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Sausage Wall

March 9, 2012


I’m getting ready to go to Amsterdam this Sunday (get ready for an exciting guest blogger while I’m gone!).

I’ve been to Amsterdam a bunch of times since hooking up with my big-nosed Dutch husband, and I enjoy our visits to his family very much.

But it’s not what you’re thinking. I’m allergic to that stuff (I have very funny, inappropriate stories about that which you’ll have to ask me in person), plus I’m traveling with our 3 sons, so it’s all about bikes, canals, and food. I’m also allergic to art, so the museum scene is kind of irrelevant too. I know that’s blasphemous, but there you go, I just don’t get paintings.

So, about the food. I’ve got street food tastes, and much to the chagrin of my in-law family, I consider true Dutch delicacies to be the stuff you find in carts along the side of the main road between the train station and the place with all the pigeons. Mostly loompjes loompjas (skinny little spring rolls), ollieballen (donuts without holes, literally translated as “balls of oil”), and poffertjes (tiny pancakes). Mmmm… poffertjes.

Anyhoo, what I really wanted to discuss today is the sausage wall, which I dearly dearly love. It’s near the Central Train Station, and I never know exactly where it is but I always find it like a fucking homing device. I’m the pigeon, the sausage wall is my coop.

What is a sausage wall, you ask? It’s a tiny little hole in the wall fast-food restaurant where you put coins into slots, like a vending machine, and you get to open these tiny little doors, inside of which are these delicious sausage sandwiches and other strange things. So, weird little fried things, mostly in buns but sometimes not, of all descriptions, except you never know exactly what anything is made of.

Is it delicious, you may ask? Oh yes, it is. It is, for reals, but my guess is that the crucial ingredient that makes everything so good is that you have about 40,000 high people very nearby getting the munchies, and the result of this is unbelievable turnover.

I have never been to the sausage wall when there are fewer than 15 other people vying for the best sausage windows. On the supply side, there’s an army of Dutch people on the other side of the wall feverishly preparing fresh fried sausages (if that even makes sense). Thank God for those people, and who is the genius I can thank for coming up with this brilliant idea in the first place?

I can’t wait to get to Amsterdam, folks, the sausage wall is calling me and I can hear its cry.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 9, 2012 at 8:04 am

    “[loompjes]” would be [loompias], or maybe [loompiahtjes]. Or else I wouldn’t know what you are talking about. It is not very dutch though, it comes from asia.

    Also, your “sausage wall” is called an Automat in English: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automat

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    • March 9, 2012 at 8:36 am

      Ha! You are just like my brother-in-law! How can you say it’s not Dutch if i can find it in every town on every major street? That is like me saying pizza isn’t American because it comes from Italy.

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  2. Jeffrey Swanson
    March 9, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I guess you never saw the Automats in NYC. They were basically the same thing, with more variety-desserts, sandwichs, soup, etc. I used to make my father take me to the one on 3rd Ave in the 40’s whenever we went into the city. Yum.

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  3. Wendy
    March 9, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Ooooh, I am so jealous, I’ve been to Amsterdam once and can’t wait to get back (and similar thing here – I am immune to THC so the funny stuff is not the attraction for me). What a fun little city! I feel like you can literally walk from one end to the other, on foot. But the boat rides and bikes are nice ways to get around too. Enjoy! Hope the weather is great.

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  4. March 9, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Allergic to art, huh? That sounds like me and classical music, except I liked Fantasia and Amadeus. I hated the Louvre (too much stuff!), but the Van Gogh museum was about one person, and I feel in love with Van Gogh’s work there. You can’t see it right from prints, because his painting is almost 3-dimensional the way he piles the paint on. If you have time for it, give him a chance.

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  5. March 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    My mother survived on Manhattan Automats as a student in the ’20s — their ’91 disappearance must be a sad loss to the struggling harried ones.

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  6. March 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Gosh I am the opposite, when I go to the Netherlands on my own time I like the weed, the art galleries and the herring (if I go on work, most of that stuff is incompatible with software engineering, so unless I can include a personal weekend in my trip, I have to stick to herring). Once upon a time (well about 30 years ago) I went with a friend and tried to persuade him to accompany me to an art gallery. “Not my scene..for me it’s like watching paint dry”

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  7. March 9, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Horn and Hardart’s before grass gave folks the muchies. Google the name and see if it fits your Sausage Wall. Got hungery just reading the post. Happy munching.

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