Saturday, October 03, 2009

Luscious Lobster Club at Rustic Kitchen

Enjoying a lobster in the far north is a luxurious treat. Even though prices of Maine lobsters have risen the last years, they still are affordable in the US compared to what you have to pay in Scandinavia. So many restaurants in Northern New England have at least one lobster dish on the menu. I tucked into a luscious lobster club with crispy bacon at the Rustic Kitchen in New England. Me like - me like, very much!!

Accessibility: BBB-

The Rustic Kitchen is located at the Derby Street Shoppes in the town of Hingham on Boston South Shore, by Highway 3 (Pilgrims Hwy), around 28 km or 17 miles south of Boston. This is one out of three restaurants, one being in Boston. The latter does, however, not have the lobster club on the menu.

This is definitely out of bounce for those in need of public transportation. You will need a car to get there.

Derby Street is a mall more pleasing to the eye, than most others. Low, yellow painted buildings instead of the large square hangars found in other shopping mall.

Service: BBBB+

Good overall service. We did not have to waiter unnecessarily to order, nor did it take long to be served.

Interior: BBBB

The Rustic Kitchen itself has an interesting, eclectic interior in warm, brown and terracotta colours. Some of the wall and construction were covered in stone, and there were many interior features as all sorts of decorative items on the walls, interestingly shaped lamps, and much more. You can see interior images from Rustic Kitchen here.

We did not see much of it, as we enjoyed our meal outside in the warm sunshine. We were comfortable seated by ourselves, as there were no one else but us lunching.

Food: BBBBB-

I chose the fresh picked lobster club on sour dough with tarragon aïoli, Applewood smoked bacon, tomato and bibb lettuce priced at $ 15,50. A steep price for a sandwich, some would say, but this was no ordinary sandwich.

Deliciously presented - a huge sandwich served with delicious rustic potato chips and lettuce. Both the potato chips and bacon were fried crisp to perfection, and worked perfectly to the soft lobster meat present in abundance.

All the ingredients worked perfectly together. The salt, slightly sweet bacon, the chips balanced the sweet delicious lobster and the tarragon aïoli provided a subtle, slightly perfumed undertone.

If I returned to the Rustic Kitchen I would definitely choose the lobster club again, and I recommend it to those of you that visit.

Drink: Not rated

Rating the Rustic Kitchen experience: BBBB (4,03 points)

Located outside Boston, you HAVE to have a car to visit the Rustic Kitchen at Derby Street Mall. It is therefore out of bounce for those of you visiting the city. Quaint interior. Delicious Lobster Club is a delicious treat, and this dish sets a high standard, and if the other food on the menu is as good as the club, then this is a highly recommendable place to eat.


Rustic Kitchen
94 Derby Street
Derby Street Shoppes
Hingham, MA 02043-4202
For Reservations please call 781-749-2700

Friday, October 02, 2009

New England on Enjoy Food & Travel 2009

Vis New England on Enjoy Food & Travel 2006 - 2009 i et større kart

I have just returned from a great 12 day vacation in Northern New England. As ever, a stay in September, means that you get the last days of the US summer season. I enjoyed days with temperatures from 16 degrees to 28 degrees Celsius (61 - 82 F), and I even took a swim in the sea.

These are stories coming up on Enjoy Food & Travel

Food stories:


  • My American shopping bag
  • Beaches of New England, Salisbury, Nantasket, and Scituate MA
  • Bunker Hill Monument, Boston MA
  • Clough House, Boston MA
  • Copp's Hill Burying Ground, Boston MA
  • Deacon Larkin House, Boston MA
  • First Burying Ground, Salisbury MA
  • Old Townhouses of Charlestown, Boston MA
  • Saint Francis of Assisi Garden, Boston MA
  • Saint Leonard Church, Boston MA
  • Skinny House, Boston MA

Thursday, October 01, 2009

UPDATED AUGUST 2009: Europe's most punctual airlines - scoreboard

September 4th Flightstats launched their Airline and Airport On-time Performance - August 2009 Report. The report measures every month the number of flights arriving within 15 minutes of published schedules. A large number of European airlines have been evaluated by Flightstats, and 3 out of 8 of the most punctual airlines were either Norwegian, Danish or joint Scandinavian. The 8 worst performers were, with one exception, based in Southern Europe.

The only exception to this rule is actually number 1. Binter Canarias is the airline bringing passengers among the Canary Islands. They have managed to maintain its position as the most punctual airline in Europe, as only two out a hundred flights are more than 15 minutes delayed. The Scandinavian air carriers have a more mixed score. Whereas 5 out of 8 of the most punctual airlines were Scandinavian in July, only three had maintained their good performance in August.

The airline to be avoided would be the Greek Olympic Airlines. Only 4 out of 10 airlines arrived less than 15 minutes delayed. Their performance was the worst, by far, as number 2 on the list of the least punctual airlines, Meridiana had a 55% punctuality.

