On my way home from Markt today, I passed a Subway and thought, “Why not?”

Apparently, in Holland, Subway is the place to be. American hip-hop was blaring at near-nightclub levels. Small cliques of teenagers in oversized clothes and gelled hair (it was all very 90’s) were making themselves at home at all 4 tables. Even the employees had a wicked fashion sense, with one of them wearing her Subway shirt tied in a knot at the stomach. She got on her tiptoes and waved to indicate that I could order.

“Mag ik Engels spreek?”

“HUH?” she hollered over the music. “CAN’T HEAR YOU.”

How awesome to go to a familiar place and hear English. Their subs are 15cm and 30cm, as opposed to our 6inch and footlongs. What were their ads like when we were singing about “5 Dollar Footlongs?”

I ordered a toasted chicken teriyaki, and she asked, “With all?” so I said, “Sure.” In America it comes standard with teriyaki chicken, lettuce, onion, tomato, sauce and cheese. I then turned around to watch the birds flying over the canal.

When I turned back around I received a toasted sub with plain chicken, lettuce, onion, tomato, cucumber, pickles, olives, hot peppers, and, oddly enough, no cheese.

“Cheese is extra,” she informed me while smashing the sandwich flat with the palm of her hand. “We don’t put.”  (To a Dutchman, it’s perfectly acceptable to leave out the subject of the sentence if it has already been established. They sometimes forget that it doesn’t make sense to us.)

“That’s a lot of toppings. I didn’t realize you really meant everything.”

“But it is not everything. This is just how the Dutch like it.”

Oddly enough, it was pretty good. (I took the olives off, though.) This got me thinking about other American chains that have altered their menu to appeal to Dutch tastes.

McDonald’s, for example, sells a limited edition combo for a promotional period called “Winter Weken” (Winter Weeks) which consists of a McRookworst, (smoked sausage and hot mustard on a bun) a Stroopwafel McFlurry (those little caramel wafer cookies) and a cup of warm Chocomel (a very popular Dutch drink similar to Yoo-hoo.)

Another very popular regional menu item is the “McKroket,” a deep-fried patty of mincemeat, potato and vegetable topped with a dijon mustard sauce. I tried it and thought it was awesome, but I was also very drunk, so I’m not sure on that one.

The Burger King menu, however, is essentially unchanged, but there are far fewer of them. On a side note, I haven’t figured out if the Dutch are awesome or horrible at advertising:

LONG CHICKEN. They just tell it like it is. I’ve been meaning to take a picture of the GROTE GROEN PLANETEN on sale at Albert Heijn this week. Literally, “BIG GREEN PLANTS.”

Ben & Jerry’s is very popular here, too, and most scoop shops sell all kinds of hot Belgian waffles, available with any flavor of ice cream you like on top. We need to get on that bandwagon pronto.

KFC in Holland uses a batter instead of a breading on their fried chicken – totally weird – and serves shoestring french fries like McDonald’s, as opposed to potato wedges.


So if you want your SPICY JUICY FIRE on the side, now you know where it’s at!


~ by curiouskristie on March 6, 2010.

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