The Quiet Musings

The Hague Food Guide

- June 5th, 2016 -
Last updated on June 25th, 2016

I have been living in the city center of The Hague for about five years now. The places I frequent for lunch and dinner have changed a lot. Being a routine and comfort person I tend to stick to the same places. I stop going when I get bored with the menu or if the food quality goes down. Also, if the service becomes so abysmal that the food isn’t worth it anymore.

Without much ado, the places I frequent, as in, when not in the mood to cook or when eating out with friends/family.

Breakfast / Lunch

Will’s Pancake House When I’m craving American Banana Pancakes or a good ole traditional Poffertjes. They take cash only, so make sure you got at least a 20 on you. Still the best and only pancake place in the city. Haven’t set food in the one at Malieveld in ages. Being the city slicker I have become…it is so far for just a plate of pancake. (Note: I walk, I don’t bike)

Walter Benedict This French Bistro at Denneweg that specializes in poached eggs have an all day breakfast menu. For the ones with a large appetite you can even get a hamburger before noon. They have a very good burger loaded with cheese and optional bacon. Love bacon but not that hungry? What about avocado with bacon on toast. Unless you plan to be there early (they open at 9) make sure to make a reservation because they tend to be very busy at times.

Happy Tosti Grilled cheese sandwich, the king of comfort food. Perfect for when you wake up without bread and cheese in the house. Happens to the best of us. Also great for those rainy noons and afternoons when you just want a warm sandwich loaded with cheese.

‘t Achterommetje Guilty free eating. Soup, sandwiches, smoothies and salads. From veggie burger to the best steak sandwich currently. Rather have a grilled cheese sandwich? You can choose your own combi here. Hidden in the alleys of De Passage, they are almost always full. Make reservations if going in the week-end.

Baladi This small Lebanese place can be found at Torenstraat. Fresh made Lebanese manouche (flat bread) with cheese, za’atar, meat or hummus. Try their fresh lemonade. It’s so good, you’ll drink it in one go.

Lunch / Dinner

Woeng Kee My new favorite Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. Their Dim Sum menu might not be as extensive as Kee Lun Palace, but what they do have is good. Their fried rice is fluffy and I love fried rice. They have an exquisite Honey and Pepper Beef (or chicken). It’s so good that I overate. I still need to try their roasted duck, but to avoid an overeating incident again I’ll have to find more dinner partners. Good place to order online or eat in.

Green Bowl No time to cook or in the mood to but you still want to eat healthy? Green bowl’s salad is the answer. I always order the same thing: Deli Steak Salad. A small cut of beef cooked with mushrooms, potato and green beans served on a salad with dressing of choice. Beside a select chef specials (fish, vegetarian, chicken and vegan) you can choose own salad combi. They also have wraps and soups.

SLA Want to eat even more healthy? SLA at Kerkplein is so healthy you feel like eating a hamburger the next day. One of their slogan is “Munch on mother nature” and it’s spot on. Their salads are served cold and they switch menu every season. They are new in town, I have no idea if in colder months they serve warm salads. It’s a perfect go to meal if you want to eat very healthy.

Frietwinkel at Kortepoten. One day Cupcakechic was suddenly gone to never be seen again and now the location is taken by my favourite fries at the moment. Frietwinkel serves organic fresh cut fries with the skin on and it couldn’t be better. Still hungry? They have beef and goat cheese croquettes among others. And on Friday and Saturday you can get beef stew. They have a nice take away box making it easy to get your fries to go.

Dunglemann The Hague’s best beef croquettes can be found at Dunglemann’s. With three locations: Babylon, De Nieuwe Passage and Hoogstraat. A perfect quick lunch for on the go.

Hoender en Hop craving a roasted chicken or ribs with a good craft beer? Hoender is the place to be. I love roasted chicken but not leftover chicken which is why I almost never cook it myself. So every time I crave roasted chicken I get one at Hoender. These organic French chickens are the right size for one meal They are now serving a palm sized chicken which is more starter than a meal. Too bad. Hoender spareribs tho, is addicting, I have to contain myself to not eat these regularly, you know with eating healthy and all. It’s a very salty and fatty meal, so I only treat myself that sporadically. My current favourite special beer to go with a fatty meal is Kompaan’s Vrijbuiter No 45.

Beer Garden In the basement at Kerkplein a stone trow from SLA. It can be a battle of wills; healthy or junkfood, healthy or junkfood? But if you are going to eat junkfood, Beer Garden is the place to eat junkfood. Burgers, hotdogs, quesadillas, onion rings and all the craft beers you want. And even better, the food is organic. They also have a terrace so you have your choice of seating.

