Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year from Enjoy Food & Travel

The Enjoy Food & Travel team will wish all readers around the world a Happy New Year celebration as we enter the year of our lord Two Thousand And Nine.

We in the far north experience sub zero conditions. The forecast for Oslo for December 31st is fair skies and -8 degrees Celsius or 17,5 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale.

I will spend the evening with friends in a rooftop apartment at Oslos west end, with a view to the fireworks set to go off at midnight.

I will be back with new stories from December 1st, when I will tell the story of a Russian Orthodox Church in the heart of Copenhagen and its connection to the last Russian Tsars.

So stay tuned for new and interesting articles here on Enjoy Food & Travel.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Emergency - crispy cracklings on my pork rib! Call 820 30 200!

Many Norwegians prepare their pork rib for their Christmas Evening celebrations. The ultimate challenge is how to get crisp cracklings, and many of us have called our mothers in despair to succeed in this task. For those with no access to this expertise, there is no reason to panic. You may call the emergency crispy crackling number.

Norwegians have their main Christmas celebrations the evening of December 24th. To calm the nerves of those struggling with the ultimate Christmas meal, we Norwegians may call an emergency number to get proper advice. When dialling 820 30 200 your phone will be answered by one of 14 crispy crackling experts from 9 AM to 5 PM on Christmas Eve. They will also answer questions from the public on preparing “Pinnekjøtt”.

And what is the experts’ advice on how to succeed with your pork rib?

First advice: Make deep incisions across the rib, deep into the fat. Season the rib with salt and pepper well in advance. This will draw water out of the meat, making it easier to get those crisp pork cracklings.

Second advice: Allow the rib to steam, skin side down in some water in a baking tray, before placing it on a broiler. Place a small ball of tin foil on the middle for excess water to escape.

Enjoy Food & Travel wish good luck to those of you struggling with this piece de resistance. For those living elsewhere - good luck with the preparation of your turkey or duck!!

Merry Christmas!!

More on this ultimate Norwegian Christmas speciality

- Ribbe med surkål (December 27th 2008)
- Perfect food for the festive season? Call the Mummy-helpline! (November 22nd 2008)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dining around the World on Enjoy Food & Travel 2008


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Enjoy Food & Travel has visited and reviewed 66 restaurants in 9 countries on 3 continents 2008. Here you can see where we have roamed this year. I will share new and intersting restaurants coming years, so stay tuned for more culinary experiences in 2009


More on the restaurants see:

See restaurant ratings on Enjoy Food & Travel from 2006-2007 here

See unrated restaurants on Enjoy Food & Travel from 2006-2007 here

Monday, December 22, 2008

Restaurants - Best bargains in 2008




















Enjoy Food & Travel has given a full review of 17 restaurants in 2008. For those of you wondering what the best bargain was, here comes the five best restaurants reviewed this year. The best experience in 2008 was a renowned restaurant in Johannesburg

1. Best bargain in 2008: Gramadoelas, Johannesburg (4,91 points)

Gramadoelas was the last place we ate during our stay in South Africa and definitely the classiest! The food was awesome, the interior was breathtaking. Gramadoelas has been host to royals, as well as presidents and cultural celebrities, but in spite of this, the price for an exclusive dinner here will not break your back.

An eclectic, exotic, elegant, exclusive experience in Johannesburg.

Read full review here

2. Café Zeleste, Copenhagen (4,88 points)

Close to perfection and better than the last review (4,69 points). I do recommend the lunch at Cafe Zeleste, if you are travelling to the Danish capital. But if you are hungry, you can easily enjoy a three course dinner here, and still not feel stuffed. For lunch - may I recommend the Huks Fluks and the lobster soup, if on the menu.

Read full review here

3. Restaurant Ida Davidsen, Copenhagen (4,83 points)

Ida Davidsen is a living legend, a queen rivaling the deeply loved Danish regent Margrethe. Whereas queen Margrethe rules this small, densely populated Scandinavian country by law, queen Ida is the undisputed queen of the Scandinavian open sandwich. She has, from her dark basement restaurant in Store Kongensgade in Copenhagen conquered the hearts of lovers of Scandinavian open sandwiches. You have not heard of her!!! Well, pal, you are greatly out of touch - at least if you love open sandwiches.

Read full review here


4. L'éveil des Sens, Strasbourg (4,81 points)

I am usually critical and occasionally grumpy when visiting a restaurant. I am hard to please, as I have had my fair share of good meals in my culinary career. But then, suddenly you accidentally find a place out of the ordinary. This means the awakening to new flavours as I did at L’eveil des sens in Strasbourg. This was a place that offered that extra refinement lifting our experience from the good to the extraordinary. This was delicious, delicate, delirious, delightful dining!!!

Read full review here

5. Pizzeria Ristorante Claudius, Sitges (4,78 points)

One our best meals was a simple, still elegant late night dinner at Claudius, a small modest pizzeria / ristorante by the Mediterranean. This meal was inspired by an important principle in good Italian cooking - less is more. From a few, but excellent ingredients the cook created wonderful food!! At Claudius all was perfect - nearly, as only Allah is perfect!

