Restaurant Stories: Four Food-Filled Months in Copenhagen

When I started CookingFever, I envisioned a blog that would both be about food and restaurant-related travel. While I have certainly delivered on the food front, offering numerous delicious recipes for readers to enjoy, I sadly have not gotten much to discussing the wonderful foods made by the hands of others. I have taken numerous photos and collected stacks of business cards, but hardly any of that information makes it up on here. It’s about time that some of these people get acknowledged. I get inspired by foods I eat in restaurants all the time. Therefore, allow me the chance to present with you a dining guide of some of the marvelous places I discovered during my four months in Copenhagen.

I originally planned on putting the all the eats from four months into one post, but after realizing how daunting of a read that would be, I have decided to break this up into to four editions to enjoy and salivate over!

January I didn’t get the chance or take the initiative for that matter, to eat outside as much as I would have liked during734729_4803552679626_1652274112_n the first part of my stay here. The landscape was frigid and unwelcoming, and we were told during orientation week that eating out in Copenhagen was expensive, unaffordable, and should be avoided at all costs. Being Danish, the orientation lecturers were not lying, but I was lame enough to take their advice as if it was the law. I remained cautious with my money and avoided spending it, except for a select few occasions. Lunches were always sandwiches packed at home and dinners were cooked by my host mom, Ellinor. However, this is not to say that I stopped myself from 67950_4949663772312_943997319_ncooking! I figured that most Danes were more comfortable spending their food money on groceries instead of restaurants, so I did the same. I threw a fantastic Indian dinner party for some my friends, taking limited ingredients and turning them into mouth-watering saag aloo (curried spinach with potatoes) and a simplified version of Rajma (a tangy and smoky kidney bean curry). Everything was served with plenty of warm and734705_4949664612333_1841854382_n fluffy pita bread for dipping and awkwardly paired with numerous glasses of a dry Spanish red and cans of hard apple and pear ciders. We finished this delectable feast with my take on a traditional Danish æblekage (applecake). What’s funny about the apple cake in Denmark, is that’s it’s hardly a cake at all. It’s more of a layered 603120_4949664812338_1573078741_nparfait of stewed apples and a crumbly biscuit and oat topping. Regardless of what you want to call that, the “cake” was quickly devoured and made a great way to end a night of fun bonding among us new friends.

The one occasion on which I did eat out in January was completely payed for by DIS, the school I studied in. They had organized local network groups of students, based on where we lived in the Copenhagen area, to meet and mingle for brunch at a local cafe. One of my friends, Katie, and I decided to go, mainly cause it was a free meal. After wandering endlessly, getting lost several times along the way, we ended up at the some abandoned and closed restaurant only because the lady organizing the event sent us the WRONG address! Frozen from head to toe with the icy winter wind blowing in our faces, Katie called up the organizer who then told her that the event had been moved to the location they had originally planned for. Severely frustrated and pissed at this point, we debated whether or not we actually wanted to walk all the way back there, till we were approached by another student who had also arrived with the wrong address. Fortunately, they had come with their host family so we were able to get a lift in their warm car back to the venue. We finally arrived at the restaurant, Dalle Valle, which is actually just a stone’s throw away from Nørreport station (the train station we originally got off at) and DIS. You can probably imagine how angry I was at that point, but it all subsided once we were greeted by the delectable brunch waiting for us inside. Katie and I shamelessly filed our plates twice with loads of grav lax (smoked salmon), frikadeller (Danish meatballs), Rugbrød (a dark, dense, and sour Danish-rye bread), creamy bree cheese, vegetable crudites, and ofcourse, the ever present sild (pickled herring). Washed down with a milky cafe au lait, this was a fabulous brunch that I returned to indulge in two months later (this time having to pay though) with my family.

Contact Info: Dalle Valle

Fiolstræde 3-5, 1171 København K.

Phone No: +4533932929

Frokost (lunch) buffet available daily for around 69 kr.

Oh, there was another time I ate out in January, this also a being a meal covered entirely by DIS. It was a group dinner with my Danish class. The food in this little bistroesque restaurant situated on Christianshavn (a neighborhood in Copenhagen situated on a man-made island) was nothing to write home about though, so we’ll just leave it unsaid.

