gollem - mussels & beer

If you're looking for a laid-back pub with great food and excellent beer selection look no further than

Gollem Proeflokaal

on Overtoom street in Amsterdam.  Trev discovered it while I was back in Canada, so we biked there for dinner and drinks one night once I got back.  The weather was decent and we enjoyed a seat outside with lots of people-watching opportunities.  Overtoom is a fairly busy street, well away from the tourist crush so if you're looking for a place to blend in with locals, this is it.

Gollem specializes in Belgian and international beers; there were lots of choices on tap and in bottles, so I started with a Belgian dubbel (of some sort - I don't remember exactly which one).  We also ordered some bitterballen to snack on.  Bitterballen are a favourite dutch pub food - little deep-fried veal croquettes, delicious with some grainy mustard.

Gollem's bitterballen were great - they had lots of flavour and nice crunchy outsides.  We also enjoyed their house-made fries - they're cooked in beef fat (definitely not vegetarian-friendly) which added a different flavour and they were nice and crispy.  The fries were served up with Gollem's own mayo - I'll miss fries with mayo (good mayo) once we get back to Canada.

One of our reasons for visiting Gollem that night was their mussels.  They serve up a massive pot of mussels in wine with fries and a bit of salad for €15.50 (plenty to share, especially after the bitterballen).  The mussels were so fresh - even I (who had previously hated mussels) enjoyed them.  Oh, and we learned a new "mussel-eating" technique: use an empty mussel shell like pinchers to pull the next mussel out of it's shell - it's a perfect no-fork technique (check out Trev's demonstration below, ha ha).

Gollem was an awesome place to chill out with a beer and good food - all for reasonable prices.  Definitely worth a visit if you're in Amsterdam.