CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN | Amsterdam

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Cafe Americain certainly knows their fries.

Right after my doctor’s appointment this morning, we were still unsure what to do on this Monday when Teko and I both found ourselves free from work and had the rare chance to be men of leisure during a weekday. Would it be an early lunch out in the country? A look at nearby antique stores to fill the empty spaces in our house? Or maybe a quick visit to the capital city we’ve come to appreciate from afar? After checking with Google what our options were, we went ahead with an itinerary that would indeed take us back to the famous canals in the city center in time for brunch, and afterwards a stop at an antique store specializing in Dutch blue porcelain. It was a plan I could have only dreamed of a few years ago, for lack of a budget, but which has now come to pass. I’ve become an aged, gay, antiquing cliché. Oh well.

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Our destination for an early lunch was the beautiful cafe in the historic American Hotel, which Teko has mentioned twice in so many weeks and which I was happy to oblige. Much like it was before Covid times, we showed up without reservations and got seated without any fuss, with views of the beautiful art deco interior all around. With the added luxury of being able to order from both the breakfast and lunch menus, I made the decision to get some steak and eggs while Teko got his usual burger and fries, and without waiting too long dug into another spontaneous splurge worthy of the moment.

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Unbeknownst to me, the Hard Rock Café chain now runs the fabled American Hotel, which left me a bit ambivalent. While the steak and eggs were on the tiny side – definitely not your typical serving at Denny’s – it was delicious and appealing nonetheless. I hope the Hard Rock brand, known more for its forced pop culture kitschiness combined with unimaginative cuisine, can appreciate the American Hotel for what it is. An elegant, storied venue that has earned its place in this equally storied town, and worthy of countless visits in the future.

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