Mad Mick’s Breakaway Cafe is a real treat for America fetishists. The burgers are great, and so are the miniature figures of Betty Boops. But you can forget about snorting a line.
You could justly call Breakaway a genuine piece of America. The café on Karel Doormanstraat is awash with trappings and trimmings from the Land of Opportunity, the idea being to transport you back to the Fifties. There’s a giant-sized Betty Boops next to the bar, Captain America on the menu and milkshakes as we know them from Hollywood – with whipped cream and a cherry. Sport is screened non-stop, and you can play pool upstairs.
Milkshakes en burgers
Your reviewer took his seat around meal-time. The place was crowded, with plenty of boozers on this typical Wednesday lunchtime. The inevitable milkshake seems an obvious choice, followed, of course by the still more inevitable burger. All up to standard, and inexpensive too.
The staff speak either English or broken Dutch, further contributing to the atmosphere – which is already perfectly fine thanks to the dim lighting, the décor and the friendly service. What really catches the eye are the large notices everywhere. ‘There are no strangers, only friends we haven’t met’, reads one friendly one. The ones above the bar are more menacing: ‘No use of drugs’ and ‘No drugs activities, be nice’.
‘That’s for my benefit!’, says the amiable barman, Steve. He lays out an imaginary line, rubs under his nose and snorts a few times. Then guffaws. Two months ago, though, he ‘had another one of those users. A “shadowy” figure’. Steve gave him some water, after which the man collapsed.
So there you go – you still get a bit of the Netherlands in an American bar after all. And your reviewer hasn’t even mentioned the Dutch Bitterballs on the menu yet. Or what about Thursday night, when students get 25% off their drinks from 7 o’clock onwards? And then there’s Herman Brood – you couldn’t get a more Dutch name than that – who came here once. Or so the menu says, at least.