by Mr. Wonka
Brooklyn, New York
November 11, 2004
This is one of the coziest café/coffee shops you’ll find in the 'Dam, and one of the better ones, period. Watch your head as you step down into the seating area, which brings to mind Bag End, Frodo's underground hobbit-hole in the Shire. Low lights winding around the ceiling, accentuating the shapely wooden tables below, complemented the chill tunes pumped from Barney’s sound system rather nicely. All of this, not to mention a very friendly staff, was almost enough to coax me into growing roots on my stool and spending a good chunk of the afternoon here.
The menu has mostly standard diner fare, though the American, English, Irish, and vegetarian breakfasts—all for less than 10 euro—were undeniably the most popular orders that late morning. Once it gets to be about 11am or so, I can’t help but lean more towards lunch, so I went with the Soya burger, which was served with guacamole, salsa, smoked gouda, and french fries. I just drank water, and altogether my bill came out to 10,50 euro. The burger was excellent, and really too much for me to eat. Barney’s also offers a variety of fresh fruit juices and smoothies.
After you’re done eating, order a coffee and take a look at Barney’s great selection of marijuana and hash. With Cannabis Cup winners from '01, '02, and '03, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find something here that sounds tasty. There’s a decent selection of pre-rolled joints for sale, and a wealth of water bongs and glass pipes behind the counter that you can borrow at no cost—they’ll even wipe them out for you.
If names like "Laughing Buddha" and "NYC Diesel" don’t mean anything to you, just ask the "dealer" for recommendations. Now, I’m not sure if this guy works all the time, or if he’ll be there when you visit, but there was an excitable, normal-looking British fellow working that morning who just cracked me up. He wasn’t telling jokes or anything like that, but you should have seen his eyes light up whenever someone asked for his help. He loved talking about the "best hash" and the "best pot"—he must have recommended the "Silver Blue," at 11 euro a gram, at least a few times. He’ll even lay it all out in front of you for you to smell and look at, which most coffee shops don’t do.
Make time for breakfast and a smoke at Barney’s, an Amsterdam institution that should not be missed.
From journal Wow! It's Amsterdam!