100 Dishes in Alabama: Amsterdam Cafe’s Crab Cake and Avocado Sandwich

Last weekend, in addition to my Women of Faith gig, my big girl had a soccer game in Auburn. It worked out really well, because we just stopped in Auburn on our way home from Atlanta to play a double-header. I’d never taken J and the girls to my alma mater, so it was fun. I really wish we could have spent more time, but that just gives us a good excuse to go back.

We snuck in a wee visit to campus before the games started. We timed it perfectly and got to hear the chimes at Samford Tower strike noon and play the fight song.

Obviously, we were dressed for three hours of soccer – not for cute pictures on campus. Don’t look too closely or you’ll see that I cut myself out of the picture. Sitting through three hours of soccer games means Nike shorts and a tank top are in order, not cute clothes that would be appropriate for campus pictures. Oh, well. Another good excuse to go back to Auburn soon!

After the soccer massacre games, we headed over to Amsterdam Cafe to wind down and strike another dish off of our list of 100 Things To Eat In Alabama Before You Die. Back in the day, Amsterdam was one of my favorite places in Auburn. My roommates and I were regulars there. We’d go for dinner and stay a while playing shulbok, a game sort of like skee-ball. We loved it! We thought their turkey wrap was the best sandwich ever created. Apparently, we were easily impressed. Jonathan and I ordered a turkey wrap, just for posterity’s sake, and while it was good, I’ve had equally good turkey wraps many times since our Amsterdam days. I think it’s safe to say that my memory of the turkey wrap was bigger and better than the actual wrap. And the shulbok game I was so excited to play with my family? They took them out. Sigh.

Amsterdam Cafe has definitely become more upscale since I was a college student. The dish that landed them a spot on the list is their crab cake with avocado sandwich. I can assure you that they didn’t serve crab cakes when I was there or Pop would have seen many more charges to Amsterdam on his credit card. Unlike the turkey wrap, the crab cake sandwich is quite remarkable. I actually could have done without the croissant and the avocado, but the crab cake was excellent. It was full of lump crabmeat, not too much breading, and delicately seasoned. I’d have to say that it was one of the finer crab cakes I have ever eaten. I wish I’d just gotten it as an appetizer or dinner, without the sandwich fixings, because I could have eaten six of them! They were delicious!

Because the girls love hummus, we ordered the hummus appetizer for them. It was one of the most creative, artsy displays I have ever ordered. Truly, the presentation on this dish was amazing.

It came with a generous serving of hummus, pepperoncini peppers, black olives, fresh red bell peppers, and lovely artichoke hearts. While the food combination was perfect, and I will definitely serve this at my next party, the quality of the actual ingredients fell flat. The hummus was obviously homemade and quite fresh, but a little bland. We typically enjoy a little more garlic flavor to our hummus. The artichokes were a really nice complement. The black olives were canned and lackluster. I would definitely have gone with a nice kalamata olive instead. The flatbread was marvelous and beautiful. I believe it was homemade as well, and I’d love to know how they did it. It was the best part of the dish.

So overall the trip to my favorite eatery that I was so excited about actually got mixed reviews. It’s okay, Amsterdam! You still hold lots of wonderful memories for me!


  1. Amanda Millay says

    My husband and I had one of our first dates at Amsterdam. Thanks for writing it up! I’m looking forward to checking out your other reviews of restaurants in Alabama.

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