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


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