By Lindsay Geller
With a meat and potatoes mentality, the Netherlands isn’t the ideal place for a vegan to spend three days, much less three months. Yet, here I was in Well, Limburg for the semester and Amsterdam(!) for the weekend. So, in the words of Barney Stinson: Challenge Accepted.
Not only did I accept Amsterdam’s challenge, I demolished it. For our first official meal in Amsterdam, we went to an Indonesian restaurant called Indrapura. Located right in Rembrandt square, this restaurant had a special vegan version of its entire menu, which we ordered family style. A large number of my friends (including two of my three suite mates) are vegetarians/vegans, and even our “normal” friends loved the exotic noms.
Our table was greeted with plate after delicious plate of tofu kebabs, mixed vegetables in coconut milk, sweet potato balls, spicy mushrooms, something really yummy wrapped in banana leaves, and my personal favorite, mango salad. And these are only the dishes that I could remember the names of! Of course, I had to try at least one of everything. For dessert, we had vanilla coconut ice cream cake. By the end of this feast, I had eaten a ton, but felt fulfilled rather than stuffed.
Oh, and the vegan foodie goodness had only just begun. The next day, we had lunch at Maoz Vegetarian, a small shop (which I later found out is actually an international franchise) that specializes in one of my favorite foods: falafel. By the time we stumbled upon the green and red exterior, I had been craving falafel for two weeks. Imagine my delight upon finding not one but two of these Mediterranean havens in this small city. Trust me, you can’t do it. You’re imagining a normal amount of delight, and it doesn’t even compare. Instead of having a traditional falafel (save your gasps), I had a falafel salad, which was basically a giant mix of delicious veggies and quinoa topped with falafel balls. I could have died right outside the
If I accidentally passed on an Indonesian food or falafel craving to you, fear not. Indonesian food and Maoz Vegetarians can be found in pretty much every major US city, with seven in NYC alone. Still, if you wanted to book yourself a plane ticket to Amsterdam, I can’t say that it would be a bad idea. Give me two hours notice, and I’ll totally meet you there.