Deciding to enjoy the nice weather — which turned out to be much warmer than yesterday! — we headed out to take a few photos and then get our hands on the “gratis frites” from Manneken Pis. Since we were over by the Stadhuis, we went to the shop on Steenweg. There was a steady, but fast-moving line of people getting their friet with the choice of wietsaus (weed sauce) or mayo/frietsaus. I asked for wietsaus, but I think we both got frietsaus, which tastes a lot like tartar sauce, to be honest.
The friet were tasty, as always, but also really hot! To give them a bit of time to cool off, we headed over to Flora’s Hof to have a seat and enjoy the friet and scenery. I hadn’t eaten many before I started to feel full, despite not having had anything to eat before heading out. The free size was the smallest size they offered, which is even called the kinder (child) size. The Dutch need to stop making fun of American portions if that’s their child size! G and I both figured we could have split one easily! I guess I really am getting used to smaller portions. Look! It’s a handfull!
On the way home, we happened to see a couple walking next to their bikes, which were the normal bikes, nothing sporty. The odd thing was that the woman was wearing a helmet. The only time I see an adult wearing a bicycle helmet these days is if they’re doing the full-on sport cycling. My first thought was that she must be a tourist/foreigner.
Between finding the smallest portion of food to be too large and then seeing an adult wearing a helmet and thinking “they’re not from ’round here”, I had to laugh at how I’ve definitely experienced a shift in thinking since moving here. It’s all a matter of perspective.
… sauce and fries!
Remember the other week when I mentioned that Manneken Pis was going to start offering a wietsaus (weed sauce) as one of the various dipping options? Well, now is your chance to try it for yourself. Tomorrow (21 April, although I’m guessing it would have been even more appropriate today if you go with the American way of telling the date, 4/20) they will be giving away free fries and your choice of wietsaus or regular frietsaus.
Running from 12-18:00, they’ll be giving away 10,000 Schanulleke-size portions at the shops located on Steenweg, Vredenburgplein, and Bakkerstraat. The owner is taking this opportunity to introduce the new (non-THC) weed sauce and celebrate winning the Frietopia Awards.
So whether you’re doing some shopping, attending the literary festival, or just taking in the city, you can satisfy any munchies you may have.
Remember the scene in Pulp Fiction where Vincent and Jules are discussing fast food in Europe, including the fact that the Dutch use mayo on their fries? Well, if Tarantino wants to do an updated version, he can talk about one of the new sauces on offer at Manneken Pis, a famout chain where you can get fries to go.
Manneken Pis is famous for offering a variety of sauces for the fries (frieten/patat) they sell. You can even choose multiple sauces, such as the famous patatje oorlog (war fries), which is usually peanut sauce and mayo, with or without chopped onion. This is more of a traditional Dutch choice, but I suspect the new flavor is going to be a big hit with the tourists. You see, the new sauce is a wietsaus (weed sauce). And no, we’re not talking garden weeds.
However, if you’re looking for a buzz from your fries, think again. It turns out that the hemp flavor used for the sauce contains none of the hallucinogenic elements of THC. All of the earthy flavor, none of the fun. I have to say, the hemp hand lotion I use never makes me particularly hungry when I smell it, but I’m sure someone — gullible tourists? — will go for it. If you want to try, it’s for sale beginning Thursday at the three locations in the center of Utrecht and one in Amsterdam.
Oh, and in other non-appetizing news, Manneken Pis means “little man pee” and is the name for the famous Belgian statue/fountain. Well, the Belgians are famous for their fries. Since I don’t have a photo of the shops in town, I went with the Dick Bruna version of the manneken pis.