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Chufi

The foodlover's guide to Amsterdam

374 posts in this topic

Why this thread?

There are a number of threads about Amsterdam on this forum. But I thought it would be nice to add this one: a guide to favorite food-places in this city (and, as the title of the thread suggests, sometimes beyond the city boundaries).

I live in this city, I shop for food in this city, and I enjoy the bars, restaurants and coffeehouses of this city. I don’t dine in high-end or Michelin-starred places very often – almost never, not because I don’t want to, but because my paycheck doesn’t allow it. However, I feel that the Important places with the Big Names are listed elsewhere for easy reference, and they are probably easier to find and locate for someone from abroad, than my favorite little coffeehouse that sells such terrific pastries.

So, as far as my own input goes, this is a personal thread. I will only write about places where I’ve been recently, or where close friends, whose opinion I trust and value, have been recently.

But I encourage everybody to join in and add feedback and comments. Have you been to Amsterdam recently and eaten at a place I wrote about? Agree or disagree with me? Or did you find a little gem of your own that you’d like to share? Or were you lucky enough to spend some big bucks in this city, and do you want to share the experience? Please add your posts to this thread – it is not my thread, it’s the Amsterdam thread!

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Yea! But I wish this thread had started before my trip last November. I look forward to the entries.

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I think it's fit that I start this thread with one of my alltime favorite places. I'm passionate about this place, but I always have a bit of a hard time selling it to outsiders!

It's Het Blauwe Theehuis (the Blue Teahouse), right in the middle of the Vondelpark.

First of all: there are 4 places to eat & drink in the Vondelpark:

- Vertigo, which doubles as the bar of the Filmmuseum. While they do have a lovely terrace outside, and I occasionally have a drink here after seeing a movie in the Filmmuseum, I would not really recommend this place for anything (except the terrace). Service is slow and sloppy, food is overpriced not very good.

- het Melkhuis (Milkhouse). This is ok for coffee or a light lunch, but beware: in the summer this is basically a huge playground. The large recreational area is a magnet for yuppie families and their young children. So, while this is your best bet if you're visiting Amsterdam with young children in tow, it may not be the place for a quiet cup of coffee and the morning paper..

- Vondeltuin. This is a fun and funky place, terrace only, but it's only open in the summer. Low benches with bright coloured pillows, self-service at 2 different bars, simple and cheap food (fries, burgers, sate, soups and salads. They rent skates/ skeelers, which makes the area directly around it somewhat dangerous to walk around, with all the inexperienced people trying skating for the first time :shock:

- Het Blauwe theehuis

This is open summer and winter, from early till late. Even in the winter, on a sunny days lots of people sit out on the terrace (which has some heaters as well). Mostly selfservice, which means that on busy summerdays you have to wait in line to get your drink. But service is fast, friendly and everybody here seems to always be in a good mood. The room upstairs opens in the winter for lunch at noon (good sandwiches), (they also have a small, very simple dinner menu, but I've never had dinner there).

It is the kind of place you have to accept on it's own terms, and sort of go with the flow. But especially on an early summer afternoon, when the citypeople take of their jackets and bask in the sunshine, surrounded by the trees of the lovely Vondelpark, this is about as 'Amsterdam' as it gets.

gallery_21505_2566_149.jpg


Edited by Chufi (log)

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There are a couple of very good patisseries in Amsterdam.

This is one of them:

Holtkamp

Vijzelgracht 15

(not far from Muntsquare)

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(this shot was taken late at night, which is why the place is empty!)

the window: (taken from the outside, hence the reflections)

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Some of the cakes displayed inside:

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apparently, they deliver to the Dutch royal family..

Besides the sweet stuff, they are famous for their shrimpcroquettes. Many restaurants and brasseries in the city have garnalenkroketjes van Holtkamp

(shrimpcroquettes from Holtkamp) on their menu.

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When you leave the Vondelpark at the most western exit, if you cross the busy street (Amstelveenseweg) you enter a quiet, residential area. On the river Schinkel is this restaurant/bar, Gent aan de Schinkel.

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This is what's known in the Netherlands as "eetcafe", eating cafe, which means that is first and foremost a bar, where you can also eat. (maybe similar to the British gastropub?). The quality of the food in places like this can vary hugely, from very cheap and basic student-grub to quite expensive, refined food. But you will always eat in a bar-atmosphere, which means smoke all around!

