Franklin and Walter Benedict, ever heard of them? Brothers maybe? Or cousins? In fact, it is neither of these, as they are not even related. ‘Birds of a feather’ comes much closer to describing their relation.
Bas van der Elst and Jan-Willem van der Zee shared the lecture rooms at the Amsterdam faculty of Economics. A love for great food & wine, however, brought them together in The Hague where they now run two restaurants – Walter Benedict and Franklin – both of which have a calm, nonchalant work style without ever becoming ‘sloppy’. Two restaurants that you can take your kids to in the knowledge that they too will enjoy the lovely food.
Café-Bistro Walter Benedict
A two-feet-on-the-ground, no frills Café-Bistro with an open atmosphere, cool music, and kind and attentive service. Walter opened in February 2015 and made friends quickly. The kitchen is best described as ‘New American Cuisine’; fine cooking influenced by dishes from the home countries of the immigrants, of which France is most identifiable identity on the menu. As in Franklin, the BBQ is important. But not on an open fire. At Walter Benedict they actively use the ‘Big Green Egg’; the McLaren F1 of grills – firing it with compressed, natural, coconut wood.
Using the beautiful old wooden floor as a starting point, they created an open, semi-industrial, atmosphere. Thick wooden table tops rest atop bold metal frames and, behind the large bar, there is a cupboard with glass doors, full of nice wines and spirits, along the full expanse of the wall. The big thing at Franklin, however, is the wonderful collection of beers. At least 50 different beers from all across the world await you. In the kitchen, a massive, natural, charcoal-fired grill dominates the food choice on the menu.