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Trust is Open

Fiona Dang
March 4, 2014

“Come as you are. Pay as you feel.”

I was walking along the Albert Cuyp Market when I noticed these words drawn onto a window. Like any other hungry student on a budget, my first thought was whether free food was available.

How could you resist being curious about a place that advertises food, art, and joy?

I timidly entered the building and was flabbergasted at the laid back atmosphere, cozy interior design, and a menu without price ranges.

There are couches and candles to complete the inviting look of the cafe. A different artist’s artworks are also featured every month.

This was one of the first cafes where I entered without intending to ask for map directions.  Nonetheless, I felt lost. So I dashed outside only to peer through the windows and enter again. Two volunteers standing near the counter noticed me and said, “You’re thinking, ‘Where am I?’” I admitted yes. They sat with me on the couch to explain the concept of the cafe, which was recently opened last fall.  The purpose of the space was to encourage a sense of community and welcomes people from different backgrounds to come and find a peace of mind. They trusted that people would support each other and return the favor of service accordingly. I asked about a possibility to join the volunteer staff without hesitation. This place appealed to me because having spent the last few memorable weeks adjusting to the lifestyle of studying abroad, I wanted to maintain a healthy well-being and meet people with similar values. After the friendly conversation, I felt comfortable and hungry enough to choose something from the menu.

The menu offers whimsically named choices of drinks and food without set prices.


A glass of raspberry belvoir cordial and moist carrot cake introduced me to Trust’s lovely culinary offerings.

Although I habitually devour my food quickly, I reassured myself that there was no need to rush and complete today’s planned. I sat at a booth looking out at the street market and had my first lesson of enjoying the present. I thanked them and paid them within my financial abilities before completing my rounds.  After tasting my first herring from a market stand, I wanted to also check off eating lunch at a Surinamese restaurant recommended by my travel guide. Surprisingly, the meal was sub-par; with my stomach still growling, I decided to go off the grid again and returned to Trust for a fulfilling healthy (second) lunch.

Renaissance Broodje (aubergine steak and pesto and white bean hummus on grilled bread topped with baby greens)

Trust also opened for Thursday night dinners, and I could not pass an opportunity to return to the wonderful place. After a trip to the medieval castle Muiderslot, I had my third meal at Trust and was once again satisfied. I recognized that I was a regular as the volunteer greeted me knowingly. I sat in the same booth. As I watched the usually lively street market quiet down and admired the simplicity of the food, I felt at peace. After all, Trust leads to joy.

Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup with a carrot and orange smoothie.  Paper strips with positive quotes are used as napkin holders.

Roasted Parsnip, Sweet Potatoes & Beets on Brown Rice and Green Lentils with a Creamy Sesame-Garlic Dressing and a side of Pickled Turnips

Finished with Fruit Salad with a Passion Fruit Dressing. I had to ask the waiter to hold off on the dessert after I had finished the last two generous courses.


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Fiona Dang

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I am an art history and psychology major who decided to escape Southern California and explore the four seasons in rural Williams College. I love engaging in spontaneous adventures and finding great spots off the beaten path. I enjoy viewing and creating travel and food albums. Wish me luck in finding the perfect scarf and all the European cheeses!</span></p>

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