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The food at this place is basic, a bit overpriced. I like them best for their sandwiches, the atmosphere, the great terrace in the summer (where, thanks to the positioning of the surrounding houses, you can really catch the very last rays of the sun), but most of all for their large selection of Belgian beers, many of them on tap.

This was lunch: mustard-leeksoup, aged Gouda sandwich with mustard mayo, Affligem beer:

gallery_21505_2566_39008.jpg

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There are many Indonesian restaurants in Amsterdam and I think you can have a very good dinner at most of them, but this one happens to be my own favorite:

Djago

Scheldeplein 18

It's in the southern part of the city, about 10 minutes by streetcar from the center.

Here's the rijsttafel I had there recently (well, I did not have to eat all that food by myself, I was assisted by some adventurous EGulleters..)

Overview of all the food. This is what was on the table:

Nasi kuning, sate kambing, sate ayam, krupuk, gado gado, rudjak manis, kacang, serundeng, sambel goreng tempe, sambel goreng kentang, ikan teri, acar ketimun, acar campur, babi kecap, daging rendang, daging smoor, rica rica ayam, ayam panggang, sayor lodeh, sambel goreng tauge, sambel goreng telor, sambel goreng boontjes, ikan bumbu bali.

(EUR 25,- per person, minimum of 2 persons)

gallery_21505_2566_27419.jpg

gallery_21505_2566_20355.jpg

Top center is sate kambing, goat sate, one of my favorites!

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I'll second what Klary said about the goat sate, as we helped her eat it that night!

One of the things we most enjoyed on our trip was eating poffertjes. On Klary's suggestion, we stopped at the poffertje place that was by the skating rink set up on the Museumplein. (I think; correct me if I've got either my geography or my Dutch incorrect.) We ate them with just butter and sugar, and they transported all of us back many many years. For my husband, they reminded him of the aebelskivers served in the town he grew up in, which has a large proportion of people with Danish ancestry. For me, it was like the way we'd sometimes eat regular American-style fluffy pancakes, when we didn't have any maple syrup. And for our friend Jeff, it was like when he was a kid in Milwaukee and visited the woman in the apartment upstairs. Absolutely transporting, and we agreed that we could have easily demolished at least twice as many as we did.

This was our lunch, after doing the Heineken tour and spending an hour or so in the Rijksmuseum...but that's another post!

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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What could be better than having our very own Amsterdam insider sharing her tips with us!

Still, as Klary perfectly put it in her opening post, please do not shy away from adding your own Amsterdam food-related questions, discoveries and experiences here.

For reference, you might also want to have a look at old threads discussing Amsterdam here.


Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.

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could someone tell me where to find Lindt Excellence chocos? i go to AMS every fortnight and have never seen it :( some expats at a site i frequent say they've seen it but can't remember where exactly. it's all over the place in neighbouring countries...

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Wow Klary, you read my mind. My husband and I are likely coming to Amsterdam in late April-early May, and I was going to ask you for a list of your favourite "gezellig" places. Particularly eetcafés and brown bar types of spots. And also an Indonesian place, which I've made note of, thanks.

I`ve been to the Blauwe place in Vondelpark on my last trip, and definitely agree with you! I discovered it midweek on that short trip, and had to go back at some point each day. So nice in the sun. The other thing we did almost every day was eat frites met saus. :blink: Any favourite place for those (who knows, maybe I missed a stall!)?

And maybe it is just too touristy and overpriced for a native (I`m guessing), but my grandmother always talks about the first thing you do when you get to Amsterdam is cross the street from centraal station and go have a restorative cup of coffee and slice of apple tart at Smit`s (spelling?) coffeehuis. So I have done that too on each of my trips, in honour of her.

Thanks for what promises to be another great thread!


Edited by Bunniver (log)

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One of the things we most enjoyed on our trip was eating poffertjes. On Klary's suggestion, we stopped at the poffertje place that was by the skating rink set up on the Museumplein. (I think; correct me if I've got either my geography or my Dutch incorrect.) We ate them with just butter and sugar, and they transported all of us back many many years. MelissaH

:wub: Poffertjes. Addictive, addictive, addictive. Did you buy yourself a poffertjes pan so you can make them at home, MelissaH? My mom brought me one back on her last trip. All this talk is compelling me to make some for dinner tonight....(A blanced meal, I know. But we'll have some nice crispy bacon on the side for protein :wink: )

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could someone tell me where to find Lindt Excellence chocos?  i go to AMS every fortnight and have never seen it :(  some expats at a site i frequent say they've seen it but can't remember where exactly.  it's all over the place in neighbouring countries...