Read a full review here

And the following restaurant had this score:

6. 4,66 points:
Café André Citroën, Copenhagen
7. 4,6 points: Le Gourmand de Saint Jean, Lyon
8. 4,59 points: Mama Ludba’s, Copenhagen
9. 4,48 points: Gaststätte Zum Stadtkrug Altstadtbrauhaus, Schwerin
9. 4,48
points: Le Laurencin, Lyon
9. 4,48
points: Santinos, Oslo
12. 4,38 points: Brasserie Flo, Strasbourg
13. 4,33 points: Santa Maria Restaurant, Sitges
14. 4,1 points: Le Petit Glouton, Lyon
15. 3,66 points: Le Mandarin, Lyon
16. 3,22 points: Golden Bamboo, Copenhagen
17. 2,70 points: Le Rendez Vous des Gastronomes, Lyon

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hotels - best bargains in 2008




















Enjoy Food & Travel has visited and reviewed a great number of hotels in 2008. For those of you wondering what the best bargain was, here comes the five best hotels reviewed last year. This is however not only a question of facilities, and luxury, but more on character and service. The place number 1 was shared by two great hotels on very different locations, but both with an old world charm.


1. Best Bargain 2008 - Grand Hotel des Terreaux, Lyon (4,87 points)

Described as:

"This venerable former mansion in Terreaux neighbourhood has preserved a rich heritage featuring , among other things, stones from on old local church in the swimming pool and on 18th century staircase.


The glam-factor was a little lower than expected, but I was very satisfied with what Grand Hotel des Terreaux had to offer me as a guest, and Enjoy Food & Travel do recommend it to those of you travelling to Lyon.


Read full review here

1. Best Bargain 2008 - Santa Maria Hotel, Sitges (4,87 points)

Its superb location right by the beach was the thing that tempted us to book a room at Santa Maria Hotel and we do not regret the choice. Its old world charm, good service, large rooms and our own balcony facing the blue Mediterranean sea has already made us decide to return in 2009.

Read full review here

3. Commodore deluxe Cabin, Crown of Scandinavia (4,85 points)

The Commodore the luxe class on board the Crown of Scandinavia does not come cheap. Still this is the most comfortable trip past the Kattegat ever. It is not only the room, but all the extra service included that makes this a great way to travel. A room with a view as all cabins are equipped with their own balcony where you may enjoy the crossing in all privacy. A great way to travel to Copenhagen, and a recommended getaway for a romantic couple.

Read full review here

4. Oscarsborg Hotel & Spa, Drøbak (4,73 points)

A hotel on a location that played an important historic role during the first days of World War II. Oscarsborg fortress, on an island in the Oslo fjord had large canons, and managed to give the approaching German fleet a serious blow, sinking the German cruiser Blücher, April 9th 1940. A great stay in a newly renovated hotel and historic monument on a superb location.

Read full review here

5. Irving House, Cambridge MA (4,55 points)

A classic Bed & Breakfast in a quiet charming area of Cambridge MA. Greater Boston area easily available by subway and bus-services. Harvard square with restaurants, bars and shops nearby.

Highly recommended by Enjoy Food & Travel. We will certainly go back.

Read full review here


Other rated hotels on Enjoy Food & Travel:

6. InterCity Hotel, Schwerin (4,4 points)
7. Radisson SAS Royal Hotel, Bergen (4,35 points)
8. Highland Hotel, Geilo (4,11 points)
9. Bergen Travel Hotel, Bergen (4,04 points)
10. Quality Hotel & Resort, Son (3,87 points)
11. P-Hotel, Trondheim (3,64 points)
12. Hotel Sct Thomas, Copenhagen (3,59 points)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

2008 on Enjoy Food & Travel - Restaurants from A-Z




















To make it easier for you, I have compiled all the rated (R) and unrated (U) restaurants on Enjoy Food & Travel for the year 2008 on this page. Enjoy!!

A
- U: A1 Deli, Haverhill MA (October 21st 2008)
- U: Akitama, Berlin (September 2nd 2008)
- U: Alanya Restaurant, Hamar (January 3rd 2008)
- U: Al Fresco, Sitges (August 8th 2008)
- U: Am Jülchen Hoppe, Berlin (January 21st 2008)
- U: Amadeus café & Musik Conditori, Copenhagen (May 6th 2008)
- U: Assaggio, Boston (November 19th 2008)
- U: Au Pont Saint Martin, Strasbourg (October 7th 2008)

B
- U: Bangkok Thai, Oslo (March 5th 2008)
- U: Bell Chicco, Berlin (January 12th 2008)
- U: Bianco Restaurant, Sitges (November 14th 2008)
- U: Bolero, Schwerin (November 18th 2008)
- R: BBBB+ Brasserie Flo, Strasbourg (August 9th 2008)

C
- R: BBBBB- Café André Citroën, Copenhagen (February 27th, 2008)
- U: Café Glyptoteket, Copenhagen (April 21st 2008)
- U: Café Stella, Copenhagen (March 25th 2008)
- R: BBBBB Café Zeleste, Copenhagen (June 27th 2008)
- U: Caviar House & Prunier, Copenhagen Airport (April 25th 2008)
- U: Cerveceria Catalana, Barcelona (June 7th 2008)
- U: Cinderella Café, Brokelandsheia (November 11th 2008)
- U: Cole House, Andrews, North Carolina (January 6th 2008)

D
- U: Dovrehallen, Oslo (March 18th 2008)

E
- U: 11th Street Dockside, Beaufort SC (April 12th 2008)
- U: Eufrat Pizza & Grill, Løten (December 12th 2008)

G
- R: BBBB+ Gaststätte Zum Stadtkrug Altstadtbrauhaus, Schwerin (August 29th 2008)
- R: BBB Golden Bamboo, Copenhagen (June 10th 2008)
- R: BBBBB- Le Gourmand de Saint Jean, Lyon (June 28th 2008)
- R: BBBBB Gramadoelas Restaurant, Johannesburg (February 19th 2008)