February: Not very many exciting meals to talk about in February, other than what I cooked at home (this is how the posts for Butter Chicken, Shakshuka, and the much-praised Sticky Toffee Pudding came about). However, there were two, pretty life-changing foods that I did come across during this abbreviated month. While I never got homesick in Denmark, I did miss Indian food practically all the time, especially when I had to eat whole, unseasoned, boiled potatoes with dinner almost every night (It’s the quintessential Danish meal accompaniment based on my experience). One Thursday night, both Ellinor and my housemate, Jasmine, were out, leaving just me for dinner. Not particularly interested in cooking for one, I decided to take the risk of trying out this Indian take-out joint that I had always seen on the walk home from the train station. I say it was a risk because I have always found Indian food in Europe to be severely dulled down and devoid of any spice or meaningful flavor. However, I was actually rewarded for my efforts this time when I returned home with a steaming-hot aluminum carton of saag murgh (chicken cooked with spinach), 20130221_190548basmati rice, and naan. The chicken was so homestyle and “real”, much better than those cream and oil-laden renditions you find at most Indian restaurants, including those in INDIA. It had a decent amount of heat to it, and the spinach was brimming with a beautiful, earthy flavor. To be honest, it reminded me a lot of the chicken curries that my mom usually makes on Sunday afternoons, just what I needed on that cold winter night.

The second great find took place during the last week of the month, and it was definitely a gift dropped down from the heavens. It was a Wednesday, a day of the week that was usually looked forward to by most DIS students because Wednesday usually meant no classes, save for the occasional field study. I too was looking forward to a day off on this day until my Psychopharmacology professor, feeling that we were behind, decided to schedule an extra class! BOOM! My day was instantly ruined. How could he? After all, I already hated that class to begin with because the material was far too dense for a study abroad course, and I don’t know, it just bored me. Realizing my predicament, I decided that there was no way in hell that I was going to sit through a two-hour long lecture in the early hours of the morning without something delectable to munch on. I had heard since day one about the legendary cinnamon rolls served at the local Sankt Peders Bageri. Measuring to be about the size of an average human head, these big treats are known as onsdagsneggle (wednesday snails) because one, they are only available on Wednesdays, and two, the swirl shape of the cinnamon roll obviously resembles that of a snail’s shell. Sure, you may feel as sluggish as a snail afterward because they are quite heavy, but boy oh boy they are probably the best cinnamon rolls in existence! Period. Point. Blank. That opinion is not up for debate. You would easily agree if you have eaten one too, and believe me, if you find yourself in Copenhagen on a cold Wednesday morning, the smell of warm cinnamon wafting down the street alone, will drive you right up to the bakery’s doorstep. It worked for me! No addresses or maps are needed, just follow your nose! Anyways,  the roll comes in two varieties, med sukker eller med glasur (with sugar or icing). I recommend sugar if you’re sober and icing if you’re inebriated. I can attest to both, hehe. Beyond that fact, these rolls are warm, soft, yeasty and full of sweet cinnamon goodness. The best part is the center. The sticky gooeyness melts in your mouth as you close your eyes and think about things that are far more beautiful than you’re ugly psychopharm lecture. Yeah, I pretty much checked out for the day after eating one of these, and I wish I had pictures, but my hands were too sticky everytime! You’ll just have to take my word for it!

Contact Information: The joint is called Sai Take Away and it’s in Glostrup, the little suburb that I had the pleasure to call home for four months.  Situated about 20 minutes by train from central Copenhagen, Glostrup is most likely not on anyone’s vacation plans when they come to Denmark. However, if you happen to be in this little town, stumbling upon this place would be a reward indeed! I unfortunately do not have the address or the phone number, but it is located at the intersection of Hovedvejen and Sondre Ringvej, the two major thoroughfares that run through town, and right directly across a gas station. For about 65 kroner (roughly $12 USD) you can get a boatload of curry with rice. Easily enough for two normal people, or one fatso like me.

Sankt Peders Bageri

Sankt Peders Stræde 29
1453 København K

One large onsdagsneggle costs only 15 kroner! That’s very much worth it and both your stomach and your wallet will thank you!

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