BonVivant, I'm going to try to find out for you. I'll pm you when I know more.

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Wow Klary, you read my mind. My husband and I are likely coming to Amsterdam in late April-early May,

Oh what fun! I hope you'll have time to meet me for a little Dutch food-talk (and something to eat, ofcourse...) please ask for anything you're interested in and I'll try to squeeze in as much info between now and late April, as I possibly can!

If you're here on the 29th of April, prepare yourself for the biggest streetfest imaginable: Queensday!!

The other thing we did almost every day was eat frites met saus.  :blink: Any favourite place for those (who knows, maybe I missed a stall!)?

My favorite place is this one: gallery_21505_358_114344.jpg

Vleminckx, Voetboogstraat 31, between Kalverstraat and Spui. Their frites are awesome..

gallery_21505_358_75332.jpg

These pics were taken last february as I was blogging. (when I did not know yet, that you can resice pics). That's my best friend there, happily anticipating his fries. They would not let me take a pic of the inside of the place..

There is, supposedly, a "very best frites of Amsterdam" place in the northern part of the city (across the IJ water), but it's a 30 minute bikeride from the centre and I've never been there..

:wub: Poffertjes. Addictive, addictive, addictive. Did you buy yourself a poffertjes pan so you can make them at home, MelissaH? My mom brought me one back on her last trip. All this talk is compelling me to make some for dinner tonight....(A blanced meal, I know. But we'll have some nice crispy bacon on the side for protein  :wink: )

The poffertjes place Melissa wrote about, is unfortunately only there in midwinter (when the little pond on the Museumplein becomes an icerink).

I've been thinking about buying a poffertjespan... if only for the Dutch cooking thread.. ah the things I have to do for EGullet... :laugh:

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Wow Klary, you read my mind. My husband and I are likely coming to Amsterdam in late April-early May,

Oh what fun! I hope you'll have time to meet me for a little Dutch food-talk (and something to eat, ofcourse...) please ask for anything you're interested in and I'll try to squeeze in as much info between now and late April, as I possibly can!

If you're here on the 29th of April, prepare yourself for the biggest streetfest imaginable: Queensday!!

I would LOVE to meet for Dutch food talk. But I will revisit your food blog from last February before I ask you any more questions, thanks so much.

I think we actually did make it to that frites place. (And oh god they look good. I may have to scrap the poffertjes plans for dinner tonight and make some frites--by odd coincidence I did buy some curry ketchup at lunchtime today in a German deli.) Now we know to revisit it, and we will most definitely be interested in the one that is a 30 minute bike-ride from the centre--if only to ensure that our clothes still fit at the end of our holiday :wink:

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could someone tell me where to find Lindt Excellence chocos?  i go to AMS every fortnight and have never seen it :(  some expats at a site i frequent say they've seen it but can't remember where exactly.  it's all over the place in neighbouring countries...

Hi BonVivant,

I contacted the company that imports this chocolate to The Netherlands (Rosenberg Import, and they told me you can get it at the following locations in Amsterdam:

Jamin stores see here for stores

Eichholz deli in the Leidsestraat

Bijenkorf Department store, on Dam square.

Hope this helps and that you'll be able to find it!

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that's great! finally i can eat my last 99% bar ;) many thanks, Klary!!!!!!! Bijenkorf is on the way to my pub, i go pass it every time :D i've checked a couple of Jamin shops in my little town down here in the south but they don't stock it. de Bijenkorf is most convinent. going to stock up on the 99% to eat with my 23 bottles of Westvleteren #12. fabulous! :wub:

groetjesssss

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gallery_21505_2566_5329.jpg

Van Dobben Eetsalon in de Korte Reguliersdwarsstraat 5-9 (near Rembrandtplein) is one of the nices places to have a quick, satisfying, cheap and delicious lunch. It's what's known as 'broodjeszaak', sandwichshop. Don't expect a ciabatta with prosciutto and arugula here though. One of the best things about this place is that since it was established, in 1945 , the menu has hardly changed.

