A few weeks ago Marco and I went to a Greek restaurant with my father-in-law and his wife. We went to Irodion, a restaurant which has recently re-opened on the Grote Marktstraat (it used to be at another nearby corner, but construction forced it to move so it was closed for a time). They have a snackbar on the ground floor and a restaurant on the first floor.
The best thing about the restaurant is the view of the Grote Markt plein. (It looked like most of the tables next to the window were four seaters, so keep that in mind.)
And here is a look at the bar:
The food was comparable to the Greek restaurant we usually go to, Athene. In both places you generally have the option of a salad bar to go with your meal, plus the typical Greek choices. If anything this menu was a bit easier to get through, as they had less combinations listed (though the same food on offer). Athene does give you a complementary chilled shot of ouzo, a licorice alcohol served as aperitif.
The desserts were pretty nice. First the dame blanche:
There is so much whipped cream you can’t even see the vanilla ice cream! And of course it comes with a rather generous serving of chocolate sauce to pour on top.
Here is the baklava dessert:
The cool thing about the presentation is the orange slice, although it is hard to tell why from this angle. It is a full orange slice cut in half so that one half is draped on one side and the other on the other side, with the peel connecting the two sides.
Last week my mother-in-law and I made a stop at Albert Heijn. She had a coupon from the Allerhande (the Albert Heijn recipe book) for a discount on Senseo coffee. The coupon itself was good from mid-March until today but she hadn’t had much luck finding an Albert Heijn with the item in stock.
When she asked at the customer service desk for this particular Albert Heijn (Grote Markt 55A) whether they had the item in stock, the worker looked in the back for the item and whether or not it might be re-stocked soon. When she couldn’t find it, she offered a few different options. My mother-in-law was quite pleased with this service and remarked about how the service at this Albert Heijn was better than at her own. At this remark we both received flower bouquets, a quite unexpected move.
Here’s a picture of mine, though I’m sorry for the blurriness. I tried to sharpen it a bit, but it didn’t quite work out:
The puzzle is now complete! As a reminder it is a puzzle with the name “NY marathon”. 1,000 pieces! This was two nights ago:
And around dinner time tonight:
You can find the puzzle here.
Lately the temperature has been climbing up – bit by bit, with lapses back into cold rainy days from time to time, but it is definitely springtime. It’s still generally in the high 50s or low 60s, but it is an improvement. Usually!
Along with most of our days off (holidays) falling in April-June, this marks the time when outdoor events begin. For example, yesterday was the Dag van de Haagse Geschiedenis (in Dutch, Day of History of The Hague). Next weekend is the Life I Live festival (Dutch | English). This festival is found throughout the center of The Hague, on nine different stages, from 7pm to 1:30am. It falls on King’s Day eve, the night before the King’s birthday.
How do I feel about spring finally being here? Well, here’s a cappuccino smiley to show you:
Of course the forehead makes it look slightly evil… just don’t feed it after midnight.
Last week Roger dropped off one of his mother’s puzzles for me to work on. Little did I know, it was 1000 pieces! (I thought it would be 500.)
It is a Jan van Haasteren puzzle with the title NY Marathon – he is a well-known Dutch cartoonist. Part of the reason I like his puzzles is the fact that they are animated – it reminds me of a puzzle I had when I was younger (probably 500 pieces) with a mini golf theme.
First things first – separate out the edges:
I had a small scare at one point when I couldn’t find one of the edge pieces (remember, it’s not my puzzle!) but after a while it turned up. The biggest issue is the lack of table space – hence why I don’t have any puzzles of my own and it is better to borrow one from someone else.
Progress is being made…
But still a long, long way to go.
One interesting thing about the Netherlands is how most of the holidays fall in the early summer. For example:
April 5 &6: Easter Sunday, Easter Monday
April 27: King’s birthday
May 5: Liberation day (public holiday every 5 years– 2010, 2015, 2020…)
May 14: Ascension day
May 24/25: Pentecost
And that’s it until Christmas. America has July 4th, Labor day in September, Thanksgiving in November… Everyone looks forward to the start of summer here, but it is all downhill after that! And then there’s vakantiegeld (vacation money), an “extra” paycheck equivalent to roughly a month’s salary which almost everyone gets in May. Of course, it comes from the taxes you paid the rest of the year, but yeah… vacation time!
Marco and I will be visiting Dublin for a week in June. Should be fun to finally see more than just the international terminal of Dublin’s airport!
On another note, I am hoping it begins to warm up here soon… the mild weather is lovely in the winter but during the summer it is easy to get jealous of other countries. The typical summer high here is (only) 65F/19C, give or take. Brr!
See more about Dutch holidays at this link.