Foto Vrijdag: Utrecht at Night

Winkel van Sinkel
The Winkel van Sinkel beautifully lit at night.

We went to Broadway restaurant on the Oudegracht to celebrate my birthday last night. The food was excellent, as always, the service was extremely quick and friendly, and in all, I couldn’t have asked for better.

I had made the reservation online — in Dutch — but realized when I got there that I wasn’t actually sure how to properly pronounce the word for reservation. I must have gotten it right, because the waitress understood me and even continued to keep speaking in Dutch, instead of the usual automatic switch to English. We made it through the whole dinner giving our order, ordering more drinks, asking for mayo, all in Dutch. The only slip-up was when we asked for a doggy bag. I realized I had no idea what term to use, since it’s not something you usually ask for here. For one thing, it’s just not really done; for another, you don’t get ridiculously huge portions here, so there’s usually no need.

After dinner we walked around town a bit, since it was a surprisingly clear and pleasant night. Even in the city center, we could see lots of stars in the night sky. We saw a few of the Trajectum Lumen light art displays that we’ve already seen, and we also saw a new display that was unveiled on Monday. I’ll post a couple of photos of it this weekend.

In all, it was a nice way to celebrate my birthday. Thanks to all for all of the birthday wishes!

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8 thoughts on “Foto Vrijdag: Utrecht at Night

  1. I went there this evening, had the baby ribs as usual, and since I got 3 big pieces, I asked for a doggy bag as well! As for the word doggy bag, I think you could just ask “kunt u dit alstublieft voor me inpakken?” (“can you please wrap this up for me?”) as I did, since there’s really no translation for doggy bag in Dutch and not all Dutch staff know what the word means. Whatever you do, don’t ask for a “hondenzakje” :-)

    I wouldn’t ask for it in any restaurant though, it’s really not a common practise here to ask for leftover food to be wrapped up for you to take home (strange, considering the Dutch thriftiness :-)

    anyway, sounds like a nice birthday dinner!

  2. and to indicate you have made a reservation, you say “wij hebben gereserveerd voor … personen” (we’ve booked a place for … people) and then “op naam van …” (under the name of…)

  3. I remember that doggybags were featured on the news a while ago. Apparently it’s becoming more common here. But the reporter said it depends on what kind of restaurant you eat at. I’m afraid I forgot the rest of he said, but who knows, maybe the recession will make this more normal.

  4. I guess at Broadways, where they have take away menus anyway, they find it normal to give you your leftovers in a take away bag to carry home. Wouldn’t ask for that in a more fancy type of restaurent though. But it should be more accepted over here. I mean, you paid for the food, and enough food is going to waste already, so why not take it home to enjoy later?

  5. Thanks, Stu!

    Pauline and Selvinas, I admit I don’t go out to eat that much here, but when I have, the portions usually haven’t been big enough to warrant a doggy bag. Not that I’ve ever gone hungry; it’s just that the portions are a much more appropriate size compared to the US. Doggy bags are more common in the US because you really can often get a couple of meals out of what they give you. I’m certainly not going to waste food and money there if I don’t have to! Still, I think the basic idea isn’t a bad one. Too much food does go to waste.

  6. Happy belated birthday! I’m happy for you that you were able to keep speaking Dutch. My husband (boyfriend at the time) lived with me in Holland for seven months and hardly learned any Dutch, because people started speaking English with him as soon as they heard his accent. It makes it that much harder and slower to learn the language.

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