My friend Noor recently introduced me to a small restaurant in Zaandam city called 't Groene Pandje (It's Green Pawn in English). It's Green Pawn is a café that looks more like a small, green house 🏠 from the outside, but the inside fits the description of an eating establishment quite well. Right at the front, there's a long wooden table that seats about 8-10 people, and the cutest little light-bulbs hang right above it. 💡 We sat at the back, though, where lamps are used for lighting instead, and where there are smaller tables that seat a range of 2 to 6 people each.
I've never been one to throw a huge party on my birthday. If anything, I prefer to spend it with fewer and fewer people as the years go by.
This year was no different.
I had made plans to have dinner with my friend, Paula at a restaurant called David's Burgers, and I was super excited about it! 😄
I'd previously been to a restaurant owned by the same family, and had thoroughly enjoyed the food there. So I had high hopes for the food at David's Burgers.
Finally, February the 23rd came! 🎉🎉🎁🎈 And I can't think of a better way for my birthday to have begun...
First thing in the morning, I received a stream of sweet, thoughtful messages from family and friends, and I was greeted by the most beautiful rainbow I'd ever seen - right outside my window! 😍 I always seem to have such bad luck with rainbows, lol, always catching them just as they are disappearing. But this one was so clear and visible that I had to look at it for a while to make sure that I wasn't imagining it! What a view! 🌈😃
Last weekend I finally tasted dumplings for the first time at the Chinese New Year Festival. 😃
It's been a while since I had the opportunity to celebrate Chinese New Year - the last time was in Central London in 2008 - and I was super excited to be able to relive that experience here in the Netherlands. 😊
Some friends and I met on Saturday afternoon, and made our way to the train station. We boarded a train to The Hague (Den Haag) where the festival had been running all week.
We arrived at The Hague 10 minutes later, and we made our way to Chinatown; when we got there the party was already in full swing! 🎉🎉There were people everywhere, loud music was playing, and Chinese food was being sold at a number of food stalls in honour of the occasion.
Our first stop: Dumplings! It didn't feel right to have eaten a number of different Chinese dishes in my lifetime, but not to have tasted dumplings. So I was eager to cross them off my list. And I'm happy to say that they were well worth the wait!😃😄
Afterwards, we made a stop at a Chinese artist's table. He was writing people's names in Chinese. I asked if he could do me a favour and write me something a bit different instead: Debz Meets World. Seemed appropriate, don't you think? 😉
A friend and I recently had a late lunch at a small and cozy café called Doppio Espresso. It is an Italian café with many different branches within the Netherlands and Europe. We chose to eat at the one in Leiden, and were not disappointed.😜
For drinks,☕ I had a white hot chocolate, and she had iced tea.We each ordered a sandwich to go with our drinks. Mine was a chicken and bacon sandwich, which I enjoyed thoroughly!🍴
Doppio can get a bit noisy during peak hours, and we found the tables a bit too small, but that was understandable - considering the café's size. There are one or two small bookshelves in the café where customers can find a selection of magazines to keep them busy while they wait for friends.
Apart from the food, my favourite thing about Doppio is the Italian quote printed on the wall: "Il caffè dev'essere caldo come l'inferno, nero come il diavolo puro come un angelo e dolce come l'amore, which means, "The coffee must be hot as hell, black as the devil, pure as an angel, and sweet as love".
I'm more of a hot chocolate kinda gal, but what a way to leave an impression!
As I always say, "Food is my love language!"😄 And I believe a memorable eating-out experience is worth sharing, and a good recipe is worth passing on.
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