One thing you will not find in Amsterdam is a shortage of fast food, whether you are looking for the international chains, local chains, the corner bakery, shwarma shop, of a food cart(as evidenced by the foto above). One of the most celebrated local choices is the Febo chain (wiki reference), an automat with over sixty locations in the Netherlands, and seemingingly, one on most corners in Amsterdam.
I’m barely old enough to remember the prime automat chain in the US, Horn & Hardart’s, primarly in NYC and Philly (wiki reference). They started in the early 1900s and were mostly gone by the 70s. For those not familiar with the automat format, upon entering, one is confronted with a wall of glass windows, each one with a coin slot beside it. Inside the windows is a world of food, freshly prepared in the back kitchen, and placed (and replaced) in the windows as needed. You deposit your coins, open the little glass window, remove your food, enjoy.
Febo has small shops with a combination format, an automat for sandwiches and the like, and a small counter offering drinks, fries and the like. I took a burger, of course, for Euro 1.50, and Mrs. BDB chose a plate of one of the national snacks, croquettes, which are the Dutch equivalent of our fried cheese curds.
Sorry about the burger pic, don’t know what happened there, but I only had one bite, of a pretty normal fast food burger, doused with 1000 Island. I didn’t only have one bite because it was so awful, but rather because a couple of pigeons jumped up on the counter and attacked it before I could take a second nibble.
Mrs. BDB pronounced the croquettes a success, and we had them at quite a few other shops during our visit.
I wish we had automats in the US. There are the perfect fast food solution for a society “on the go.”