Saturday, April 12, 2008

Is that you? Eyes on Beaufort S. C.
























March 14th I had a visitor from Beaufort South Carolina here on Enjoy Food & Travel. Beaufort is, by American standard, a small city, but it has a very long and interesting history. In fact it was here, the French explorer Jean Ribaut founded the first small European colony on Parris Island as early as 1582, three years before the Spaniards built their first settlement in Florida. So visiting Beaufort will bring you 425 years of American history.


Facts on Beaufort

Population:
  • City: 12950 (2000)
  • Greater urban area: 46227 (2000)
  • Most of the population is either white or African american
Area:
  • 23,4 square miles (60,7 square kilometres)
Climate (www.weather.com):
  • Highest temperature: July (average high 33C, low 23C)
  • Lowest temperature: January (average high 14C, low 4C)
  • Precipitation, maximum: August (Average 166,9 mm)
  • Precipitation, minimum: November (Average 62,7 mm)
History

Beaufort was chartered in 1711, making it into the second oldest city in the state of South Carolina, after Charleston (1670).

It was through the Treaty of Beaufort that the question of the state boundaries between Georgia and South Carolina was settled in 1787.

Beaufort is one of the main centres of the Gullah culture, one of the oldest and most original Afro American cultures left in the United States.

Historic sights in Beaufort
How to get there

Getting to Beaufort SC by plane from Europe

At a random date, e.g. August 1st, I would have to leave Oslo Airport 11.25 AM CET with Continental Flight 39, arriving Newark Intl. Airport at 2 PM EST. I would then have to change to a US Airways flight 1895 bound for Charlotte NC arriving at 8.31 PM (EST). (Offered at www.ebookers.com)

I would then have to spend the night in Charlotte and take a US Airways flight 4429 at 9.15 AM the next morning, arriving at Hilton Head SC at 10.25 AM. Overall travel time: 11 hours and 51 minutes. Price 10842 NOK (2170 USD / 1355 EUR).

Traveling by bus

One alternative is to take the 243 mile trip from Charlotte to Beaufort by bus. August 2nd Greyhound have one service from Charlotte leaving 8.40 AM, arriving at Beaufort 2.05 PM. It will take you five hours, but save you 180 USD, compared with the air fare the last part of the journey

And when arriving - it is time to find a place to stay. What has Beaufort SC to offer in August and to what price? It is peak season - after all.

Where to stay

Best Western Sea Island Inn offers a best available rate with no restrictions from August 2nd to August 7th - $159,99 / € 100. This includes a room with 2 queen beds, no smoke, hairdryer, refrige, coffee maker, and continental breakfast.

Address
: 1015 Bay Street Beaufort, SC

American Best Inns Beaufort offers a best available rate with no restrictions from August 2nd to August 7th - $85 / € 53. This includes a room with one king bed, non smoking. cable television, a/c, iron, and ironing board.

Address
: 12448 Boundary Street US Highway 21, Beaufort, SC.

Sleep inn Beaufort offers a best available rate with no restrictions from August 2nd to August 7th - at an average rate of $83,99 / € 52,50. This includes a room with one king bed, non smoking.

Address
: 2523 Boundary Street, Beaufort, SC

Where to dine

Saltus River Grill,
has had some great reviews from happy guests. Offers an oyster, full dinner and sushi menu. Theme: Seafood, fusion food.

Address:

802
Bay St # C,
Beaufort, SC
Phone:
+1 843-379-3474

11th Street Dockside, happy guests describes this a great place to eat in Beaufort. Mainly seafood on the menu.

Address
:
1699 11th St,
Port Royal, SC
Phone: +1 843-524-7433

Beaufort SC - is that you?

This was a short cyber trip to Beaufort, the home town of one of my visitors, here on Enjoy Food & Travel. Is that you? In that case, tell me more from the place you live. Send an email to johnsen.tor@gmail.com, and get your story published here on this site.

Who else visited Enjoy Food & Travel March 14th?

See map of locations here. If you have a story from the place you live, an interesting historic sight, a nice restaurant, an excellent hotel, or what you are preparing for dinner tonight, send an email to johnsen.tor@gmail.com, and get your story published here on this site.


View Larger Map

Friday, April 11, 2008

One way - please!


















I remember when you had to book a round trip ticket to the same destination to get a favorable price. You booked your trip at a travel agency, and you got flight tickets printed on thick paper. You were at the mercy of the middle man, the person in charge of the computer, the person that booked your tickets. Those were the days, but do we miss them? Maybe - but I am happy to be my own master and book - one way please!!


As we did today, when booking our trip to the sunny beaches by the Mediterranean. We had three options if traveling non-stop from Oslo to Barcelona. We had good ol' Scandinavian operating daily flights from Oslo to Barcelona. The alternatives are provided by Danish Sterling and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Scandinavian lost the competition - to expensive , and then we booked - one way please!

Often you book a round trip ticket with the same air carrier, as this is what you do. In these times when you, and not the travel agency representative look into the PC - you are in charge.

This sense of power means that you end up as we did. Norwegian Air Shuttle provided the best offer on June 16th - a Monday. Leaving from Oslo - Rygge 9.25 AM, arriving in Barcelona 12.40 PM. Soon to get a dip in the Mediterranean before sunset and enjoy a plate of Arroz Negre in the loving Mediterranean dusk. Price - around €120 each. Nice price - Monday!

Going back, Norwegian offered a departure from Barcelona very early Sunday morning. The prospect getting up at dawn and take a look over the beach - and then go back made it easy to decide - one way please!!

Sterling offered a return from Barcelona 1.55 PM, meaning one morning dip, one good breakfast - before leaving for the train - in no rush. Being home around 5 PM, early enough to enjoy a pint at Karl Johans gate, on summer solstice - the longest day of the year.

