horseSome time ago we wrote a review of famous Amsterdam Steakhouse Piet de Leeuw . In the fallout of the recent Horse Meat controversy in the UK and other European countries it has come to light that Piet de Leeuw has been serving horse meat steaks for over 60 years!

After the recent discovery of horse meat being used in microwave lasagna in the UK and in other European countries as well there has been a ongoing search for other products that use horse meat instead of beef. After research conducted on behalf of Amsterdam newspaper “Het Parool“, it turned out that all of the steaks served by Piet de Leeuw were not steaks of beef but steaks made of horse meat.

Horse meat has a very similar texture to beef steak, but the price of horse meat in the Netherlands (a horse loving, not horse eating country) is almost half of what a beef steak costs wholesale. But nowhere on it’s menu does Piet de Leeuw state that it’s serving horse meat. In a initial reaction, owner Loek van Thiel (grandson of founder Piet de Leeuw) stated that he did not understand the allegations and that he didn’t know anything other then that they had been serving South American beef steaks. When his meat wholesaler declared that they had been delivering weekly boxes full of horse meat to the steakhouse Loek van Thiel admitted to this fact and told the reporters: “It is horse meat, and it has been horse meat for the last 63 years”.

Founder Piet de Leeuw was a horse butcher before he opened the restaurant. “Horse meat is a family tradition”, Loek van Thiel said. “The menu just mentioned “steak”, not what kind of steak.  Customers loved it, I had a fully booked restaurant, why would I mention it wasn’t beef they were eating?”

Even though it turns out to be horse meat, the steaks at Piet de Leeuw are great and very tasty! So if you don’t mind chewing on a bit of Mr. Ed, you can go there for a nice steak and some true amsterdam ambiance! We will!