South of Houston For a New York experience South of Houston is the place to be. Situated at Plein, they currently have the best burger in the city. Their steak (dry aged meat) and rack of lambs are perfect for meat lovers. Their menu has changed a bit. Some new Starters like Fried Squid, the herb crusted chicken has been replaced by roasted chicken, which I need to try out soon. Their two vegetarians meals have also been updated. All in all a balanced menu. A perfect place for a nice night dinning out.


I would eat out more if The Netherlands had guidelines about salt use. The United States is starting with recommendations for restaurants.

Lebanese lunch in The Hague

- March 4th, 2016 -

I discovered a ‘new’ place in The Hague centrum that is an ideal place to score lunch. Baladi is a small Lebanese manouche place located at Torenstraat.

Manouche is a Lebanese flatbread served with different toppings like za’atar, cheese (akkawi), meat, strained yoghurt and hummus and more. Baladi has a special manouche every month. They also have Lebanese delicacies and drinks.

Baladi

I found Baladi on Trip Advisor and I went there three times already. Which should tell you how good they are. I tried the Cheese & Za’atar, first time I tried za’atar and I definitely liked it. I also tried the hummus which they make fresh. The hummus manouche wrap is healthy and low sodium (from what I and others tasted) which is perfect for a healthy lunch.


Cheese & Soujok Manouche
The second time I tried the spicy meat and cheese, which was delicious. Left me wanting more. Already planning on getting it again the next time I go there.

The place is run by a young couple, they cook and make everything themselves. You can also ask for gluten free manouche and/or for vegan toppings. There aren’t many places that are that accommodating.

If not in the mood to go out you can also order them on deliveroo.nl or foodora.nl. Foodora has an option to leave special instructions, Deliveroo does not.

Next time you are in town, need a nice, fast and healthy lunch. Try out Baladi.

Waldberg

- June 5th, 2015 -

Last month Waldberg opened its door at the Nieuwe Binnenweg 105A in Rotterdam. Waldberg is the first döner restaurant that is mostly organic and focussed on good food.

Most if not all of us are familiar with the standard döner eatery on every street corner. In all my 15 years living here I think I ate at those places no more than 15 times. Even that is too much. I haven’t eaten there in more than two years. A while back a research was published in the paper on how bad the hygiene of most of those places are. Which is why I stopped getting food there. Not to mention how much salt there is in the food.

The owner of Waldberg moved from Berlin to the Netherlands six years ago. As someone familiar with döner and with a passion for good food he was shocked by the state of döner eateries here. Which is one of the reasons why he and his business partner started Waldberg.

The place has a nice, modern and clean interior. All food is fresh and safely stored at recommended cold temperatures. The veggies are organic, chicken and beef meat are from responsible farming, no mass produced meats. The sauces are all made with yogurt. No fatty garlic sauces here.

It’s a bit more expensive than your regular Joe döner but worth every cent hands down.

Waldberg chicken sandwich
Chicken Sandwich
Waldberg wrap
Beef BBQ Wrap

I had lunch there a couple of times, I tried the chicken classic döner sandwich, the beef bbq wrap and the beef bbq sandwich. Delicious and nothing like what we know as döner food.

A döner sandwich or wrap starts at 5,00 euros. You can get beef, chicken or vegetarian(hummus). There is a nice selection of sauces, salads and veggies. You can also make your order a menu with side dishes. I got the french fries one time as side dish. It’s potato pieces with skin on without salt. They don’t have that dreadfully salt shaker that all other places have to drown the french fries in salt. Instead you get a small salt sachet.

Hopefully Waldberg will be a success and expand with more locations. The Hague certainly could use a Waldberg.

In Defence of Low Salt

- March 24th, 2015 -

Everyone talks about low calorie, less sugar, low carbs, etc. You can stock a whole bookcase in a bookstore with diet books. But “no one” talks about salt. That has a lot to do with the fact that if you eat too much calories, sugar and carbs it will show in the form of fat on your body. Eat too much salt it will only show in a medical test.

When like me you were forced to really think health wise about food before you even got out of college, you realise that we still have a long way to go to really healthy eating habits. If you never eat out, cook all your food with fresh produce, no store bought bouillon, no spice with salt or sugar in it, no processed sauce, etc. You are golden, you control all your food intake. You get platinum if you grow your own veggies. If only I had a garden.

