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August 5, 2015

Outsider’s guide: CLUB EAST


BY SAMUEL LEVIE – Amsterdam East develops rapidly. My area, around the small squares of Beukenplein and Krugerplein is undergoing a real transformation. A few years ago, it was the place to score an ounce of crack. I have had someone bashing down my door with a crowbar. Another night, there was a woman banging her head against my bedroom window, behind her a drunken tramp swinging rhythmically to the sound. Now, East is suddenly the place for a nice plate of pasta, a local beer or a club sandwich. I have a love hate relationship with ‘The Club Sandwich’.

Years ago, I briefly worked in a popular lunch bar where my main task was stacking piles of sliced bread. Thin pieces of cheap chicken breast, tasteless bacon, a layer of iceberg lettuce, mayonnaise combined with some hope that it remained upright whilst I stuck a skewer through it. A bowl of chips on the side and it’s ready! I made so many club sandwiches it made me completely miserable.


From horse club to hotel lobby
The story goes, the club sandwich originated from the exclusive New York Club where people could bet on horse races – it was here that it was first served. Also known as the ‘Clubhouse Sandwich’, the club sandwich has been popular for many years, but it is often not well made. Menus of hotels, chic lunchrooms and expensive restaurants normally give the club sandwich a prominent place on their menus. Often with bacon and lettuce, sometimes with smoked salmon, ham or roast beef. Generally put together without any passion; the cheap, badly toasted, white processed bread and bacon without flavour, which make it a sad sandwich.

Club Sandwich with love
But it can be different. About a month ago Club Koffie opened its doors around the corner from me. A sweet place with the ambition to serve the best club sandwich in town. Here, no white factory bread, only strongly made sandwiches with good hearty ingredients. Chiel, the owner, brings new exciting combinations. Goat cheese and radish, steak tartar, or mackerel and wakame salad are some of the options.

Club Koffie

Fancy a real club sandwich? Go and try it for yourself.

Club Koffie
Krugerplein 2
1091 AA Amsterdam

About Samuel Levie
Samuel Levie (32) cares about food, in every possible way. This born in Oxford and raised Amsterdammer is the founder of Youth Food Movement, owns his creative agency Food Cabinet, initiated Damn Food Waste and produces sausages under the name Brandt & Levie. Next to that he writes about food in local newspaper Parool and for Jamie Oliver Magazine.


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