One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to find and eat new and delicious things. When I was recently in Europe, I didn’t really find new things as much as really, ridiculously delicious versions of things I have had in America. Some of you may be familiar with the things I am about to tell you, but as a first timer, here is my photo documentation of my (mostly street) food experiences:
Parek v rohliku. A hot dog in a roll. This is what it looks like, only so much more brilliant than the ball park hot dog. They take a rohlik, an almost croissant-like flaky but dense roll, cut off the end, then jam the whole thing on to a hot metal rod that heats the rohlik from the inside out. Then the mustard and ketchup get squeezed in, then the hot dog. An even more to-go version of the hot dog. Only one hand required!
Schweinebraten and sauerbraten. Schweinebraten is the one with the giant round dumpling and slices of pork, all smothered in a brown gravy. Sauerbraten is beef in a similar but more tangy (“sauer”) gravy, served with a heaping helping of spaetzle (little dumpling-like noodles). Both dishes were served with a sort of lightly pickled cabbage salad. The portions were unbelievable, it took me plus the help of 3 others picking off my plate to finish it!
An authentic Liege waffle. Hands down one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life. We got one to tide us over before dinner, but in all honesty, I could have eaten about a dozen more and been satisfied for the rest of the day. There is a place in Eugene, Off the Waffle, that cooks and serves waffles in the Liege tradition, and until I had this waffle in Amsterdam, I thought they were the best thing around. They try, but they can barely hold a candle to the real deal. Maybe I’m not being very fair – they could probably hold a candle to it, if the candle was unlit. Part of what is so great about Off the Waffle is their selection of delicious toppings for the waffles – from sweet banana and chocolate chips (my favorite) to savory basil, goat cheese and kalamata olive. But this particular waffle trumped them all, hot off the iron with just a light dusting of powdered sugar. It was so crispy yet light, caramelly (I think I just made up a word) with a deep, almost-but-not-quite-burnt, perfectly caramelized sugar crisp yet at the same time wasn’t too sweet at all… they melt in your mouth, and I would stop in Amsterdam again just so I could have another one. Or three. Or eight.