From the corner of Koningstraat, a sign advertising the crispy chicken burger, chicken strips, and crispy hot wings stands among pristine cobblestone streets and gabled facades from the Dutch Golden Age. It’s a setting straight out of Amsterdam, except rather than museums, prostitutes, and panicked Brits on ‘shrooms, the town’s lure is a steam train that takes you… right out of the town.
Unlike most European cities, though, the romantic setting in Goes has yet to be infiltrated by commercial taste-buds. There’s no Burger King, no McDonald’s in the shadow of the town’s gothic cathedral De Grote Kerk. Instead of Starbucks, Old World cafes serve up unpronounceable delicacies like ontbijtkoek, or the unfortunately-named pastry “Zeeuwse Bolus.”
Inside Wendy’s Fish & Chips, manager Albert van der Hoek is singing along to Starship’s “We Built This City.” The two-table restaurant is, just from the looks of it, a clear favorite among those from the nearby smoke shop, along with the inebriated twenty-somethings stumbling home in the wee hours. There’s an arcade game, a freezer full of Ben & Jerry’s, and a glass case of burgers, sausages, meatballs, bitterballen -- balls of all kinds, really.
Most customers seem to order the frikandel, a breath-stinking specialty of ground hot dog topped with ketchup, mayonnaise, and raw onion. But Albert recommends the crispy chicken burger -- which he warns is a bit spicy -- some fries, and a Heineken. It’s a not too dissimilar combo from, say, a #6 meal at any other Wendy’s in the world, and it’s just as good, the fries perhaps better.