Fitch & Shui and the club sandwich from hell
I’m not a religious man, but like many ex-Catholics, I still cling on to remnants of my faith. On a busy day in Amsterdam in between meetings, I decided to pop into Fitch & Shui and have a sandwich. Having an appreciation for the classics I decided to order a club sandwich, which looked good on the menu, served with organic chicken and avocado.
Tales from the Fitch & Shui waterhole
For those of you not familiar with Fitch & Shui, it’s an excellent bar near to the world trade center, in Amsterdam Zuidas. On a Friday evening, the bar is like a scene from the BBC wildlife documentary series planet earth. If I were to do a voiceover while witnessing the goings on I’d write something like the following:
“Here we see a herd of Dutch men commonly known as kakkers in their natural habitat. They can be recognized by the various shades of blue suits and predominantly brown shoes. The leaders of the herd have their hair combed backwards with lots of hair gel, and are sometimes mistaken for being lions. In spite of their huge size, watch as they drink beer from tiny little glasses”.
Suddenly the atmosphere changes in the bar as a group of incredibly well-dressed women (by Amsterdam standards) enter the bar in business suits, skirts and shoes with heels. One can sense the tension in the air as the kakkers nervously look at the women, look away, look and then look away again.
Also frequenting the waterhole are herds of expats, grateful that they’ve been allowed to live in the greatest country in the world, as long as they keep their opinions about Dutch culture to themselves. Some even attempt to converse in the local language but are quickly rebuffed with comments such as. “I don’t want to speak Dutch with you as your accent irritates me”. Other overheard snippets of conversation include, “so you’re Polish? Which cleaning firm do you work for?”
The History of the Club Sandwich
A club sandwich, also called a clubhouse sandwich, is a sandwich of occasionally toasted bread, sliced cooked poultry, fried bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. It is often cut into quarters or halves and held together by hors d’œuvre sticks. Modern versions frequently have two layers which are separated by an additional slice of bread, though this is not a required feature of the sandwich.
The club sandwich may have originated at the Union Club of New York City. The earliest known reference to the sandwich is also an early recipe; “Have you tried a Union Club sandwich yet? Two toasted pieces of Graham bread, with a layer of turkey or chicken and ham between them, served warm.” Several other early references also credit the chef of the Union Club with creating the sandwich.
See the image below. It was what I was expecting when I placed my order
What I received instead
Yes, it’s fair to say that I’m not particularly religious anymore, but what I received at Fitch & Shui which they called a club sandwich shook my faith in god. “My lord, what have I done to offend thee?”
Tasteless white bread. Anorexic slices of chicken so thin that they wouldn’t even get a job on a catwalk. Avocado spread devoid of flavor. The sandwich was like meeting someone for the first time who looks fabulous on Tinder, only to realize that they must be experts with photoshop. It was visually unappetizing but my god the taste, I can’t even describe it. I wanted to rinse my mouth out with bleach.
When the efficient and friendly waitress asked me if I enjoyed the sandwich. Ignoring that I only took a few bites of one and left the other untouched. For once, I decided not to complain, and simply paid and left. I also resolved to start praying more often as perhaps the sandwich was punishment for ignoring my religion for so long.
If you enjoy watching the mating habits of the professional classes, by all means, go to Fitch & Shui. But please, don’t order the club sandwich.
No kakkers were hurt during the writing of this post.
Till next time, hou je snavel!