Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It's all in the presentation.

I think this is going to be my last travel sabbatical-related post. I'm 90% sure on that, and it better be, coming three months after I've landed back in the States. I'm having a really hard time closing the chapter on that two months of travel bliss. I've documented the trips and the treasures, but something was missing. I realized it was my two favorite eateries: La Belle Ronde in Paris and Pancake! Amsterdam in Amsterdam. The atmosphere of these two cafes fit the food so perfectly that I had to share.

We'll start with La Belle Ronde, a creperie in Paris on Rue Daguerre that was recommended to us by my dear friend Kate. Zach and I first tried to enjoy this spot after we landed in the country. Unfortunately, the outside gates were closed on this picturesque scene, and we were scared we weren't going to be able to make it back.

Luckily, we had some time the next day and had yet to have a crepe, so we returned. It was raining, but no less beautiful and quaint. Kate says they usually add twinkling lights to the trees, but must've skipped that step in the relentless downpour that day.

I almost died once inside. Ceramic animals. Ceramic siamese cats. If that restaurant had been more crowded, I might have lunged for one.

The yellow and pink layered in on the toile accent wall, the paper lanterns, the wall of glass looking out to the patio with trees and tables, and mismatched chairs made the cafe feel cozy. That, and the length of the wall opposite the glass patio windows looked like this:

 Perfectly spaced circles of fabric dotted the wall and I did my very best not to rub my face on it. I did dare touch it with my pinky, just as the waiter came to take our order, right under the sign that asked for you not to touch. I made eye-contact while I did it. Rebel.

It didn't hurt that our crepes were awesome and the orange juice freshly squeezed. You saw that here though.

Our next favorite spot was Pancake! Amsterdam. We came upon this place after I persevered through Zach's complaints and offers to settle for any restaurant on the corner because I wanted genuine Dutch pancakes, again at the insistence of Kate. This shows how much I trust Kate, because I don't like pancakes (I'll always pick waffles) and this was after the overnight bus ride. The girl's food recommendations carry weight. Literally. Still working it off.

The menu was huge, but we decided, placed our orders with the nicest and most mild-mannered waiter, and took in the very small restaurant. With only five tables split across a loft, it would be easy to make this place look cramped. They avoided that by keeping everything light and simple. There was a lot of straight lines, mimicked in the bench, wall, simple tables and chairs.

I love the chandelier of spatulas and serving ware. It was perfect for a pancake shop that called itself Pancake! Amsterdam, obviously not taking itself too seriously.

The storage on the entry level (these pictures are from the loft), maximized storage with cabinets to the ceiling. This helped to open the place, as did the front wall of windows. That's our waiter, making our coffees. The kitchen a couple steps away, and below the loft.

The food was awesome. So awesome that we went twice, ordering different things each time and from each other so we could have four times the food. We eat seriously.

Outside, there was construction, but still a cute little spot for an outdoor table. I don't know what the jar fillers are, but I love the complementary orange and blue paired with the Dutch tulips.

This place was super personal, too. The waiter gave us each a wooden shoe keychain when we left, twice. It was love.

Okay, I think I'm done with travel recaps for a little bit. It was getting a little monotonous for me, so I don't know how you put up with it, but I appreciate it. I remember telling my college roommate, Kay, about how sick of the travel posts I was growing, and she assured me that I didn't have to write them. I knew that, but I didn't journal at all during my trip, which upset me, because I was focused on blogging it all. I wouldn't have been able to let it rest for myself. This is all to say thank you for reading, for commenting, and for sticking around when I go on strange hiatuses. I love you all, I love this blog, and I'm happy to be back.


  1. Of course you don't HAVE to write these posts, but I'm always glad to read them :)

    ...and I'm ready to go to Europe just for these restaurants now, so thanks for that.

  2. Oh, I know. I always consider it now, though, and that helps to make sure I'm writing what I want to write about, not just writing to write. You're quite insightful :)


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