Monday, July 21, 2014

Gambas Piri-Piri Lunch at the Living Room of Haarlem: Grand Cafe Brinkmann

The last time I visited Haarlem was in 2005. I used to work in the surrounding area, in one of the suburbs and pass by Haarlem every day. It is a beautiful piece of the Netherlands and the north Hollanders have the right to be proud of this ancient city.


Gambas Piri Piri at the Brinkmann
Website: Grand Café Brinkmann | Haarlem Tourism

Trivia: Did you know that Haarlem is much older than Amsterdam?

Before Amsterdam became the capital of the Netherlands, Haarlem was the centre of trade of the country and the second largest city after Dordrecht (another old city in the southern part of the country). It was in Haarlem when the ‘Tulip Mania’ exploded. When tulips were more (ridiculously) expensive than houses.

After 9 long years I finally visited Haarlem again last March. It was the end of the month and spring was signalling. The day was perfect, the sun shone and the skies were blue. The spirit of spring is in the air. Ah, what better way than to spend my lunch at the lively Grote Markt.

So I settled myself at the outdoor terrace of Grand Café Brinkmann. The café restaurant calls their place as the ‘living room of Haarlem’ and I will not contest. It is indeed one of the best located café restaurant terraces in the city. Right in the smack of the big market square with the Grote Kerk (Big Church) and the Grote Markt as its splendid view. It cannot get any better than this.

Because the weather was lovely I decided to order a favourite, some seafood goodness: Gambas Piri-Piri XL. Stir fried prawns with red chili peppers, spring onion and home-made spicy piri-piri sauce served with bread and fresh salad. Yes, the prawns came really extra-large!


Yup, looks indeed like the living room of Haarlem.


Need to celebrate the lovely weather with a glass of bubbly, a prosecco.


Amazing Gambas Piri-Piri XL. Those prawns were so fresh, tasty, juicy and huge!


My view on the market square: the Grote Kerk (Big Church). Arguably the best cafe terrace to people watch in Haarlem market square.


A meal is not complete without closing it off with an espresso.


The Grote Markt (market square) in Haarlem.

What can I say, this is one of the best prawns I have ever had. Happy with this lunch, thus a 4.5 stars out of 5! Seafood lovers you cannot go wrong with this.

Now that I have had my fill, more soon about Haarlem =)

Visit Period: March 2014
Destination: Haarlem (North Holland), The Netherlands

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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