Het Pakhuis

 

As my last review for the Haarlem Review Board, I decided that I needed to cross off the often recommended – Het Pakhuis . This restaurant was nominated by numerous Haarlem locals when I asked for a good, affordable place to eat with the family.  As I live closer to Bruxelles, I already had a restaurant that met these criteria.

Friday night and we have a table booked for 7pm at Het Pakhuis.  The restaurant is located in Gravinnesteeg, hence not filled with wandering tourists.  The interior is spacious compared to most Haarlem restaurants, yet some tables seem to be too close (gezellig overload) to their neighbouring table.  Serving staff look professional, are capable and welcoming.IMG_20170630_194617

FOOD:
Entrees

Nachos (€7.50) with pulled pork – served hot with a side dish of guacamole, sour cream and salsa.  Acceptable Mexican classic needing more topping to avoid the half full bowl of dry corn chips.

Smoked Duck (€7.50) with asparagus, avocado and a dressing of pomegranate seeds and chestnuts.  Nice taste but would have liked more than one asparagus spear.

Mains

Moroccan Lamb Stew (€13.50) with Merguez Sausage, chickpeas and couscous.  Nice combination of flavours compliments the tender lamb pieces.

Salad with smoked salmon roulades and prawns (€13.50).  Very light on the prawns and heavy on the cream cheese filling – yet balanced by the green salad and light dressing.

Dessert

Three balls of sorbet (€5.50) (raspberry, lemon, mango) served with fresh fruit in a glass jar.

OVERALL
Our total bill including a bottle of house rose, glass of Albarino, and a limoncello came to €72.  Complimentary bottles of water were served throughout the evening.  Accompaniments of bread and fries were served with the meal.  The service was fast and efficient and the staff were friendly.  The food wasn’t a gastronomic triumph, but it was honest. The atmosphere of Het Pakhuis was good.  We will return to this restaurant with the larger family before leaving Haarlem in a few weeks.

Effen Grijs – Wow!

This week we visited Effen Grijs – as part of the AH restaurant deal arrangement (pay for one three course meal and the second is gratis). Although asked what we did not want to eat, we were not given a menu and left to the whims of the chef. Thank God. The meal was absolutely beautiful!! Entree was thin slices of swordfish topped with caviar, capers,chervil and samphire. Main meal was a divine slice of slow roasted pork with a red endive mix salad. Dessert was based on the summer taste of peaches, complimented by yogurt, ice-cream and compote. The chef is an artist. The serving staff are professional. The interior is simply elegant. Total cost including a bottle of Spanish tempranillo, two glasses of prosecco (yes we were celebrating!), two three course meals (one gratis but with a€5 surcharge for the cheese platter instead of the dessert) = €70. Highly recommended!!