The Other Sin City

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Amsterdam. Next to Vegas on the list of “sin cities”. Don’t ask me which ranks higher though. We flew in mid-afternoon, leaving us time to get settled in the hotel and then head out for the evening. The hotel is perfectly located, right across the water from Centraal Station and in the middle of everything. It was on a loud corner and quite small but given everything else, that was easily overlooked.IMG_6271

We got situated, then headed out to explore and find dinner in the area. Just about everything in the area is along the water, seeing as the entire city is built on canals. It’s as though there’s a bridge around every corner. Anyway, there’s a large shopping area just behind the hotel which spans for many blocks. We spent a good hour walking around and getting a feel for the local fare before choosing a place for dinner.

IMG_6269Did I mention that every other restaurant seems to be an Argentinian steakhouse? It’s almost like McDonalds and Starbucks in the US, or pubs in the UK. They all have the same basic menu too, so our big question is- how do they differentiate themselves to gain business? Or maybe there are just plenty of tourists to do that for them. When one is full, they flock to the next one two doors down.

We decided on Five Bells Bar & BBQ, which is a well discussed place in town according to many, and had a wide variety on their menu to choose from. Just what we needed after the journey there. Some kebabs, chicken salad, and a burger later, we were well fed and satisfied to carry on exploring before it was time to head back and catch some shut eye.