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What you get is a soft white roll, piled hight with the cold cuts of your choice. But their most famous product is the van Dobben Kroket (or, croquet as they oldfashionedly spell it). Their kroketten became so famous that they are now mass produced and available, frozen, in supermarkets all over the country.

As you can see this is not your typical Dutch 'gezellig' place. The staff look like they have ben here forever (and most of them have), and are known for their somewhat curt behavior and typically Amsterdam sense of humor (although I have always found them very friendly and helpful, and have seen them very patiently explaining to numbers of tourists what's on the menu).

But, you don't come here for the atmosphere, you come here for this:

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One of their other specialties is the broodje halfom, with larded liver and pekelvlees, salted/boiled beef:

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On weekends they are open till 2 am (weekdays till 1 am), so this is also a very popular place with the late night crowd to go for a sustaining snack!

Total cost for 4 broodjes, 3 coffee, 1 glass of milk: 16 euro.


Edited by Chufi (log)

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Oh, man! The hotel we stayed at was right near Rembrandtplein, and we somehow missed out on this!

Guess this means we'll need to return to Amsterdam, in the not-too-distant future! :wink:

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Oh, kroketten! I am there.

Larded liver... :huh: On my last visit to Amsterdam the proprietress of our B and B found out about my Dutch ancestry (and though she was horrified my Dutch wasn't better) she gave me that stuff as a "special treat" at breakfast one day. I didn't like it at all, but she was so excited about it that I pretended I did. Luckily this was one of the last days of the trip, or I'd have been eating it every morning thanks to my own silliness.

How do people usually eat zalm mayonnaise (I noticed it on the board)? Just straight on the bun? I bought some at Ikea last night (along with some Matjes pickled herring)--was going to have it on crisp bread with sliced boiled eggs and a sprig or two of dill.

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My favorite place is this one: gallery_21505_358_114344.jpg

Vleminckx, Voetboogstraat 31, between Kalverstraat and Spui. Their frites are awesome..

gallery_21505_358_75332.jpg

These pics were taken last february as I was blogging. (when I did not know yet, that you can resice pics). That's my best friend there, happily anticipating his fries. They would not let me take a pic of the inside of the place..

There is, supposedly, a "very best frites of Amsterdam" place in the northern part of the city (across the IJ water), but it's a 30 minute bikeride from the centre and I've never been there..

WOW Chufi!!! this fries makes me motivated enough to make a trip over a weekend to Amsterdam :laugh: I showed them to my brother and I can hear him moan right now how much he wants these fries hahaha

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i get the chips from Vleminckx all the time as it's near my pub :) still on the hunt for big fat chips however. i like the big fat ones.

Portugal dreaming

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De taart van mijn tante (literally, my aunt's cake/pie - 'taart' can mean both) started out as a small business that quickly became famous for there outrageous cake-designs. You name it, they can turn it into a cake! They were the bakery for hip Amsterdam weddings and celebrations. They worked from a small bakery near the Albert Cuyp market. A couple of years ago they opened a large coffee/ cakeshop, where you can sample their more 'normal' cakes with a cup of coffee.

Their kitschy, flamboyant style is very present in the ambiance: loads of artificial flowers, plush chairs, mix & match tables and chairs and pottery. It's a very kid-friendly place, because it's roomy and quite large, but also nice to hang out and read a magazine while you have, ofcourse a piece of their cake.

Window, as seen from the outside: you can see examples of some of their commission cakes in the window. These are not real cakes, but their real cakes would look exactly like them.

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cake display

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Inside

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cake! this is chocolate cake with mocha amaretto cream filling, and a large chocolate curl on top. Served with whipped cream, fresh mango, and mango puree.

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The cake is good, but to be honest, not fantastic. There is a bit of drama even in the way they serve this simple piece of cake. I thought the mango was a bit of a weird match for the mocha filling. That said, I have tasted some great cakes of theirs at weddings, and this is a fun place to hang out, with good coffee.. and good cake.

De taart van mijn tante

Ferdinand Bolstraat 10 (near Albert Cuyp market and Heineken brewery)

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When we were in Amsterdam in January, we visited

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the Heineken brewery. "We" in this case means me and my husband, as well as our colleague Jeff and his oldest daughter Erinn. My husband and Jeff will be teaching a course on fermentation science during the second half of this semester, and the course will have a study-abroad component. This will be the first time they've taught the course, and the trip (which will take place just after the end of the semester) will be to Belgium. Our trip in January was to scout out locations, and most importantly get the lodging set for the class trip in May. But it's much easier to get flights to Amsterdam than to Brussels, hence our visit in January.

