Looking for an early breakfast by the waterfront, our solution for a nice sit down was “De Dutch”. And having been to a few of their other chain locations, this was most notably the nicest one I have been too. The restaurant certainly dressed itself up for the area and the view before it. A view you were able to and forced to take in, as you walked to the restaurant. It was view of the water, the mountains, the city in front of it, and seaplanes taking off from and landing on the water. All this visible from the patio and through the all glass windows of the restaurant’s exterior. You could hear the latter and even appreciate the sounds and sights of a helicopter as they flew over head. This feature made this restaurant pretty unique.
At 9:30am the patio was already fully seated, so we were forced inside to wait for a table to clear up, but the wait indoors was just as nice. Wooden tables, upholstered chairs, and c-shaped booths. The room was themed in a soft yellow-green, orange-Amber, and white. There was definitely some consideration of thought put into the place. A ladder-like shelf divide the room with decorations. A collection of colanders, hour glasses, ceramic containers, vases, and pitchers in orange.
Even the menu was dressed up. A bound and metal tipped book with a cloth cover. Everything within it would give you a taste of volendam, in the Netherlands. It was laid out with tabs for drinks + omelettes, breakfast, pannekoeken (Dutch style pancakes), and lunch.
They get a lot of tourists the the area, you can tell them apart with the amount of luggage they travel with, and the map by the foyer asking you to pin where they came from. They were as many drops as ten times all the people that were dining here today. The city had cruise ships docked in its port today and therefore it was extra busy here.
You come for the “Pannekoek”. It is a traditional Dutch style pancake, it resembles a western style pancake in flavour; but thinner, flatter, and lighter, like a crepe. Typically it has a circumference of 37” and a diameter of 12”. And traditionally its rolled up and cut into to bite size pieces. But as it is presented flat and topped with ingredients, it is just easier to cut and eat as you go. They had these sweet with fruit and real whipped cream, and savoury from regular ham and eggs to a perogie with potatoes, onions and sour cream. There was even one called the “rio grande” that came with salsa and sour cream. The sweet pannekoekens are served with “stroop”. It is the equivalent of maple syrup on pancakes, but “stroop” is dark Dutch style sugar syrup.
One guest got the “Boer’s pannekoek”. It came with two eggs, bratwurst, slices of debakon, and ham. All this on top of their signature pancake. It was served with hash browns and their hollandaise sauce. “Debakon” is “De Dutch’s” own savoury, thin cut cottage roll. It is basically twist on Canadian bacon with a similar ham-like texture and taste. When this plate was originally served it had both scrambled and sunny side up eggs, where as the menu only gave you one style of eggs, and he only requested the former. Though through sleuthing we figured out that the double sunnies belonged to the next dish. Either way we sent them back and got new ones. We found a hair in one of the yolks. As for the plate as it was intended, it was a hearty and meaty mix, everything you wanted in a morning meal and their pancake used as a plate for it all.
How the “boer’s” breakfast was intended and the new set of sunny side up eggs. The sunny side eggs were suppose to be an add on to the “Meat lovers” pannekoek.
This one came with debakon, ham, sausage, Turkey, bacon, and Edam cheese, topped with tomato slices. I liked that our server took the time to warn us on how all that meat would be presented: chopped up and blended in with the pannekoek dough. It was like a omelette but made with pancake dough. But first this order was also mixed up, a hash with toast showed up first. When we got it, the actual pannekoek was disappointing, we should have kept the hash. What should have been light and fluffy was dense and doughy. The meat’s grease saturated every inch of the dough enrobing it. It was greasy and with the bites with melted cheese, it only got greasier. More tomato would have helped give it some much needed freshness.
I went with the “eggs Amsterdam” with ham and Edam. I wanted to try a “rusk”. The menu was helpful at calling out traditional pieces from the Neatherlands, and I wanted to try all the highlights. So given the option for the rusk or an English muffin, or one of each, I went all rusk. It was the opposite of a soft and spongy English muffin. It had a texture like a crouton. It was very crispy, so much so that it shattered in pieces from the pressure of a knife and fork. For the eggs I had the option to have them poached or grilled. I just wanted the eggs runny. I also had a choice of side salad or mixed fruit. I choose the former for both, but when my dish came, the fruit did not.
I had to ask for it, and received a dish with apple slices, tart mango cubes, and a whole strawberry. They were a nice refreshing bite in between luscious hollandaise and deep fried potatoes.
They also had an extensive lunch menu with sandwiches, wraps, quesadillas, burgers, and chicken and fries. Each burger was named after an adjective and a person. The “simple Simon” came with mushrooms. “Gentle John” combined fried egg and dill pickle slices. “Meek myrtle” had fresh onions with bacon and cheese. And “humble Helen” featured an all beef wiener.
I was intrigued by the “bitter ballen”. This is a popular pub snack from the Netherlands. They are deep fried balls stuffed with beef, vegetables, and spices. The suggested that the way to enjoy them is with Dutch mustard in one hand and a beer in another.
It looked like how I imagined it, but it’s filling caught me off guard. Instead of minced and ground up meat and vegetable, all the ingredients were whipped smooth like a spread. The exterior was crunchy like a falafel with its perfectly breaded and even crunch from first bite to last. It got better with every additional taste. The peppery flavour grew on you, and it would have been best with beer.
Of note, they even had a page on the menu dedicated to Nutella inspired creations. It was Nutella in everything.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
Chalk it up to an especially busy day, but the food was average. The staff were pleasant enough and the view plenty breath taking. We eventually got everything we asked for and they took the eggs off the bill. We were well fed and full, and the cost for it wasn’t too steep. But once again you come for the view and the scenery and the food is just a consequence. Don’t deny your cravings.