“… and when you get to Amsterdam, you have to eat at XXX, get there at XXX o’clock, you may have to wait in line, but it is worth it, and you must order the Osen… ” (So said Shavit)
“Osen – What?”
“Ossenhass – just remember that word”
So I went to do some research
Every language that respects the cow has a different name for this cut:
In Hebrew it is oficialy “Motnit“, cut #12 or just Fillet
In English (Britain) – Fillet
In Australia & New Zealand – Eye Fillet
In the USA – Tenderloin
In French – Filet Mignon
and in Dutch – Ossenhaas
Whatever it is called, it is a prime cut, usually the most expensive, which is especially soft, nearly devoid of fat and of very delicate flavour.
I usually prefer a good Entrecôte, but when the conditions are right and the right butcher hands the right chef the fillet from the right cow – the sky is the limit – which is by the way true for Sirloin & and other cuts of meat too.
After the excellent recommendation of the restaurant in Haarlem we knew we could count on him, so after the Van Gogh (a guy who also knew a thing or two about being cut :-)) museum (buy tickets online to save hours of waiting in line), and touring other parts of the city, we rested a little at Vondel Park while the kids amused themselves with cartwheels and Capoeira until Alon landed with his arm on a bed of nettles (ouch), we made our way to destination XXX.
We received a warm welcome, the only language spoken around us was Dutch and no English menus were available (2 indications that we were in for a good time), the waiter recommended a lemon wedge as a cure for the nettle stings and assured us that as a kid it often happened to him too.
Not for the first time we were pleasantly surprised by the waiters’ excellent English and ordered 2 Ossenhaas, 1 hamburger & one pasta dish.
No surprises, our high expectations were fully met.
When we finished, the place really started to fill up, people were waiting on the bar and lining up outside too. While the girls went to the ladies room, a pair of Gypsy musicians with accordions stopped outside and started to play Italian music, I joined in whistling and when Alon got interested, their keen instincts made them switch to Hava Nagila
We then caught a tram to the line (a recurring motif in Amsterdam) outside Anna Frank’s house, if you cannot manage to order tickets online, show up after 19:00 and hope for the best (a queue of less than 1 hour). The visit was very emotional and thought evoking, tied in to topics that came up in ancestry roots research done at school, as well as National Holocaust day due soon after we return home.
It is already after 21:00 but still daylight outside, we wait for our free boat-shuttle to take us to the “park and sail”, and from there a short drive back to our friendly B&B.
This post is also available in: Hebrew