A smile goes a long way, according to customer service wisdom. At Il Tramezzino on Amsterdam's Haarlemmerstraat, it’s the sandwiches that do the smiling.
Il Tramezzino is one of the only places in the Netherlands that sells tramezzini, Venetian sandwiches made from soft, crustless bread and packed with such a generous amount of filling they appear to be smiling.
The bread, specially made from finely ground 00 flour and mineral water (Amsterdam’s tap water was too hard, according to owners Vladimir Moreira and Michaela Meola), is kept moist and malleable under damp cloths. It’s the kind of fluffy, 'bimbo' bread I don’t personally like - give me sourdough that takes the skin off your mouth any day - but it does help to keep the fillings snugly in place.
These fillings, more than 20 of them, include pastrami, prosciutto, grilled aubergine and egg salad, also all moistened with plenty of mayonnaise.
Good coffee, from Italy’s veteran coffee brand Vergnano, is prepared in a squat, round machine that resembles R2D2 from Star Wars.
On the sweet side of things, Il Tramezzino serves a small selection of sponge cakes, pastel de nata (puff pastry tartlets with a creamy filling) and chocolate croissants. The latter are denser and doughier than their French counterparts, and ooze a sweet, Nutella-like filling.
Staff is plentiful, not always a given in Amsterdam, and all of them seem to be polyglots. My server switched effortlessly between Dutch, English, Italian and Chinese – a useful skill, given the mix of locals and curious tourists who come here, drawn in by those smiling sandwiches.
A second branch of Il Tramezzino can be found at Utrechtsestraat 24 (tel. 020 626 2614).
Mon-Sat 09.00-18.00; Sun 09.30-17.00
Telephone: 020 770 7131
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