Yes, it’s a bit of a stereotype, along with the pickled herring (which I also tried) and the wooden shoes (which were virtually non-existent aside from the kitschy souvenir shops). For those of you who aren’t familiar, pannekoek are Dutch pancakes; they’re much wider (usually about a foot or so in diameter) and thinner than what us North Americans usually have as “pancakes.” They’re sometimes associated with Belgium too.
The breakfast and atmosphere at Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs are decidedly different from what we had at Cafe Medina or Chez Cora back home. For starters, this restaurant only has four tables. They also have very limited hours, opening from about 11am to 5pm or so each day. This can present a challenge, but we were able to get a table right away at about 3:30pm. We just had to trek up the very narrow and very steep staircase, which is apparently quite typical in Holland.
To go along with our meal, we ordered a latte (€2.50) and a glass of fresh pear juice (€3.00). The juice was quite good, but the coffee wasn’t really anything special.
Susanne ordered a special pannekoek they had that day with tamarillo jam. Tamarillo is a berry or cherry-like fruit that looks like a small tomato. It’s not too sweet and it has just a touch of bitterness to it. I don’t remember exactly how much it was, but it was in line with the other pannekoek offerings: aside from the specials (for €11.50), the rest of the pannekoek are between €6.00 and €9.50 each. And yes, that is a lot of powdered sugar on there.
I went with apple and chocolate sauce for my pannekoek (appel en chocoladesaus, €8.25), which was also generously covered in powdered sugar. There was definitely a lot of sliced apple here and, since there was already chocolate sauce, I didn’t need to use any of the provided table syrups. This wasn’t exactly a breathtaking pannekoek, but it was still pretty good.
All said, our total bill came to about €25.00. That works out to around $33 Canadian. Pannenkoeknhuis Upstairs offers a uniquely Dutch experience in a very cozy, but very friendly space. Amsterdam isn’t particularly known for its food, so you may need to look elsewhere for world class eats.
Aside: I’ve noticed that they don’t really use Urbanspoon around here; the tourists post their reviews on Yelp instead. Indeed, I couldn’t even find any of the major European cities in the Urbanspoon listings. Go figure.