Thursday, October 28, 2010

a first

Frenchie was in town for a long layover Monday and took me for my first conveyor belt sushi experience.

I should have taken a video since I really didn’t get a great photo and seemed to only snag the boring omelet…

I’m so happy he was there to show me the ropes for my first time. The concept isn’t complicated- you see what you want, you grab it and whatever design of plate it’s on is the cost of that particular piece or pieces of sushi. You stack up your plates as you finish and a guy will come around and tally your bill- easy enough. Without him though I would have never known that I had my own hot water tap to make my own tea and other little nuances like grabbing my soy bowl from another rotating belt underneath. I have no doubt it was a much less haphazard experience than if I had ventured it alone. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Frenchie!!

Aside from just the quirky and fun experience- the sushi was amaze-balls. So fresh and yummy and perfect! I didn’t even know what fish I was eating half the time and I didn’t even care.

Definitely a once a week lunch spot...


Paella + Spanish sunshine = heaven...

It's just simple math, folks.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Danish Fare

As I talked about in my post on 2girls, Copenhagen is one outrageous city. Sunday we had decided to heed a friend's advice and have a hot dog from a street vendor for lunch. And hey, a $6 weenie seemed like a bargain considering a club sandwich will cost you $30 bucks...

I wasn't too impressed, but I don't think I got the one I ordered either. I thought the enclosed bun was a good idea at first, but towards the end when all the condiments had slid down it was pretty messy.

I did really enjoy the candied almonds we picked up for dessert though...

We had a nice dinner the night before at a great place called Tight. I have to admit they were quite possibly the best mussels I've ever had in my life...

Oh and this was in Sweden, not Denmark, but since it's still Scandinavia I'll post my query here...

Why would anyone want to buy unpackaged candy laying out in the open like this? You have IKEA for God's sake!! Design some packaging!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Scottish Samplings

crag and tail

Some places we go I have a definite food agenda. For Scotland that was haggis.

It's their national dish made of sheep’s liver, heart, and lungs all mixed with spices, oats, onion and a little suet for good measure then usually boiled inside the sheep’s stomach. Doesn’t sound appealing? Well, if I’ve learned anything about eating around the world it’s that when a dish is loved by a nation- chances are it’s going to be delicious.

We had lunch at the Crag and Tail and I insisted we get an appetizer of haggis.

Fried balls of haggis served with the traditional tatties…

fried haggis

It was so good I regretted not ordering it for an entree. The spices were so on point they masked any overt organ flavor. I’m not crazy about the irony taste that comes from organ meat, but just the slightest hint that shone through really added a rich depth to the dish.

If you come to Scotland it is a must-eat!

Oh and if you see this Scottish beer anywhere- get it.

innis & gunn, scottish beer

As promised by the label it has hints of vanilla and toffee making it one perfect fall brew.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Beyond the Goulash

The streets in Budapest are crowded with sandwich boards outside restaurants touting goulash. After our encounter with goulash in Prague I was a little worried about dinner. Thankfully, outside of goulash (which our awesome guide had told us was the most commercialized and poorly prepared food in the city) Hungarian food is quite good.

We found a quiet little restaurant down the street from our hotel in the Castle District of Buda. Wrapped snuggly in blankets to ward off the slight chill in the air, we enjoyed a perfectly romantic meal over candlelight on their terrace.

After a deliciously simple tomato and onion salad, I went with a trio of pork. Hiding in that pile is a small grilled medallion, a rib and a piece of house made sausage…

hungarian sausage

I just need to stop saying I don’t like sausage because it was my favorite part of the meal, except maybe the mash with spring onions. I do love a potato.

Julie out-ordered me by going with the beef medallions…

hungarian beef

We had a bottle of wonderful Hungarian wine, but sadly the candlelight was not conducive for label shots.

Julie ordered a Hungarian beer, Dreher Bak, after dinner and made the claim it was better than Guinness. I, accordingly, took her out into the streets of Dublin upon our return and had her stoned. Kidding, kidding…but no beer is better than Guinness, although it wasn’t bad…

hungarian beer

It was a great meal until sadly I decided to give strudel just one last chance for dessert…


Even with the addition of a berry variety, my lowly opinion did not change.

The thing that stood out most to me about Hungarian cuisine is how heavy handed they are with the paprika. I've always used it sparingly, but I have to say that may change when I get back into the kitchen because everything was really delicious.

Thanks, Budapest for a lovely meal with my Wife. It's nights like these that make me so sad to leave Europe.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Toucan Sam-ing it in Budapest

Aside from recommendations, one of the best ways to score good food when in a strange city is to follow your nose. Hopefully this will not lead to a bowl of Fruit Loops…although I love Fruit Loops and could actually really go for a bowl right now. I digress.

If it smells good, chances are it tastes good too. Wandering around the Castle District in Budapest our nasal passages were suddenly filled with a gloriously sweet smell of...well, something sweet. After nosing around (pun obviously intended) we finally found the source…

Seems that Hungarians are pretty literal people as it was a “funnel” cake…

We went with the cinnamon sugar variety of the piping hot treat. It wasn't fried so it was in no way like our funnel cakes. This had a delicate, but crispy crust and an incredibly light doughy interior. I loved it.

Jules made the mistake of wanting it to taste like her Gran’s cinnamon sticks and was of course disappointed since it didn’t have a pound of butter inside.

The lady was kind of mean and told me no pictures, but I had already snapped a few while waiting in line. You'll need to be a little quicker next time mean funnel cake maker’s wife...

The dough was wrapped around a metal cylinder and then popped into a special oven where it was left until golden brown.

De. Lish.