When I was a kid, I came home for lunch every day. I did this all throughout elementary school. I would walk the two blocks from school to home with my younger brother and sister, and when we arrived (at the same time every day), mom would be there waiting with a wonderful lunch on the table. During the two years I attended junior high (which is what they call middle school nowadays), I had to bring a lunch because the school was too far away to make the round-trip home on foot.
I was back in business when I started high school. By now, Mom had gone back to work and my brother and sister preferred to stay and eat at school (they were more popular than I was), so I was left to make lunch on my own. I would come home and turn on the TV to watch the second half of The Price Is Right and fix myself something to eat. This is the humble beginning of my love affair with the sandwich. Throughout college, I would bring a sandwich and something to alternate with (preferably plain potato chips) to eat between lecture and lab. When I finished college and entered the work force, a sandwich was brought every day for lunch. When you don’t get much of a break, spending money at a restaurant just seems foolish when you are not going to enjoy it.
The sandwich is the perfect food: it is quick, portable and delicious. It can contain all of the food groups (though I hear the food pyramid is no longer the preferred symbol to guide our daily consumption) and be as healthy (or unhealthy) as you want it to be. It can be prepared ahead of time and usually does not have to be warmed to be consumed. Over all of these years, I have become a bit of a sandwich connoisseur. My sandwich as an adult consists of Wisconsin artisan cheese and mixed greens (homegrown or from the farmers’ market) put between slices of fresh homemade bread (or bread from Madison Sourdough Company). If I am feeling like my lunch needs a little kick, I will add some spicy brown mustard from the Mustard Museum, and in the summer, garden fresh tomatoes or cucumbers are thrown on. The result resembles less of a sandwich and more of gourmet meal for less than the price of a five dollar footlong.
You may think that when I am on vacation, I would expand my dining options. I do, but when I see the opportunity for a delicious, gourmet sandwich, I carpe diem. B&B Lunchroom is a clean, simple cafe and sandwich shop in central Amsterdam. Located near the Leidseplein, an area dominated by FEBO Greek fast-food places and US imports, this is a refreshing change of pace. When you walk in, the first thing you notice is the long counter filled with a variety of ingredients. You can already tell your tastebuds are in for a treat. Take a minute to peruse the menu and be sure to check out the specials on the chalkboard on the wall behind the counter. Place your order with one of the friendly staff-anything Gouda cheese gets my recommendation. Find a seat at one of the tables and when your food is ready, it will be brought out to you. The sandwiches are hefty, so are forced take your time to savor them
Lunch (surprise) can be busy, but if you can go a little early or little late, you will miss the big crowds.
Lunch is the time to catch your breath, and the B&B Lunchroom’s relaxing atmosphere and great food is the perfect place for it.