There is something about eating hot fries on a cold winter’s day that is so particularly satisfying. Probably just my silly way to keep warm. 😄
The most frequented ‘patat winkel’ (translation: fries shop) in Haarlem for me is the Vlaamsche Reus. It is a small Dutch snack bar tucked in an alleyway between two busy shopping streets of Grote Houtstraat and Gierstraat in the city center. The word ‘Vlaamse’ means Flemish and ‘Reus’ means giant. Vlaamsche Reus also refers to the very large breed Flemish Giant the domestic rabbit.
Flemish is the Dutch language spoken in the northern part of Belgium. In other words, this is a Belgian type of fries, famous through out the world. Such Flemish fries are usually:
1. Freshly cut with uneven length
2. Fried twice method
3. Soft/fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside
4. Distinct potato taste
5. Thickness of potatoes – 1 cm square in rectangular shape
Fries at Vlaamsche Reus are self-made (cut and processed right at the back of the store), pre-fried and fried again at point of sale. In my opinion, their fries usually come with more than the average amount of crunchy bits. So this is not to everyone’s liking. But I like them.
Sizes to choose from are kabouter or pixie size for €1.50, tussendoor or in-between size for €2.40, normaal or normal size for €3.10 and reus or giant size for €5.20. If you are looking for a quick snack, the tussendoor is the perfect choice.
Last but not least, there are 19 different sauces available to go along with your fries! To list some: Holland mayonnaise, Belgian mayonnaise, lemon pepper mayonnaise, truffle mayonnaise, curry, ketchup, banzai, American, sambal, tartar, garlic, sate/peanut, apple, beef stew and more. Prices for these sauces are between €0.50 – €1.00, with the exception of homemade beef stew topping at €2.75. Feel free to be adventurous and mix up your sauces! Try the typical Dutch favorite “oorlog” sauce. It is a combination of mayonnaise, peanut sauce and raw onion. Eat like a local!
Vlaamsche Reus patat winkel does serve-up the usual Dutch snack bar food too. Expect delicacies such as kroket, frikandel, kaassoufflé (cheese soufflé), hamburger or bitterballen on the menu.
Service provided here is pretty straight forward. You order, pay and get your food. You might get a flash of a friendly smile if you are lucky.
While you wait, do check out the interior decorated mosaic walls. You cannot miss that huge mosaic of a Flemish Giant by the fryer. Look closely at the fries patchwork as backdrop, several collages of paintings and a number of fries-facts in Dutch language all over the wall.
Dutch people love their fries. I should really love them on weekends only. 😁
Address: Nieuwstraat 6. 2011GH Haarlem.
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday from 11am to 7pm with exception of Thursday evening till 9pm. Sunday from 12 noon to 7pm.