I
- U: Izarra, Sitges (October 6th 2008)

K
- U: Kampen Bistro, Oslo (March 5th 2008)
- U: Kitty's Sushi, Oslo (July 14th 2008)
- U: Kong Hans Vinkælder (March 15th 2008)

L
- U: La Bec Rouge, Hampton Beach, N.H. (December 13th 2008)
- U: La Oca, Sitges (November 12th 2008)
- U: Le Crocodile, Strasbourg (November 15th 2008)
- R: BBBB+ Le Laurencin, Lyon (August 26th 2008)
- R: BBB+ Le Mandarin, Lyon (July 16th 2008)
- R: BBBB Le Petit Glouton, Lyon (October 8th 2008)
- U: Leonardo, Hamar (December 12th 2008)
- R: BBB- Les rendez-vous des gastronomes, Lyon (August 7th 2008)
- R: BBBBB L'éveil de Sens, Strasbourg (July 18th 2008)

M
- U: Madam Reiersen, Arendal (September 10th 2008)
- R: BBBB+ Mama Ludba's, Copenhagen (April 9th 2008)
- U: Mesopotamia, Oslo (June 1st 2008)

O
- U: Olympen Bar & Vinhus, Oslo (January 3rd 2008)
- U: Oscar Pizza & Bar, Oslo (January 20th 2008)
- U: Oslomekaniskeverksted, Oslo (January 20th 2008)

P
- U: Pesquaditos Tapas y Mariscos, Sitges (July 17th 2008)
- U: Pizzeria Roma, Charlottenberg (May 23rd 2008)
- U: Punjab Sweet House, Oslo (January 20th 2008)

R
- R: BBBBB- Restaurant Ida Davidsen, Copenhagen (March 10th 2008)
- U: Restaurant Oasi'd Italia, Copenhagen (February 12th, 2008)
- U: Restaurant Valuta, Hamar (April 10th 2008)
- U: Ristorante Pizzeria Claudius, Sitges (August 27th 2008)

S
- U: Salt River Grill, Beaufort SC (April 12th 2008)
- U: San Lorenzo, Oslo (March 5th 2008)
- R: BBBB+ Santa Maria Restaurant, Sitges (June 29th 2008)
- R: BBBB+ Santino's Spaghetteria, Oslo (February 10th 2008)
- U: Seafood Bar, Oslo Airport (September 23rd 2008)
- U: Süd Øst, Oslo (April 19th 2008)

T
- U: TGI Fridays, Oslo (March 5th 2008)
- U: Torricelli, Strasbourg (August 28th 2008)

U
- U: United Bakeries, Oslo (January 3rd 2008)

V
- ;-( Vagabondos, Copenhagen (March 31st 2008)

Y
- U: Yas Persian Restaurant, London (December 6th 2008)


See restaurant ratings on Enjoy Food & Travel from 2006-2007 here

See unrated restaurants on Enjoy Food & Travel from 2006-2007 here

Friday, December 19, 2008

2008 on Enjoy Food & Travel - Sights from A-Z




















To make it easier for you, I have compiled all the sights on Enjoy Food & Travel for the year 2008 on this page. Enjoy!!

A
- Acorn Street, Boston (October 2nd 2008)
- Aksiseboden, Oslo (February 26th, 2008)
- Amphithéatre, Lyon (August 12th 2008)
- Amphithéatre des Trois Gaules, Lyon (July 10th 2008)
- Anatomigården, Oslo (April 28th 2008)
- Anchorage, Beaufort SC (April 12th 2008)
- Arendal, Norway (June 17th 2008)

B
- Barnwell-Gough House, Beaufort SC (April 12th 2008)
- Barrage Vauban, Strasbourg (August 14th 2008)
- Beaches, Sitges (August 31st 2008)
- Biermannsgården, Oslo (March 9th 2008)
- Bondeheimen, Arendal (June 17th 2008)
- Boston Common, Boston (October 23rd 2008)

C
- Cathédrale de Lyon, Lyon (Lyon, July 25th 2008)
- Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Strasbourg, Strasbourg (July 27th 2008)
- Chinese Masonic Lodge, Chinatown, Boston (February 19th, 2008)
- Christianias annet rådhus, Oslo (April 28th 2008)
- Christiania Opfostringshus, Oslo (April 28th 2008)
- Church of Saint Croix, Lyon (Lyon, July 25th 2008)
- Church of Saint Etienne, Lyon (Lyon, July 25th 2008)
- Church of Saint Mary, Oslo (April 18th 2008)
- Church of Saint Paul, Lyon (October 28th 2008)
- Church of Saint Peter, New York City (April 20th 2008)
- Church of Saint Thomas, Strasbourg (September 3rd 2008)
- Church of Santa Bartolmeu i Santa Tecla, Sitges (July 26th 2008)

D
- Doktorsgården, Karlstad (February 9th, 2008)
- Dronningensgate 15, Oslo (May 24th 2008)

F
- Faneuil Hall, Boston (November 22nd 2008)
- First century Roman sculptures, Copenhagen (March 17th 2008)
- Flachska Gården, Karlstad (February 9th, 2008)
- Flood Monument, Hamar (April 29th 2008)
- Fourvière Hill, Lyon (August 12th 2008)
- Fredros Flottningsrenna, Stor Treen (May 15th 2008)
- Frogner Hovedgård, Oslo (April 3rd 2008)

