Last April a new restaurant opened in The Netherlands: TGI Fridays. It’s an American restaurant chain that has over 500 locations in the United States with an additional 300+ locations outside of the United States. Since April 2018, one of those locations is here in the Netherlands. In the Hoog Catharijne mall in Utrecht, to be precise.
In case you are wondering, the name comes from the American phrase “Thank God it’s Friday”, which is also often shortened to “T.G.I.F.”.
As usual the only sticking point was never knowing what language to speak: when we came in, the hostess (person who greets you and takes you to your seat) spoke English. The first waiter spoke Dutch and the second waiter spoke English. Hmmm… That happens a lot, though. Must be something to do with mine American accent (haha). Although I also had the impression that some of the staff only spoke English.
For dessert, Marco and I split warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream, which went well with my coffee. I really enjoyed the ice cream; it was frozen enough that it didn’t melt instantly.
Overall the food was good and I loved the decor. For instance, take a look at the chair in the background of the dessert photo – it’s covered in American flags and other American trinkets. Anywhere else and it would look tacky, but it works here.
Marco also noted at the end that they used an American style “receipt/check book”, which included a slot for a credit card which sticks out over the edge of the book. That way the waiter knows there is a credit card inside when the book is closed. See also this link (Amazon.com).
“The Fred” or De Fredis a neighborhood in The Hague, a shortening of the street name Frederik Hendriklaan, where the heart of the neighborhood can be found.
Last Monday a new Papa John’s pizza location opened on The Fred. It’s the first one in The Hague, although there are already locations in nearby Delft and Zoetermeer. It’s originally from the United States.
And of course (like what Dunkin’ Donuts does with new locations) the first 100 visitors that day received a free pizza.
I’m actually not much of a fan of Papa John’s pizza, although admittedly I haven’t had any in years. I’m more of a thick pizza/thick crust person. But some of my friends do like it, so to each their own!
A few weeks back Marco, Roger and I went to SET restaurant in The Hague. We have been there a few times, but every time I went we have just had the lunchtime bento box. This time we sampled from the sushi side of the menu. We also sampled a few Japanese drinks: Calpis (a soft drink) and cold sake.
I loved where we were seated. It was its own cubby hole. The table was also sunk into the ground a bit (you had to step down to get to it) so it made it seem like you were sitting on the ground without actually sitting on the ground.
And we can’t forget the dessert! So cute.
The chocolate sauce drawing was a nice (unexpected) touch. My dessert was called Ice and sand chocolate and was chocolate ice cream. It was quite frozen, which did give it a sort of crumbly texture, so the “sand” part of the name definitely made sense. It was quite tasty.
I can definitely recommend this place. Everything we have had there is delicious, from the drinks to the sushi to the bento boxes. And now I can add the desserts to that list!
Over the weekend Marco and I went to Tandr in the city centre, not far from city hall. We’ve walked past it countless times, our interest piqued by the lovely smells from the grill wafting out the doors. I’m not sure why it took so long to step inside…
It was really delicious! It was definitely a bit much for a lunch, but the price was reasonable, around €9 or €9.50. The menu on the website is a bit out of date in regards to the pricing, so keep that in mind. My only quibble with the wrap is that the pieces of lamb were sometimes a bit too big to eat in one bite, at least for me.
I would definitely recommend this restaurant, and plan on visiting it again!
Last week was Marco’s birthday. He decided to celebrate it at Little V, a Vietnamese restaurant in The Hague. I have blogged about them once or twice… or more.
This time I decided to try something new: sea bass. It came with a delicious ginger fish sauce on the side.
I’ve had fish before, but only since I moved to the Netherlands (as I don’t think fish sticks count!). It’s been a slow process: first salmon, then pangasius, then tilapia and tuna fish. I’ve also had a small bit of eel once, but that was more of a reluctant choice. It wasn’t bad, but it’s not something I could eat often. Maybe that will change some day.
On the other hand, I was pretty happy to see that I had a personal discount this week at the local grocery store (Albert Heijn) for pangasius filet. It definitely helps to bring a bit more variety into dinner.
But a Little V blog post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of some of the drinks we had:
On the left is my ‘Flavor of the moment’ drink. For the life of me I can’t remember what the flavor was, but it was good. On the right is Roger’s ‘Buddha smile’. That drink is made of rum, lemon grass, ginger and lemon leaf. He definitely liked it.
Last Wednesday I went out for dinner and cocktails with a friend of mine. We went to Milu, a restaurant in the centre of The Hague near the Grote Kerk (literally “the big church”). It was my second time visiting – the first time was with coworkers. The restaurant’s premise is sharing dishes; we ended up having three “rounds” of food and drink.
Bruschetta bread and beef teriyaki with Chinese pancakes. With a green tea mojito for me.
Last week while wandering around the city centre I saw an advertisement for a still-under-construction Jamie Oliver restaurant. It’s almost ready, having first been announced back in November of last year. The date of opening is set as “this spring”.
There are also two photos on Facebook of what the restaurant looks like from the inside. This would actually be his second restaurant in the Netherlands, and shockingly the first was not opened in Amsterdam but in Rotterdam. It can be found in the Markthal (Market hall) which I blogged about previously
The restaurant will be by MediaMarkt (which would be just right of the bikes if the photo zoomed out more). I definitely won’t be eating in this restaurant on day one, but I suspect that I will end up there sometime in 2017 just to see what the fuss is about.
Last week I went out with my colleagues for Wednesday night €5 cocktails at Milu (Dutch | English). It’s a restaurant close to the Grote Kerk (a well-known church in the center of The Hague).
First drink – a spicy mango martini, chosen in honor of Marco, who loves mango stuff 😉
Actually Milu was where Marco and I had our wedding reception (back when it was known as “Het Wapon”). We hadn’t been back since it closed and this one came in, so it was admittedly weird to walk back inside and at some point to go upstairs (both the bathrooms and the festival room are there).
Yesterday we celebrated Marco’s birthday at Little V, a Vietnamese restaurant. This was our first time going to Little V for lunch and it did not disappoint. I ordered an ‘eenpansgerecht’ or ‘let’s throw everything into one dish for ya’, with beef and chicken.
My drink was an awesome looking (and tasting) lemonade made of rose water.
And as a blog post bonus… a week ago I made lemon cookies! That is of note because I don’t really do the baking in the house. But this time I chose the recipe, did most of the work, and Marco was my assistant! (For the first time ever.)
The recipe was really good and I followed it exactly. Next time I would probably use less sugar, but I don’t have the sweet tooth I used to have so there is that. They were awesomely chewy (honest to goodness chewy!) and the lemon favor shined through perfectly.