I had to drag myself out of bed. Sincerely.
Having gotten up so early today... And despite taking two indulgent naps this afternoon... I was too exhausted to go out to dinner. I rolled over in bed at 7:30pm and said, "I'll just order room service!"
But then I realized how pathetic that was, given how convenient a city Amsterdam is. Even if I only wanted to walk a few feet, I could find some place decent to eat outside of the hotel.
So I threw back the duvet, put on my shoes, and walked out of the building a few minutes later. Sure enough, just a block from the hotel, while walking past an alleyway, I saw a cute and quiet restaurant...
The awning promised that it was a "meat and fondue" restaurant.
I looked down the rest of the alleyway...
"There's no way anything else down there could top this," I said. So I went inside.
It was quiet. No one was around. A gentleman ran up some hidden stairs and pointed up a steep set of stairs that were essentially a ladder.
"You sit up there," he said in broken English.
I climbed the stairs and found a hidden room with a few tables. Couples were having intimate dinners over multiple pots of dreaminess.
I was shown to a wobbly table in a corner by a window, and given a menu. Within seconds I knew I wanted the chevre salad with honey mustard, and a pot of gouda-emmenthaler fondue.
I also wanted a carafe of red wine.
"What kind of red wine do you have?" I asked the waitress.
"Just one red," she said in French-accented English. That would have to do.
She brought me my wine. And then I waited about 20 minutes for my salad. But when it finally arrived, it was worth the wait. Hell, I could have waited an eternity for this salad and been perfectly happy...
The chevre (goat cheese) was warm. The dressing was sweet but tangy. It was the best salad I've ever had.
I ate every last bit of the salad. Except for the tomatoes. Because God kills a kitten every time I eat a raw tomato that isn't a plum variety.
The fondue arrived eventually. And it was a large bowl...
It came with more bread, which I tore up into dozens of little bites.
I grabbed my pitchfork and dunked...
I could only eat about half the bread they served me with the fondue. And the bowl was way too large for one person, even though it was made for one person. But every bit that I did eat was heaven.
The sky here has me so easily fooled. Even though I left for dinner just before 8pm, it looked as though only a few minutes had passed looking at the sky...
But in reality, it was nearly 10pm. How crazy, right? Just like in Argentina after Christmas.
I was buzzed from wine. And full of cheese and bread. Sleep would arrive soon.