Where can you find the coldest beer, the best atmosphere and highest scoring chances? Every two weeks, EM’s reviewer Eric Oosterom mercilessly judges on Rotterdam’s nightlife. This time: all you can eat spare ribs at De Dijk.
What a splendid façade this place has. The establishment’s name, De Dijk, is written out in bold neon capitals. Looking at them, you kind of hope that one day, one will conk out like you always see in films. So that you’ll be chowing down in ‘De IJk’ or ‘De Dij’. That’s a fun idea.
Oh well, it’s too early for that. On the contrary: the interior of the ‘grand café’ is spick-and-span: not a whiff of romantic decay. There’s an inviting bar, set up in the centre of the establishment, and they’ve decorated the windows with what looks like leadlights. And if you venture outside, you’ll find a nice-looking pavement café.
The only thing missing is some thirsty students. At this hour, the staff are our only company in the bar, and around 8 they even sit down for a moment to eat their dinner. Probably due to it being Monday.
'The best spare ribs in Rotterdam'
Talking about the staff: they’re quick as can be, and friendly besides. After ordering, our beer – served nice and cold with a two-finger head – is set in front of us in no time at all – as well as De Dijk’s menu. The menu… Well, they’re obviously proud of the place. The first page features blurbs taken from Algemeen Dagblad and De Kralingse Ster. “The best spare ribs in Rotterdam,” says one. And: “Take it from me; their ham on the bone is delicious!” The question remains: which year do these rave reviews come from?
This doesn’t rattle our waiter: De Dijk’s speciality? That would ‘definitely’ be the spare ribs. We make no bones about what we’ll be eating today – all the more so since on Mondays – and Wednesdays too, by the way – spare ribs are ‘all you can eat’ at €12.95.
And that price proves very reasonable for spare ribs this good. They’re right in calling them a speciality: the meat glides off the bone and tastes delicious. A second round arrives post haste, and is tucked away even quicker. And they don’t give you a stomach ache either, as your reviewer recalls from previous occasions.
Student hangout without students
With the smell of draught beer in the air and pictures of rowers on the wall, it’s obvious that De Dijk is a student hangout. But oddly enough, most of the patrons surrounding our table are over 40. The most studenty feature at this time of day would have to be the gents, which is fitted with a trough urinal. Peeing side-by-side may forge a bond on a night out, but it feels a bit awkward when sober.
The other people in my party also notice the lack of customers. Which is why they soon retire behind their mobiles, and start swiping on Tinder. No complaints about the Wi-Fi, is their conclusion – which is good news for De Dijk’s pickup potential.
Maybe we should come back on Thursday.
Studenty character: 7
Pick-up potential: 7
Price of a regular beer: €2.20