I want a burger. Not just any kind of burger, but a seriously disgustingly juicy, rudely gigantic burger with enough bacon, cheese and jalapenos to choke a stable full of horses. A burger so succulent that you have to wipe your mouth after every bite. Mmmmmm.
A restaurant I used to frequent in Rhode Island had that particular burger on the menu. They called it the "Go f*ck yourself burger," since there wasn't a thing about it that was healthy.
You can get those burgers (perhaps minus the jalapenos) in any location you hit with a dart on a map of America. It'll run you about $8.95, if memory serves, and that's in a place where they will bring it to your table on a plate with fries, not wrapped up in paper and thrown in a greasy bag. You can order it rare, medium, well-done, or - my favorite - medium rare. In Holland, the whole concept is rare.
My continuous search for the perfect burger in Holland has led me to believe the following: The Dutch have no fucking clue what a burger should look or taste like.
The closest approximation to the burger I mentioned can be had at one of two places in Amsterdam, but it'll cost you, and you won't get no friggin' jalapenos.
Renaissance cafe at the Renaissance Hotel off Spuistraat. They won't let you specify a temperature, but they won't burn it to a crisp, either. It is seriously good and almost TOO big - but I always manage to cram it in. The damage? 15 euros. What is that in American pesos, I mean, dollars? Around 22 bucks, I'd say.
The next best is at the Tara Irish pub and restaurant where the service is almost non-existent, but at least they have fireplaces. Again, 15 euros.
Do not - I repeat - DO NOT attempt to order a burger that seems reasonably priced at any kind of "brown" cafe or eethuis. You will get a squashed, burned, oddly-spiced meatball that you won't be able to choke down without a bottle of mayonnaise. (Fortunately, there will be mayonnaise on the table for your... wait for it... fries).
The considerable paucity of good burgers may have a plus side - there are less fat asses here. Riding around on the bike looking for burgers is a lot healthier than driving three blocks to the closest Ground Round, 99, Chili's or Applebee's to eat yourself senseless, but man, do I wish I could do that once in awhile!
(You like that word paucity, huh? Always looking for a pocket to squeeze in a good Latin cognate. "Considerable paucity" is an oxymoron. I'm frickin' ON today!)