Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Hungry Dutchman Cafe (Holland, MI)

12350 James Street, Holland, MI 49424, T: 616-396-1475

The Hungry Dutchman Cafe is part of Nelis' Dutch Village, established in 1958, a tourist attraction off the US-31 in Holland, Michigan (an area with a large Dutch immigrant population). It offers a replica of stereotypical Nether lands of years gone by. It is only open seasonally, i.e. during the summer. For a self-exiled Dutchman like myself, it is one of the few places to get not just dry Dutch food, but also a few typical Dutch snacks.

I order the Croquettes (kroketten), a uniquely Dutch-Belgian snack of breaded meat-ragu ($6). They are pretty authentic, a bit mushy, and come with two slices of bread and mustard. Yum! I also get the Saucijssenbroodjes ($8), which is actually more of a three-course meal. It includes two small saucijssenbroodjes, which are pork sausages baked in pastry dough (they are 80% meat and 20% dough, while it often is the other way around in the Netherlands; decent, but not authentic); Pea Soup, hearty and tasty with little chunks of rookworst (smoked sausage); and apple cake, which is quite authentic, sweet and mushy.

VERDICT: 82/100
There are few places in the US where you can get more or less authentic Dutch food, and The Hungry Dutchman Cafe is one of them. It is not like back home, but it is fairly decent and not (too) overpriced).

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