We don’t have to eat salt free, your body needs salt, some more than others. The daily recommendation is 6 grams for a healthy adult. Low salt diet means eating less than that. Most people eat 9 grams a day according to studies 1. The European Union is actively working on getting salt levels in processed food lowered.

I’m a personal believer that we should stop automatically adding salt to everything. Think about what you are cooking and the ingredients that already contain salt. Cheese, processed meats(even unprocessed meats), ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc. Just put salt on the table and let everyone decide for themselves how much salt they want in their food.

Ever watched the Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro’s cooking show on TLC? Every time he adds salt, he says: “Now we add a pinch of salt” and he proceeds to scope 3 fingers full of salt and dumps them in the dish. Believe me if you are cooking something like pasta with sausages your sauce for sure doesn’t need added salt. The sausages and the salt you added to the water for the pasta will make the dish salty enough.

When I cook and eat at home I can easily stay within the salt limits appropriate for my health.

Spaghetti & Bean Balls

The dish pictured above is a recipe from Thug Kitchen. I did not add salt to the pasta cooking water(I never added/add salt to cooking water) and did not add salt to the sauce plus I skipped the nutritional yeast. The only salt comes from the beans because I got them canned instead of dry and cooking it myself and the canned tomato sauce. Even so it was less than 0.5gr of salt for the whole dish from which I ate two days.

Just put salt on the table and let everyone decide for themselves how much salt they want in their food.

I’m a foodie tho and I like eating out, actually I like eating out when not in the mood for cooking and a sandwich won’t do. But mostly, I finally started reaching that fase when I can make certain dishes better than when I eat out. It’s when I crave ethnic foods like Vietnamese, Indonesian and such that I really dine out. But on that those day that I’m tired, lazy or in no mood for cooking I’ll get a burger or something like that.

Hudson Burger

I tried several burger places and some of them add a lot of salt to the meat. I mean the burger already has processed sauce on it, some cheese and one strip of bacon. There is no need to add salt to the meat.

The fact that so many food contains a lot of salt, every time I eat out, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I have to balance, balance and balance even more to keep the salt intake within limits. The culinaire world might scuff at using less salt, but salt is as addictive as sugar. We are just not used to eating less salt. Once you are used, which takes one to two weeks. You won’t miss the excessive salt and will find a lot of food taste better with less to no salt.

1. Read on Blendle Ongemerkt minder zout consumeren zonder dat later te compenseren | Or download the PDF of the article here.

A Day Eating Out in The Hague

- January 10th, 2015 -

Keeping a reasonable healthy diet means I usually stick to the same places when eating out. I seldom try new places without research first. Plus I usually avoid your usual standard lunch like bread(pistolet) with cheese/ham/kroket and other standard staple Dutch lunch.

Even at home I never just eat a cheese sandwich, at the most basic I’ll eat a cheese sandwich on sourdough bread with a bit of mustard, tomato and green on red onion. Peanut butter sandwich? Make that Zeemansboter with banana and sprinkle of brown sugar on sourdough bread. They don’t sell Zeemansboter anywhere in The Hague but you can buy it online. Or check their site for stores that sell them elsewhere.

Back to eating out. I’m listing three go to places for every meal of the day. My dinner choice here is questionable, I wasn’t overly impressed but the place is worth a try.

Breakast

Will’s Pancake House

A household name in The Hague. Situated in the city center in China Town. Run by Will’s son Berry and his wife. The best pannekoeken, American pancakes and poffertjes. They also have waffles. Good price, fast and friendly service. My go to place when craving a sweet breakfast. Notice: you can only pay with cash.

Lunch

‘t Achterommetje

Hidden in the alley street that runs across De Passage. I walk by almost every time I go to Marqt for groceries, which is a lot. I finally decided to have lunch there. Healthy and delicious food, good prices but very busy during lunch, you have to be lucky to get a table. Or eat there after 14:00 which I noticed is more quiet. You can get sandwiches, soup, salads and high tea. They also have warm meals later in the day but I haven’t gone there for that yet.

Pumpkin Vega Burger
Pumpkin Vega Burger

That was one of the best veggie burger I had. It was large and left me completely full, I even skipped dinner that day.

Dinner

B.I.T. Grill & Café

This new restaurant annexed to Hotel Corona is focused on meat and more meat. I went there for their Gourmet Cheese Burger. Good price and premium meat. You get fries or baking potato with it and some slaw. For no more than 13 euros. Service is a bit uptight. It wasn’t busy at all when I went but when I asked for a table at 17:00 they had to get the reservation book like it would be a major imposition. I ate and went leaving the (big)place more than half empty. I can imagine they get busy after 19:00 so make reservations to be safe. I may go back to try their meat stew. I’m big on good service when dinning out, so if I don’t feel it next time it will be the last.

