De Laatste Kruimel ('the last crumb') is a bakery and coffee shop on Amsterdam's Langebrugsteeg, selling bread, scones, brownies, cakes and slabs of quiche topped with curls of crispy ham.
De Laatste Kruimel's windows are piled high with freshly baked goods. It is marketing in its most basic form, but it works. When I visited, the coffee shop was packed with shoppers, students (who get a 10% discount) from nearby University of Amsterdam, and freelancers balancing laptops on their knees.
Any items not displayed in the windows are chalked up on a blackboard. This hangs on the wall next to a small coffee bar area constructed out of wooden pallets. In addition to forming novel shelves for pots of home-made jam and lemon curd, the pallets also give the place a transient feel, as if you have walked into a food tent at a festival and the whole thing might pack up and disappear at the end of the day.
From the blackboard, I chose a sandwich with stolwijker, a strong Dutch cheese, walnut pesto and sliced tomatoes. The charming non-native-speaking waitress asked me, in Dutch, whether I wanted a white or black roll (she meant brown, of course) and whether I wanted large or small. When I inquired what the difference was, she pointed to the window where four sample sandwiches were hanging on strings like an edible mobile. I also ordered coffee, a scone and jar of lemon curd.
A small table covered with a lace tablecloth, next to the open kitchen at the back, was still free. After all of De Laatste Kruimel's quirky details, I was surprised to get my coffee in a paper takeaway cup, although the coffee was good and robust. The sandwich, wrapped in greaseproof paper and held together with a cocktail stick, was excellent. The brown roll was crusty to the point of jaw breaking – just the way I like it – and the walnut pesto had the nutty depth impossible to achieve with pine nuts.
I took the scone, which had toppled over during baking and started growing a second scone out of the side, and lemon curd home. I smeared a little of the tangy curd on the scone, and ate the rest straight out of the pot with a spoon.
De Laatste Kruimel coffee shop is delightfully ad hoc and a great addition to this formerly dingy part of Amsterdam.
Telephone: 020 423 0499
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