The brewery open to visits is not currently used for beer production, since that's all been moved to a facility outside of town somewhere. This building has been turned into a museum of sorts, and of all the beer facility tours we did, this was the most fun, if a little commercialized. It reminded me of what would happen if Disney ever got a hold of a beer factory...oh wait, wouldn't that be Busch Gardens? :wacko:

Make no mistake, this tour is all about beer. You enter and pay your 10 Euros, and in exchange you get one orange drink token, two green drink tokens, and a white prize token, as well as the opportunity to walk through the facility. Early on, you see

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this diagram of the beer-brewing process. And you get walked through the beer-brewing process in general, although with a Heineken-specific slant: the Heineken water, the Heineken yeast, the Heineken grain, the Heineken hops, the Heineken logo, the Heineken label, the Heineken bottle.... One room was wallpapered with print ads from over the years. Another wall was covered with bottle caps.

We particularly liked the water room. Heineken is proud of their low (relatively speaking) water usage for a commercial-scale brewery. The architecture in the room where they talked about water (everything on the walls was printed in English and in Dutch) was really neat: there was a suspended ceiling made of plexiglass, filled with a thin layer of water, with lights above the suspended ceiling. Above the lights (so you wouldn't see shadows) were a series of nozzles that slowly dripped water into the ceiling, and the lights would then cast shadows from the waves (constructive and destructive interference!) on the floor and ceiling. I could have done without the audio "drip" effects, but the visuals were way cool, something we briefly considered doing in our kitchen when we remodel, but decided would probably be better in the wet bar area of the family room. :raz:

The old copper brew kettles are still intact, and they use them for all kinds of demonstrations (with small TVs mounted in holes cut in the sides).

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Our favorite part of the first half of the tour was a ride, in which you got to "be" a bottle and go through the bottling line. The seats shook and jiggled in synch with the video, but we didn't get blasted with water the way the bottles on screen did. We all thought, though, that a bottling line would be a terrific inspiration for an honest-to-goodness rollercoaster, though: you get shaken up, spun around and upside down, several times, and in an amusement park you could even include the jets of water! (We decided that although you might find something like that at Busch Gardens, you'd be unlikely to find anything as beer-related at Disneyworld.)

The first half of the tour concluded in a room with many of these copper kettles, but that wasn't the highlight of the room.

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See the staircase going down that's blocked off with a velvet rope? At the bottom of the stairs is the stable! Anyone who's watched a Super Bowl in recent memory knows about the Clydesdales that pull the Bud wagon. Heineken is associated with Shires, a different breed of draft horse. They're big and black with white blazes on their faces, and about a dozen of them live right there in the old brewery and get taken out every day. Erinn's a horse lover, and this room was a real highlight for her.

After we watched the horses for a bit, we went to the bar in the middle to redeem our orange drink tokens. One token gets you one drink, and you have a choice of beer or something non-alcoholic, 25 cL of whatever you choose.

Immediately following the bar in the middle, there was a setup where you could take photos or even a short video of yourself, and e-mail it to people around the world. We were there at a slow time, and were able to spend plenty of time having fun.

The second half of the tour was less about beermaking and more about entertainment. We did another ride, this one "delivering the beer" on a horse-drawn cart through the cobbled streets of Amsterdam. We sat in special chairs with audio and video, and watched vintage Heineken commercials. And we played in the party room, at the DJ bench running the music and lights.

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Finally, we went through the gift shop (had to get through that before you could leave) and then spent our green tokens at the bar at the end (same choices as before). Finally, we claimed our gifts at the end: it turned out to be a 25 cL Heineken glass.

Educational? Sure, especially if you've never seen a large-scale brewery before. Fun? Absolutely! A good deal? Yes, especially if you're a visiting American and the thought of getting three (small) beers plus a glass to take home for the equivalent of about $12 (at that time) seems like a good deal; it was also a great couple of hours of entertainment if you don't mind being bombarded by ads for one specific beer. It wound up being a perfect break from the other more "serious" museums we visited, and is well worth a visit.

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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