lovely island beer: Skuumkoppe.

Classic lamb burger, one, €9.50
Utrechtsestraat 8, City Centre (other branches: check site)
0900 287 43 77
Opening hours: Monday-Sunday noon-11pm

Breakfast Cake

After two weeks of Sicilian breakfasts – brioches with ice cream, pistachio-ricotta pies – I craved for a less sugary kick-off. By which I don’t mean (boring) sandwiches with cheese or cereals with yoghurt, but rather something in between. I found exactly what I was looking for at Goût Deli, the latest healthy take-away and coffee spot in De Pijp. My home-made discovery is free of refined sugar, contains fruit and is seductively sticky. It is … a banana oat cake. Bananas, honey, dates, walnuts, blue berries. Bet this will get your motor running too! If for some reason you still have difficulties waking up, buy one of the good-looking smoothie bowls in the fridge. This cool shop of Paul Koster and his sister also offers quality lunch stuff, including sandwiches with Vietnamese chicken, noodle salads and – really – detox bowls. So it’s just another vegan and organic place? No! Goût Deli is also full of guilty pleasures like Oreo brownies and bags with Europe’s best potato chips, the ones with sal de Ibiza. My kind of place.

Goût Deli
Sticky banana oat cake, one piece, €2.00
Eerste van der Helststraat 31, Zuid (De Pijp)
+31 (0) 20 612 34 56
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 8am-8pm, Sunday 9am-8pm