I had lunch here, hoping to get a bit of work done as well. De Jaren has a great terrace next to the water and as it was a sunny day, that's what I went for. Walking through the cafe I noticed that almost every table had a small sign designating it a 'laptop-free zone'. The only ones without these signs were a few small ones near the entrance, all with fixed benches. Oh well, that was for later, let's have lunch first.
I had a great table on the terrace, looking out across the canal, but there were two things that dampened the mood: the service and my sandwich. There are loads of servers wandering around but you have to catch the right one, as half of them can't take your order as they only bring out food and drinks and apparently also forget to point you out to a colleague. When one server took my order, she never looked at me, didn't utter a word beyond repeating my order, and getting it wrong, just stood there tapping on her iPhone-like gadget. My sandwich arrived within minutes, dropped off by server no.2, but there was no sign of my drink yet. When I asked, she would look into it. Two minutes later no.3 turned up with a tray full of drinks, dropped mine on the table and took off again. Not a word was uttered. Having finished lunch, and my drink, someone swiped my empty glass at a pace that prevented me from getting a new order in. Then no.5 turned up, enquiring if I was being served yet. Seeing as I had been there for 30 minutes by then, the question should have been 'can I get you anything else perhaps', but at least I got some attention.
Oh yeah, the sandwich. Let's just say that when you offer a ciabatta carpaccio, I guess it's a good idea to add a splash of decent olive oil on top of the beef itself, parmesan cheese, some rocket and pine nuts, but could I get that on the sandwich please? Not floating across the plate so that the ciabatta is swimming in it? Taste wise the sandwich was allright, but then I have had a similar sandwich in other places, it's wasn't anything special if you ask me.
As I wanted to get some work done as well, I moved inside to one of the tables where laptops are allowed, to the detriment of my back. I got my work done and had lunch, but I didn't feel like staying there any longer as my back was protesting from the bench I was sitting on. I could have moved again, but one of the reasons I often work at places like this is that I can take my time, enjoy the surroundings while working as well. At De Jaren I had to choose between working, and suffering the less than ideal seating, or sitting in the sun and suffering the staff. I chose to move somewhere else.
If you can live with the service level and the not-that-special options on the menu, most of which can be had elsewhere cheaper, De Jaren is a great place, at a great location with a very nice terrace.
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