The Burger Quest

I’m currently looking for a good burger place. Hence I tried B.I.T. out, the meat was good but I wasn’t impressed with the burger as a whole. I currently have two more places to try and one in Rotterdam. I’m not a big meat eater so it will take a while before I have tried them all out. Once you have tried The Kim Chief Burger you won’t be happy with just any burger.

If you rather make your own burger I recommend getting a Merguez burger at Marqt. Grill it on the grill pan and serve on lightly toasted bread with mayo(Hellman’s), ketchup, mosterd, onion, tomatoes and slaw. Simple, easy and beats most burgers you can get at café’s.

A foodie’s battle with eggs

- May 11th, 2014 -

For as long as I have been a foodie, I have been a picky eater. The first 15 or so years of my life my favorite food were; french fries, peanut butter sandwich, chocolate sandwich, pasta and chicken. Even at McDonalds(in the 80’s) I would take all onion and pickles out of my hamburger and only ate ketchup on it, no mayonnaise or mustard, thank you.

Later on I started liking new things, especially when I moved to the Netherlands at 19 and I started cooking for myself. Now at 32 I eat almost anything although there are three things I really really don’t like: salmon, ham(and ham like meats except bacon) and eggs. Let me tell you it is not for lack of trying. I dislike salmon so much I can’t even stand the smell of it, ham is just yuck while bacon is walhalla. Make that bacon, avocado and hummus. You can wake me up anytime of the night for those three things.

And then there are eggs. I so want to like eggs. It would save me so much time. I could have a warm breakfast of scrambled eggs or an omelette, I could have eggs for dinner when I don’t have time to cook. All you egg eaters know what I’m talking about. Eggs are practical and time savers.

When I got good at cooking I decided that maybe if I made the eggs myself I would like it. All eggs I had tried up until then were just made with salt and peper, nothing fancy. One time I decided to make eggs sandwich. Omelette with cheese, sour cream and chives. I love the smell of slightly browned eggs but that liking did not pass over to taste. After a couple of tries I gave up, I did not really like it. I tried boiled eggs so I could eat the white and yellow separately and than maybe figure if it is the one or the other I don’t like about eggs. Still, no dice. I left the eggs for what it was. Only time I buy eggs is for baking a cake.

That was until now. Last week during a high tea they served a piece of quiche. I didn’t ask what was in it and just ate it, even ate the rest from my sister. I could taste a faint trace of eggs but it tasted good. Later I figured it must have been a frittata. And if I liked that frittata than by goodness I might have found my holy grail of eggs. I decided to make a frittata for dinner, with mushroom, leek, bacon and sharp cheddar.

I looked up a couple of recipes, read about how people make theirs and then made my own recipe. With good hope I went to the organic grocery store, because if I’m going to like eggs, only the best ingredients for the frittata. I got eggs, real butter, crème fraîche, flat leaf parsley, Irish sharp cheddar and the rest.

Heat the oven and broiler, cook everything in a cast iron skillet, add some more cheese on top, broil and done.

It turned out perfect and smelled heavenly. I cut out a piece and the first two bites where pretty good, filled with mushroom, bacon and cheese. Seriously this is cook for guests good. And then the taste of eggs started accumulating with each bite, by the last bite I was queasy. I was defeated by eggs.

Sheldon Cooper
The eggs experiment

It took one glass of cranberry juice and one small piece of chocolate to erase the egg taste and a cup of camomile tea to stop feeling queasy.

I fought a hard foodie battle and now I must admit defeat. I just plain and simple do not like eggs. If you ever eat with me and I tell you I don’t like something, know that I tried, by goodness I did try. As for the rest of the frittata? Don’t fear, one lucky co-worker will get a treat from me tomorrow.

Food Guide to The Hague

- August 9th, 2013 -
This post is more than 3 years old. Check the new and revised post published in 2016: The Hague Food Guide.

Over a year ago I wrote a Coffee and Sandwich Guide to The Hague. Since then the ratings and my taste have changed.
For this guide I’ll list places I frequent in The Hague and Rotterdam or that are on my list for when needed. Restaurants of several cuisines, sandwich shops and coffee bars.