G
- Gamle Krigsskolen, Oslo (May 24th 2008)
- Gamle Rådhus, Oslo (April 28th 2008)
- Gingerbread House, Rue Mercière, Strasbourg (October 25th 2008)
- Glads Mølle, Oslo (March 9th 2008)
- Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Headquarter, Boston (February 19th, 2008)
- Grave of Georg Adolph Demmler, Schwerin (November 24th 2008)
- Grevgården, Karlstad (February 9th, 2008)
- Gråbeingårdene, Oslo (October 22nd, 2008)
- Gubbkroken, Sunnemo (February 3rd, 2008)
- Gymnasium Adolpho-Fredericianum, Karlstad (February 9th, 2008)

H
- Hamar Katedralskole, remains, Hamar, Norway (January 7th, 2008)
- Hamar Masonic Lodge, Hamar (Februar 19th, 2008)
- Headstones of the von Bülow family, Schwerin (October 24th 2008)
- Hedmark Folkemuseum, Hamar, Norway (January 7th, 2008)
- Holmens church, Copenhagen (July 8th 2008)
- Home of Kristofer Klog and Anna Iensdatter, Copenhagen (February 16th 2008)
- House of Don Joai de Austria, Sitges (October 27th 2008)
- Hulveien, Arendal (June 17th 2008)
- Hypoteksföreningens Hus, Karlstad (February 9th, 2008)
- Häradshövdingegården, Karlstad (February 9th, 2008)
- Hyttruinen, Sunnemo (February 3rd, 2008)

I
- Ishtar Gate, Pergamon Museum, Berlin (January 4th 2008)

J
- Jagdschloss Gelbensande, Schwerin (April 24th 2008)
- John A. Cuthbert House, Beaufort SC (April 12th 2008)
- John Mark Verdier House, Beaufort SC (April 12th 2008)

K
- Karlstad Cathedral, Karlstad (February 9th, 2008)
- Krohgstøtten, Oslo (February 26th, 2008)
- Kunstdrechshlei Zettler, Schwerin (September 4th 2008)

L
- Landshövdingegården, Karlstad (February 9th, 2008)
- Loggers shed, Stor Treen (May 15th 2008)
- Lucas Cranach the older, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen (June 2nd 2008)
- Lykkensborgveien, Arendal (June 17th 2008)
- Løwenborg, Copenhagen (February 16th, 2008)

M
- Magistratgården, Oslo (April 28th 2008)
- Maison des Tanneurs, Strasbourg (August 14th 2008)
- Maison Kammerzell, Strasbourg (July 11th 2008)
- Maison Thomassin, Lyon (June 21st 2008)
- Manecanterie, Lyon (September 24th 2008)
- Marmorkirken, Copenhagen (June 19th 2008)
- Market Gate of Miletus, Berlin (January 14th, 2008)
- Marshlands, Beaufort SC (April 12th 2008)
- Masonic Temple (Stamhuset), Oslo (February 19th 2008)
- Museum of Africa, Johannesburg (February 26th, 2008)
- Mårbacka, Sunne (June 14th 2008)

N
- Nedre Vøyen Gård, Oslo (March 9th 2008)
- Newtown, Johannesburg (February 26th, 2008)
- Nyhavn, Copenhagen (February 16th 2008)

O
- Odéon, Lyon (August 12th 2008)
- Old barn, Fredros Gård, Stor Treen (May 15th 2008)
- Old Jewish Synagogue, Oslo (February 26th, 2008)
- Opera House, Yerevan (August 15th 2008)
- Orchard, Mårbacka (August 11th 2008)
- Oslo Opera House, Oslo (April 13th 2008)
- Oslo Opera House, Oslo (August 13th 2008)

P
- Palau Del Rei Moro, Sitges (November 21st 2008)
- Palau Maricel, Sitges (September 26th 2008)
- Parc de l'Orangerie, Strasbourg (November 23rd 2008)
- Pergamon Altar, Berlin (January 14th, 2008)
- Petite-France, Strasbourg (August 14th 2008)
- Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa (January 3rd, 2008)
- Pollen, Arendal (June 17th 2008)
- Pont Couverts, Strasbourg (August 14th 2008)
- Pre Christian Greco-Roman Art, Copenhagen (April 13th 2008)
- Pre Christian Roman sculptures, Copenhagen (March 30th 2008)
- Propylon of the Athena Temple, Berlin (January 14th, 2008)

R
- Republic Square, Yerevan (August 15th 2008)
- Ringsaker Church, Ringsaker (May 20th 2008)
- Robert Small House, Beaufort SC (April 12th 2008)
- Roman Road, Lyon (August 12th 2008)
- Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen (June 30th 2008)
- Royal Residence, Oslo (April 18th 2008)
- Rue Saint Helene, Strasbourg (September 30th 2008)
- Rådmannsgården, Oslo (April 28th 2008)