Price - € 170, but it is Sunday, Summer, so who complains!!

Do we miss the travel agent? I miss what he / she stood for, a time when booking a trip was an occasion, but I LOVE the freedom provided by looking into the computer deciding to book - one way, please!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fusion food at Restaurant Valuta

I remember when I visited the first Chinese restaurant, back in the 70s. Lum Fong was a novelty when it was established in Kristiansand, during a time when even pizza and pasta was exotic. Today you find interesting ethnic fusion food in every small community - as at Restaurant Valuta at Hamar.

The restaurant is located in what once was the local affiliate of the Norwegian National Bank, a classic greco-roman style building. Where cashiers once counted the riches of the state, you now find Kunstbanken, a large art gallery. A new addition has been connected to the old building - metal, glass and concrete creates an interesting contrast to the old classic building.

The restaurant has an interesting menu, invented by Hai Hang. He is of Asian origin and has worked at the legendary Raffles Hotel in Singapore, the birth place of a legendary drink, the Singapore Sling. He is a dynamic founder of Restaurant Valuta and Hallingmoen Hyttetun.

My friend Øyvind ordered a creamed vegetable wok with noodles and pine nuts (€15), whereas Susanne ordered crisp salmon spring rolls, over a Thai salad (€19). I ordered a coconut creamed chicken wok with vegetables, noodles and cashew nut, with finely grated Asian radishes on top.

Very good grub, if you ask me! If you visit Hamar, visit Hai Hang and enjoy his fusion food, and sense the Far East.

Address:
Restaurant Valuta
Parkgt. 21, 2317 Hamar
Phone: +47 62 53 23 33
Mobile: +47 95 14 15 82
Website: http://www.hai.no/valuta/index.html

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Mama Ludba's - a great choice!




















This restaurant, located in Fredriksberg, has been visited twice. February 1st with my good my friend Ketil in February and with other friends during Easter. It is safe to say that Mama Ludba's is an excellent choice, if you want Italian food and wine served in an eclectic interior by a professional staff.

Location: BBBB

Mama Ludba's is located in Værnedams vej in Fredriksberg close to the restaurants André Citroën, Viggo, and Vagabondo's - the latter to be avoided. A 15 minute walk from Rådhuspladsen, the heart of the Danish capital.

Interior: BBBB+

The interior is eclectic, to say the least. Dark wooden interior with romantic paintings, vases with large bouquet of flowers, and decorative items in different styles.

Price: BBBB+

A large menu with moderate prices. Starters and soups priced from € 4-15, pasta dishes and pizzas from €12-15, one dish priced at €30 - Linguine with fresh lobster and cherry tomatoes flambée with white wine (yum!). Meat and fish priced from €20-35 and dolce €7-10.

Service: BBBBB

Great service from a professional staff. Food served hot and with no delay.

Food: BBBBB-

Tortelloni ai funghi e gorgonzola

1. visit: I chose Tortelloni stuffed with a selection of fresh mushrooms in a gorgonzola sauce (€120). An excellent choice. Large home made raviolis with the a delicious mushroom filling and a smooth, well balanced blue cheese sauce.




Funghi misti alla griglia

2nd visit we ordered a starter and main course. My starter was a selection of grilled mixed mushrooms with rosemary and garlic (€12)

Look at this, it does not only look delicious but the taste was out of this world. Large slices of mushrooms seasoned with garlic and herbs, on a toast soaked in olive oil.

Superb!!


Lasagna al forno

I ordered Lasagna as a second course (€12). This was a little disappointing, in light of my previous culinary experiences.

This was not nearly as good as it could have been. The secret in a good tomato sauce is the balance between salt and a good quantity of sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. This tomato sauce had not this good balance, in fact it did not taste very much.


Lasagna - the secret's in the sauce

A good lasagna should have at least two layers of tomato sauce and two layers of bechamel sauce topped with a mozzarella cheese. It had one layer of bechamel, and in spite of it being served steaming hot the mozzarella was soft and stringy. I prefer my lasagna to be baked until the colour of the cheese topping turns slightly brown and crispy. Thus! The Lasagna at Mama Ludba's was surpassed by my own recipe and many of the others served through my culinary life.

Rating the Mama Ludba's Experience: BBBB+ (4,59 points)
Great interior and service, but it is hard to evaluate the overall quality of the food. Still a place I would recommend to eat in one of the nicest areas of the Danish capital
Address:
Værnedamsvej 2, Copenhagen
Phone: +45 3323 4999
Web: http://www.mamaludbas.dk/

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Oslo street enters its 2nd millennium




















When you visit Gamlebyen, an inner city area on Oslo's east end, you will find Saxegaardsgaten. It looks as any other street in this area, but it is in fact the oldest in Oslo, dating back at least to 1000 AD, or probably earlier. Then it was a pathway leading up from the old harbor to the early settlement that was to become the city of Oslo.

It was called Østre Strete during early medieval times. Later it was named after this building, now hidden behind scaffolding. Saxegaarden was built 200 years ago, but earlier there were two other houses on the site.

One medieval building that belonged to the noble Saxe family was built around 1200. It was also the residence of the powerful Bishops of Hamar before the Lutherans reformation. This building burnt down in 1624.

A second building stood on its foundations until the current was built. The basement of Saxegaarden dates back to the time when the first building was built on the site some 800 years ago. So here you are truly on historic ground.

The street, Østre Strete, may however be even older, dating back to the Viking Age or beyond. It is said to have been a pathway from the fjord up to the oldest part of Oslo.

Oslos coast line has until now been hidden due to the expanding city. Now the local authorities are working to restore it back to its former glory. This area is also the site of some of the most interesting remains of two old churches. I will return to these later.