I went to Haarlem recently to see the floats from the annual Netherlands Flower Parade (I apologize for not knowing the proper parade name or its governing body - but a quick internet search will explain what I'm referring to!).
I stopped in to Spaarne 66 having no knowledge of it at all, and a bit tired and disgruntled due to rude Germans and train/bus fiascoes. Laura and her family (the owners) and friends working there made me feel as welcome as if I was their long lost friend. Heleene (Spelling? sorry for any misspelled names!) was phenomenal - translated the entire menu into English for me on the spot, detailing the items and answering my many questions. I went with their pork chop meal, which was huge - thick and juicy and delicious! I was tempted to go for their "steak for 2" and take the rest back to my hotel, but thought I might not get to the leftovers as I enjoy experiencing as many different restaurants as possible when traveling. However, a nearby couple ordered this and it looked and smelled wonderful - they confirmed it tasted as good, if not better, than it looked!
For dessert I chose their cheesecake option - very good texture, drizzled with a little caramel - definitely recommended!
And, let me emphasize again, the great service. [After 5 weeks traveling through 9 countries across Europe, I have seen how much their food service philosophy differs from our US expecations. In most places, I have rarely had the server check back in with me after having the food delivered - either to check on my satisfaction w/ the food or to see if I'd like another beverage. I understand the check won't be delivered until I signal for it, but occasional check backs throughout a 'full service' meal would be nice!] The team at Spaarne 66 - Heleene and Laura (and the others whose names I did not get - sorry!) were simply terrific. This isn't a "touristy" area, like Amsterdam, although they get their fair share of travelers - so the genuine warmth and friendliness were much appreciated! Also, thank you for speaking such excellent English! I apologize again for not knowing any Dutch!
One final point - the location can't be beat - you can sit in a large patio area right in front of the restaurant, as shown in my picture, or you can sit in another outside seating area across the street right beside the canal - great view, especially when the rotating bridge spins to let a larger boat through!
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