S
- Safari National Park, South Africa (February 3rd, 2008)
- Saltus-Habersham House, Beaufort SC (April 12th 2008)
- Sankt Petri Kirke, Copenhagen (December 3rd 2008)
- Saxegaarden, Oslo (April 8th 2008)
- Schlachtermarkt, Schwerin (September 4th 2008)
- Schloss Schwerin, Schwerin (October 3rd 2008)
- Schlosstrasse 10, Schwerin (September 4th 2008)
- Schwerin Masonic Lodge, Schwerin (September 4th 2008)
- Schweriner Dom, Schwerin (October 24th 2008)
- Sourp Krikor Lusavorich cathedral, Yerevan (August 15th 2008)
- Skramle stenen, Värmland (April 26th 2008)
- Spånhyvelen, Sunnemo (February 3rd, 2008)
- Stange Church, Stange (February 4th, 2008)
- Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen (May 17th 2008)
- Stattholdergården, Oslo (April 28th 2008)
- Stock Exchange, Copenhagen (July 7th 2008)
- Stor Treen, Värmland (April 26th 2008)
- Sundown Ranch & Lion Park, South Africa (January 11th, 2008)
- Sundown Ranch Lion Park, South Africa (February 8th, 2008)
- Sunnemo Kyrka, Sunnemo (February 3rd, 2008)

T
- Tabby Manse, Beaufort SC (April 12th 2008)
- Tjeldsundbrua, Norway (Januay 6th, 2008)
- Toddylunden, Mårbacka (August 11th 2008)
- Traboules Longue, Lyon (August 30th 2008)
- Tugthusmuren, Oslo (February 26th, 2008)
- Tyholmen, Arendal (June 17th 2008)

U
- United Grand Lodge of England Headquarter, London (February 19th, 2008)

V
- Vartov, Copenhagen (February 16th 2008)
- Vernazza, Perugia (March 14th 2008)
- Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo (March 16th 2008)
- Vindlausloftet, Eidsborg (December 11th 2008)
- Vøienvolden Gård, Oslo (March 9th 2008)

W
- Workers Library & Museum, Johannesburg (February 26th, 2008)
- In memory of World Trade Center, New York (April 20th 2008)

Ø
- Østre Strete, Oslo (April 8th 2008)

See sights on Enjoy Food & Travel from 2006-2007 here

Thursday, December 18, 2008

2008 on Enjoy Food & Travel - Hotels from A-Z




















To make it easier for you, I have compiled all the hotels on Enjoy Food & Travel for the year 2008 on this page. Enjoy!!

A
- American Best Inn, Beaufort SC (Unrated, April 12th 2008)

B
- Bergen Travel Hotel, Bergen (BBBB, rated December 8th 2008)
- Best Western Sea Island Inn, Beaufort SC (Unrated, April 12th 2008)
- Bjerke Gård, Lillehammer (Unrated, January 13th, 2008)

C
- Crown of Scandinavia, Oslo - Copenhagen (BBBBB-, rated May 2nd 2008)
- Crown of Scandinavia, Oslo - Copenhagen (Economy class, unrated October 18th 2008)

G
- Giuliano Basso, Vernazza (Unrated, March 14th 2008)
- Grims Grenka, Oslo (Unrated, August 10th 2008)

H
- Helmsley Park Lane Hotel, New York City, (Unrated, March 14th 2008)
- Highland Hotel & Spa, Geilo (BBBB, rated December 9th 2008)
- Hostel Alcatraz, Berlin (Unrated, February 4th 2008)
- Hotel Santa Maria, Sitges (BBBBB-, rated July 4th 2008)
- Hotel Sct. Thomas, Copenhagen (BBB+, rated February 3rd 2008)

I
- Imperial Tramontano Hotel, Sorrento (Unrated, July 3rd 2008)
- InterCity Hotel Schwerin, Schwerin (BBBB+, rated September 18th 2008)
- Irving House, Cambridge MA (BBBBB-, rated October 17th 2008)

M
- Madinat Jumeirah Hotel, Dubai (Unrated, November 27th 2008)

O
- Oscarborg Hotel & Spa, Drøbak (BBBBB-, rated February 11th 2008)

P
- P-Hotel, Trondheim (BBBB-, rated October 20th 2008)

R
- Radisson SAS Royal Hotel (BBBB+, rated December 7th 2008)

Q
- Quality Spa & Resort, Son (BBBB-, rated November 10th 2008)

R
- Rotel "Hotel from Hell", Oslo (Unrated, August 4th 2008)

S
- Sandtorgholmen Hotell, Harstad (Unrated, January 6th, 2008)
- Sleep Inn Beaufort, Beaufort SC (Unrated, April 12th 2008)
- Sundown Ranch Hotel, Sun City South Africa (BBBB+, rated January 19th 2008)

T
- Tjeldsundbrua Kro & Hotell, Skånland (Unrated, January 6th, 2008)

Read more on hotels 2006-2007 on Enjoy Food & Travel here

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2008 on Enjoy Food & Travel - Wine reviews

To make it easier for you, I have compiled all the wine reviews on Enjoy Food & Travel for the year 2008 on this page. Enjoy!!

FRANCE:
- Bonnet Grand Réserve, brut (Champagne, January 4th, 2008)
- Bouchard & Fils Reserve du Château Pinot Noir (Bourgougne, September 8th 2008)
- Domaine André Brunel Cuvée Sommelongue 2006 (Côtes du Rhône, March 29th 2008)
- Louis Freyburger & Fils Gewurztraminer 2001 Vendanges Tardives (Alsace, France July 18th 2008)
- 2006 Maestria Madiran (Madiran, France July 18th 2008)
- Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial (Champagne, April 30th 2008)
- Taittinger Brut Réserve (Champagne, March 8th, 2008)

ITALY
- Donnefugata Ben Ryé Passito de Palleteria (Sicily, August 16th 2008)
- Valle d'Oro Montpulciano d'Abruzzo (Tuscany, August 28th 2008)

SOUTH AFRICA:
- Stormy Cape Shiraz 2006 (Western Cape, January 7th, 2008)
- Thandi Chardonnay 2005 (Western Cape, January 28th, 2008)
- Zonnenbloem Sauvignon Blanc 2006 (Western Cape, February 24th 2008)

SPAIN
- Castro Bergidum Mencia 2006 (Léon, March 29th 2008)

See wine reviews on Enjoy Food & Travel 2006-2007 here

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2008 on Enjoy Food & Travel - Recipes from A-Z




















To make it easier for you, I have compiled all the recipes on Enjoy Food & Travel for the year 2008 on this page. Enjoy!!