First I must note, 13 months ago I discovered Jordy’s Bakery. Situated on Nieuwe Binnenweg in Rotterdam. A co-worker tipped me about the place that is on walking distance from work. Their bread are the best I have tasted so far and I have eaten a lots of different bread to date. Since then I get my lunch almost daily there, even though they discontinued the hummus sandwich which was their best one in my opinion, also the only vegan option.
I was never a huge meat eater so my first choice is mostly vegetarian or vegan sandwiches. If I’m planning on having a light dinner I’ll opt for a meat sandwich.

Since eating there I stopped going to Lebkov. Maybe my taste has changed, maybe I have higher expectation about the bread I eat, but the last two times I went there I couldn’t even finish the sandwich because it just tasted bland. Their pasta and soup are still good tho. This winter I went a couple of times when they had pea soup on the menu and it was good every time.
By not going to Lebkov my coffee intake has lowered also. Jordy’s Bakery does not have decaf coffee(nor my work place), so I only drink coffee on my day off when at Bagels and Beans or Hometown Coffee.

In my previous guide I also mentioned Milly’s. Sadly enough after the renovation they changed their name to ‘Boerenbroodjesland’ and made their sandwich menu like the hundreds other regular broodjeszaken(sandwichshops). I went there twice after they reopened; they don’t serve the sandwich made to order anymore. You get it pre-made in a takeaway box. I’m not a fan of cold bread. They switched from the nice smoked bacon to some cheap bacon you get at the grocery store chopped in small blocks. Too bad, I really liked the cozy small lunchroom and their small but good menu.

As a regular customer at different places I learned a couple of things; never change the whole menu at once. Make sure there are vegetarian and vegan options. Have weekly specials, if one of them are a huge success make it a regular option and remove one of the least liked menu items.

Humans are habit animals, they keep returning because they know the food and don’t have to think much about what to eat. I hate it when I go again to a place I’m used to and the menu has been completely revamped. Think about it, when in lunch rush or just want a place to meet people and have a bite. You rather go to a place you know than try out something new.

Lunch spots The Hague

‘t Hof van Eten *award winning sandwiches. Almost always full, make reservation.

Bocadillo Desperensero
Bocadillo Desperensero

Bagels and Beans

Bagel with banana, maple syrup and cinnamon
Bagel with banana, maple syrup and cinnamon

De Bakkerswinkel

bakkerswinkel
Grilled cheese, sundried tomatoes and courgette sandwich.

Baklust (breakfast, lunch and dinner) *vegetarian

pancakes
Apple and cinnamon pancakes with maple syrup

Lunch spots Rotterdam

Jordy’s Bakery

A photo posted by Darice (@darice) on

Hopper

A photo posted by Darice (@darice) on

Buiten *organic

A photo posted by Darice (@darice) on

Vlaamsch Broodhuys

Hummus and Bulgur Sandwich
Hummus and bulgur, artichokes, tomato and mozzarella

Coffee spots The Hague

Where I get dinner when eating out

I have more places on my list but I haven’t eaten there yet. I only mention places where I have eaten more than once and that have good food.

When not in the mood to cook or eat out/takeaway and I want to eat reasonable healthy I buy ready made meals at Marqt. Their Lasagna Bolognese and Melanzane Parmiggiano are my current favorites. Marqts ready made meals are from Uit de Keuken van Maass. Fresh made, organic without conservatives.

Another place where I only went once, they don’t have a website nor facebook page and I hope they are still open, is Limoncello on Bankastraat. It’s a very small Italian lunchroom. The one time I went there I had one of the best pasta dishes ever:

Ravioli al Tartufo
Ravioli al Tartufo

Rotterdam has way more places than The Hague but due that I work in Rotterdam I only eat out at lunch and close by work. Which leaves only Nieuwe Binnenweg. Buiten and Vlaamse Broodhuys are more expensive than Jordy’s Bakery, so getting a hummus sandwich there everyday would make me go broke in no time. I’m going to try after the vacation to start taking more lunch from home instead of buying every day.
We are also getting a new restaurant at work, so fingers crossed they have better lunch options than the previous one.

Best Sandwich and Coffee in The Hague

- June 3rd, 2012 -
This post is more than 4 years old. Check the new and revised post published in 2016: The Hague Food Guide.

One of the things that must be known about me is that I love sandwiches. That love started in April 2009. I never really liked bacon, I know, right?! Well that’s until I had a BLT sandwich from Lebkov. Since then I think I eat from there at least once a week. In the past three years since my love for sandwich blossomed, I tried several sandwiches from a handful of places in The Hague where I live. By no means is this an official guide, just the best of the best according to me.

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