B
- Bacalao (January 4th, 2008)
-Bruschette with cherry tomatoes and parmeggiano (March 10th 2008)

C
- Cape Malay Curry (October 30th 2008)
- Cherry tomatoes with pesto alla Genovese (July 2nd 2008)
- Chicken Curry (March 16th 2008)
- Chicken Roulade (August 20th 2008)
- Chili-orange marinated Manchego cheese (July 2nd 2008)
- Chocolate Risotto (January 6th, 2008)
- Crespelle - Amalfi style filled pancakes (May 14th 2008)
- Crispy Italian Triple Dekker (August 21st 2008)
- Cup of bacon (March 4th 2008)

E
- Easy, long roast roast of lamb (May 22nd 2008)

F
- Fettucine with ruccola, ruccola pesto, and Parmesan, Sørlandet (July 15th 2008)
- Fish Casserole Skagerrak (February 24th 2008)
- Fish parcel for fish lovers (June 8th 2008)
- French pork liver pate on toast (July 2nd 2008)

G
- Garlic chicken (November 2nd 2008)

H
- Hot leftover curry with coconut milk (November 16th 2008)

I
- Infuse your spices (October 9th 2008)

J
- Jerusalem Artichoke soup with black truffles (February 10th, 2008)

L
- Lamb chops with herbs and garlic (June 3rd 2008)
- Let us make it a good egg (June 12th 2008)
- Long roast chicken with vegetables (April 2nd 2008)
- Long roast Livèche chicken breast with mustard and bacon (April 15th 2008)

M
- Mackerel on the barbie (September 7th 2008)
- Meatloaf Rossini (March 29th 2008)
- Moose stock (October 31st 2008)

P
- Parmeggiano crisps (February 17th 2008)
- Penne with ruccola pesto and blue cheese (August 18th 2008)
- Potato and onion soup with chicken (April 2nd 2008)

R
- Ravioli with saffron (February 7th, 2008)
- Red wine sauce from scratch (May 18th 2008)
- Roast of beef with dauphinoise potatoes and baked Mediterranean vegetables (January 13th 2008)
- Roast of moose (November 26th 2008)
- Rösti Potatoes, a Swiss specialty, Strasbourg (July 29th 2008)

S
- Salmon Swirls (July 2nd 2008)
- Sandwich with ruccola-pesto and crayfish salad (September 22nd 2008)
- Schnitzel Cordon Bleu (September 20th 2008)
- Shrimp salad from Vesterålen (January 15th 2008)
- Smoked cod with mashed swede, and mushy peas with mint (March 10th 2008)

T
- Taco tartelettes (February 23rd 2008)
- Taco Tubs with tuna salad (July 2nd 2008)
- Taittinger Treats (March 8th 2008)
- Terrine Bretonne, bacon and pickled cucumber on rye bread (September 22nd 2008)
- Trifle in a glass (January 13th 2008)
- Truffle Risotto from Piedmonte, Sørlandet (July 30th 2008)

V
- Venetian Style Risotto (April 17th 2008)

See recipes from 2006 and 2007 here

Monday, December 15, 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Ladies and Gentlemen! The Festive Season is upon us all. I will like to wish all my readers.

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

It has been a very busy year, and I have managed to write one story per day. It has been quite an achievement for me. This last week before Christmas will be very busy, and I have therefore decided to have a long vacation. I do hope that you will return for more stories here on Enjoy Food & Travel in 2009!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

La Bec Rouge, Hampton Beach N.H.

Hampton Beach is a ghost town from Labour Day to Memorial Day. As tourists leave the wide sandy beaches of New Hampshire, hotels, shops and taverns close down for the winter season. Only a few remain open for the whole year. La Bec Rouge is one place where you may seek shelter from the cold wind all year. I did just that a cold September day. I ordered two appetizers for lunch, but was not completely satisfied with the meal.

I have always returned to La Bec Rouge during my yearly visits to Northern New England. I particularly recall one visit to the basement bar during the hot summer of 1999 with Norwegian friends. Back then we were served cold beer served in pitchers while listening to “The Whiskey Bar / Alabama Song” performed by the Doors. Those were the days.

I could not make an exception this September. I had a walk from my cousin that lives in a house close to Round Rock tavern in Seabrook N.H. down to Hampton Beach. It was a bright day with a fresh northerly wind giving me a touch of fall. Very unseasonal compared to the other September visits I've had to Northern New England.

I found La Bec Rouge rather empty, sat down and studied the menu. I ordered two appetizers - one coconut shrimp with a sweet dipping sauce and buffalo tenders with blue cheese dip.

Two appetizers only, as I knew we were having dinner in 4-5 hours and I would prefer not to eat too much. One appetizer would have been enough, as we are talking LARGE portions. It did not taste that good either.

Coconut shrimps are tiger prawns dipped in a batter with coconut and then deep fried. When well prepared you are in for a delicious treat, but the batter at La Bec Rouge was too sweet, and served with a sweet dipping sauce made you wonder whether you enjoyed a savory dish or a dessert. As I found the appetizer a little sickening I asked to get another dipping sauce, and found that soy sauce was a much better alternative as a dip.

Buffalo wings are a favourite. Spicy marinated chicken with a creamy blue cheese dressing is a delicious company to a dripping cold Sam Adams. At La Bec Rouge, I found the buffalo marinade used for the chicken tenders too salt and it was a gigantic portion that was placed in front of me. I struggled to eat what was on the plate, but left a third of the portion. So what was intended to be a small snack ended as a dinner, forcing me to scale down the size of what I ordered at A1 Deli in Haverhill.

This meal was not one of the memorable moments on my trip, over priced and badly seasoned are key words here. I hope to find the standard at La Bec Rouge a little higher the next time I visit. It is a nice place. Let us hope the cook had a bad day!

Address:
La Bec Rouge
73 Ocean Blvd, Hampton Beach NH 03842
Website: www.labecrouge.com

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pizza by Euphrat

















I have visited many pizza restaurants around the world, and discovered that this flat bread topped with tomato, cheese and whatever ingredients you can think of, is one of the most versatile and best dishes you may order. There are some pizzas that are better than others, but most are good enough for you to leave the table satisfied.


Quite a few pizza restaurants are run by cooks from the Near or Middle East, as Pizzeria Roma in Charlottenberg, that had a distinct Turkish feel to it. Another middle eastern pizzeria is Eufrat (Norwegian for Euphrates) located at Løten.

As the Euphrates River runs through Turkey, Syria and Iraq, it may be at least three ethnic groups that would feel that this would be a proper name for an eatery, but the proprietor, Bayrim Baydili, 35 years old is from Ankara in Turkey.

Eufrat Pizza & Grill looks as any other local cafés in any other small Norwegian place. A scruffy wooden building with linoleum floors and very inexpensive furniture. Another indication of it being run by non-europeans is the lack of alcoholic beverages. The fact ism however, that mr. Baydili has applied for a license to serve wine and beer from the local council, but has not recieved any license yet.

We ordered pizza with ground meat. I have to say that we found it delicious. Crisp pastry, an aromatic tomato sauce and very good topping. And we paid less 15 EURO for a large pizza, not bad when ordering for three.

Address:
Eufrat Pizza og Grill
Stasjonsvegen 18
N-2340 Løten
Phone: +47 99 43 48 76

Disastrous Italian at Leonardo

From one Italian restaurant to another. Leonardo is located in the Hamar city centre. I have visited it once before, and did not leave disappointed then. This time, however, it was a completely other story.

I hate tough meat. Tough meat deserves tough preparation, i.e. being gently roasted in the oven or simmered in a stew for a very long time. After such a treatment, tough meat is as edible as the high quality cuts served on your plate medium done.

I have had my moments, having been served bistecca or entrecôte tough as shoe leather. When ordering beef with Gorgonzola sauce we (we were two) discovered that this was either a cut from another unmentionable part of a bull, or from an animal that had died of old age.

We waited for a long time for our beef to arrive at the table. This in spite of us being the only guests in the restaurant. Why do I never learn that this is a bad sign!

When it finally arrived at the table, it looked good enough. Two decent sized pieces of beef with a creamy blue cheese sauce.

The sauce was OK (I said OK, not good), but after having dipped the meat into it and started to chew it, I found that the beef was tougher than most meats I have eaten. It was medium done, which normally would have left the it more tender than a piece of beef well done. After three or four pieces we both surrendered, and I took charge and asked for the waiter.

Sorry - this meat is impossible to eat, was our message, and we were allowed to order something else from the menu. When hearing of the incidence, even the cook came out of the kitchen to apologize and ensured us that this would never happen again.

We ordered Saltimbocca Alla Romana - usually made of thinly sliced veal topped with prosciutto and sage; marinated in wine. It was served with a red wine sauce, salad and bulgur (!) I am afraid to say that this was our second close encounter with badly prepared meat. The slices of veal (or beef) was very dry and also difficult to chew, and I did not fancy the sauce either.

In short, this is not the place to eat at Hamar. When serving food of this quality it does not deserve to survive. The fact that we were one of the few guests that evening indicates that the inhabitants of the city has discovered the same.

Address:
Leonardo Hamar

Torggata 34
2315 HAMAR
Tlf: 62 53 08 20
e-post: leonardo@leonardorestaurant.no
Official website here


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vindlausloftet, Norways oldest house - anno 1167














In the year 1167, the Norwegian earl Erling Skakke reigned Norway on behalf of his son Magnus Erlingsson. He and his son have been dead for over 800 years, but a house built by a wealthy farmer in Telemark is still standing. It is now the oldest private house in Norway

Vindlausloftet from Eidsborg in Telemark is a old, rather scruffy building, located in the local museum at Eidsborg. People knew it was old, but not exactly how old. As scientist used the science of dendrochronology, i.e. counting the rings of the trees used to build this house, they were amazed to find that it was built over 800 years ago. The age of this building is surpassed by only a few of the stave churches and some of the oldest Romanesque church buildings in Norway.

It was said to be built as a storage for linen for the wealthy woman Åse Stålekleiv, and was, before this last investigations, believed to be from the 13th or 14th century.

By the door on the upper floor there is a text of 66 runes stating:
«Disse runer risset Vestein. Vær hilset, både den som risset og den som leser runene.» (These runes were carved by Vestein. Be greeted, both he who carved and he who reads them)
This new discovery does not only make this the oldest wooden house in Norway but one of the oldest of its kind in Europe.

You can see a picture of the house here

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Coming up - pre Christmas in Värmland




















I love Värmland. I have traveled through this west Swedish landscape twice before. From Karlstad, the administrative centre of this county, located the coastline of the vast lake Vänern to the deep wilderness of the spruce and pine forests. Värmland has so much in common with the counties west of the border, but is in many ways very different.

I have told the story of Sunnemo before here on Enjoy Food & Travel. It is a charming community within the boundaries of the city of Hagfors. This quiet, quaint village located in a small valley surrounded by low wooden hills, goes back to the mid 17th century and beyond. A beautiful wooden church built in 1653 and remains of an old 17th century iron work are the main sights of Sunnemo.

But this is a place of tranquility, a luxury getting scarcer in a busy world that presently dives into economic recession. I therefore look forward to visit the parents of my good pal Terje.

What to do? As I already have toured the sights of the place, to still my hunger for quitness, I suppose. Eat and drink as well. In fact rumors have it that there are a few succulent goose breasts hidden away in a freezer waiting to be prepared by Terje and I. What a swell thing!!

More on Sunnemo here on Enjoy Food & Travel

Meals prepared at Sunnemo:

- Duck Breast with cherry sauce
- Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with black truffles

Sights of Sunnemo:

- Gubbkroken
- Hyttruinen
- Spånhyvelen
- Sunnemo Kyrka

Even more Värmland stories:


- Read the story on Selma Lagerlöfs residence Mårbacka
- Karlstad - a city by the inland sea
- Lake Stor Treen - a camping odyssey

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Highland Hotel & Spa Geilo



















Geilo is Norways best known winter sport destination. Located in the long Hallingdalen valley, it is the gateway to Hardangervidda, the large central mountain plain and Geilo is one of several crossing points between the eastern and western part of Norway. In Geilo you may indulge in many different winter sport activities while staying in one of the many mountain resorts. We did very little winter sports, but why should we? Highland Hotel & Spa had so much more to offer.

Location: BBBB+

Highland Hotel & Spa is located in the centre of Geilo, just a short walk away from the railway station and just by the main road. As the centre is slightly up the side of the valley there is a view over the valley and the nearby hills and mountains.

Service: BBBB+

We were received by a nice professional staff at the reception and the staff in the restaurants and bars were equally service minded.

Room: BBBBB-

I was given a ground level room 104. It was a very large bedroom (30 sq metres), and a medium sized bathroom. It had two very comfortable, separate beds, a small desk, and a small sofa, comfortable chair and a large coffee table were located by the window. There was enough storage space for two.

It was pleasantly colour-coordinated and had been very recently been given a nice traditional redesign. The bathroom had grey and white tiles, a bath tub (hooray).

As both bed- and bathroom were new it was immaculately maintained and very well cleaned. The new carpet held the same high standard, in short - nothing to point your finger at.

Features room:
Flat screen TV - image of poor quality
Free wireless connection
Minibar (empty)

Features bathroom:
Bathtub
Hair dryer

Breakfast: BBBBB

Highland Hotel & Spa offered a breakfast suitable for those planning a long day in the pistes, as well as those that wants to be pampered in the inhouse Spa or dip in the pool. There was a large selection of dishes at the breakfast buffet including warm breakfast including scrambled eggs, bacon, and cocktail sausages. Breads and pastries, a good selection of meats, cheese, and paté to fulfill everyone's needs, and for those that want a healthier start, cereal, yogurt, fruits, and juice, and good coffee and tea.

Facilities: BBBBB

Nothing to put your finger on here. This hotel has a wide range of facilities for their guests, most free to use.

There are a buffet restaurant, as well as Café Leo decorated with art of the renowned artist Edvard Munch and view to the mountains. In addition there is a branch of United Bakeries, renowned makers of artisan bread. Here you also find a nice bar and you may seek shelter in the adjacent library and enjoy your drink in a comfortable chair by the burning fire place.

For the fitness fanatics that still have some energy to squeeze out after a day at the pistes, you may work out excess frustration in the fitness studio, followed by a relaxing spa treatment. This is not included in the price, and be well advised to book in advance. A cheaper alternative is to take a dip in the swimming pool followed by a visit to the Finnish sauna.

There are a wireless network free to use for paying guests all over the hotel, but for those that has not brought their lap top an additional PC is available for guests in the reception area.

Higland Hotel & Spa has very recently been redecorated to a high standard. We recommend you to visit the hotel before the wear and tear set in.

Price: BBB+

You may book the hotel with breakfast or with all meals included. Be aware that you pay per person and not per room. Prices go from under 800 NOK (100 EURO) up to 1700 NOK per person depending on the season and if you will have all meals. Highland Hotel & Spa is expensive, but at least you get value for money here.

Rating the Highland Hote & Spa experience: BBBB (4,11 points)

Recommended hotel to stay in the middle of Geilo city centre, close to the railway station, but beware - in spite of the high standard, you pay per person, and it may get expensive. If you look for a less pricey alternative, check other hotels in the neighborhood.

Address:
Highland Hotel & Spa
N-3580 Geilo
TLF. +47 32 09 61 00
FAX. +47 32 09 61 01
E-mail: mail@highland.no
Web: www.highland.no