The 8 best (and worst) airlines in Europe August 2009 (Performance in July in brackets)
  1. Binter Canarias (ES) 98,09% (1)
  2. SAS Norway (NO) - 96,37% (5)
  3. Cimber Air A.S. (DK) - 95,44% (7)
    VLM Airlines (BE) - 95,44% (3)
  4. KLM Cityhopper (NL) - 95,21% (4)
  5. SAS - (SC) 95,07% (6)
  6. Tyrolean Airways (AU) - 94,25% (NEW)
  7. Brit Air (FR) - 93,94 % (NEW)
The 8 worst performers are:
  1. Olympic Airlines (GR) - 39,93%
  2. Meridiana (IT) - 54,55 %
  3. Turkish Airlines (TU) - 59,64 %
  4. Air One (IT) - 63,79 %
  5. TAP (PT) - 65,91 %
  6. Malev (HU) - 69,27 %
  7. Alitalia (IT) - 71,23 %
  8. Eastern Airways (UK) - 71,46 %

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sunrise over the Atlantic

September 18th 2009. Woke up, after a short night, rather jet-lagged in my cousin's house, located on a barrier island in Northern Massachusetts. After having taken a good mug of coffee, my cousin left for her job at school, and I went down to the beach to watch the sun rise.

This beautiful island on the North Shore of Boston is where many have their summer homes. When you see the beach you certainly understand why. A long, wide beach made up from the most beautiful white sand, and one or two rows of houses protected by sand dunes. Every summer the beaches ad the nearby resorts are packed with people, but mid September, after Labour Day, the calm settles in this beautiful beach side community.

Salisbury Beach, MA - the place to experience a sunrise over the Atlantic, as I did today (as I am writing this just an hour after I have experienced it). I highly recommend travelers from Europe and beyond to consider a summer vacation here. You do need a car to get her, as public transportation is none-existent.

A national welcome

When I arrived, yesterday, September 17th, I knew I was welcomed, as my cousin pointed up on her upstairs terrace. Look I've put out the Norwegian flag for you!

Norwegian flags are a rarity here, as most of the flags I've seen are either the star spangled banner or the Irish, as the inhabitants of the green island have a profound cultural influence in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. So much, in fact, that communities on the Boston South Shore are often called the Irish riviera.

Well, for once, there is a Norwegian flags waving in the wind in this quiet seaside resort. As I write I have 10 days left of my vacation. It seems like such a long time, but I know, sadly that this seemingly long period pass so quickly.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More stories on Enjoy Food & Travel - Fall 2009

Fall is approaching fast, and it is time to prepare for fall and early winter 2009. I have made some plans on where to travel the months to come.

September 2009 - Sigtuna Sweden

I have just attended a conference in the town of Sigtuna in Sweden in September. Sigtuna is located by Lake Mälaren and was founded over 1000 years ago and was an important royal and administrative centre in the Viking age and during the early Middle Ages.

There are many remains from its great past left to admire, as ruins of old churches and monasteries, as what is left of the large St. Pers Church (right). There are also a large number of rune stones from the early Nordic medieval era.

Around Lake Mälaren you also find beautiful palaces as Steninge slott, Skokloster och Rosersbergs slott.

I have stayed at Stora Brännbo Hotel located in the middle of Sigtuna and only a 15 minute away from Arlanda International Airport. A review of this hotel will come shortly here on Enjoy Food & Travel.
September 2009 - New England

In September it is time for my annual trip to New England. The area around Boston has a special place in my heart as I have returned there 25 times to visit family and friends.

I am looking forward to more culinary experiences in the North Eastern part of the United States.

This area is also the first location for early European settlement. Here you find beautiful buildings going back many centuries, as the House of the Seven Gables (image) in Salem Massachusetts, built for Capt. John Turner in 1668.
(Photo: Bonss)

October 2009 - Bergen Norway

Another annual visit is to the historic city of Bergen. It is Norway's second largest city, and has had a rich past.

It was in a period Norway's capital, and later a large centre for the trade in dried codfish from Northern Norway to Europe.

From the 13th century it had strong connections to the Hanseatic league, a powerful trade organization with roots in Northern Germany. This organization has left from this period important heritage sites in the city, as the Bryggen area, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

More on Bergen on Enjoy Food & Travel
November 2009 - Brussels, Belgium

In November I will return to another favourite destination - Brussels, Belgium.

The Belgian capital has so much to offer travelers. You may visit one of its many museums, walk over beautiful squares as Place Saint Cathérine or Grand Place, or sit down in the shade and enjoy one of the 800 beer varieties brewed by the Belgians.

And the food!! High class and very affordable dining compared to so many other European capital cities. I do look forward to another visit this fall.

We will stay the weekend at Conrad Brussels. This upscale luxurious hotel is located
on the fashionable Avenue Louise in the fashionable Ixelles area of the Belgian capital. You can read more on Conrad Brussels here.
December 2009 - Christmas in Istanbul

The destination for this years Christmas is finally decided. Enjoy Food & Travel will spend the festive season in Istanbul, Turkey.

This metropolis has been capital in the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, and a bridge linking the Asian and European continents, as well as the Muslim and Christian world.

I will spend Christmas with Enjoy Food & Travel co-writers Per and Susanne Koch. We all look forward to wind down during our vacation, and take a puls on this fascinating old historic city.

I have never spent Christmas in a non-Christian setting before, and I do look forward to exploring the historic sights of Istanbul, and taste the exquisite Turkish cuisine. And maybe I will experience a relaxing Turkish bath.

We will travel with Turkish Airlines, that has started daily non-stop flights from Oslo airport to Istanbul Atatürk Airport, leaving Istanbul 12.00 PM EET, arriving Oslo 2.55 PM CET (-1), returning from Oslo 3.50 PM CET landing in Istanbul 8.30 PM EET (+1).

We will stay at Armada Hotel Istanbul**** located in the old part of Istanbul and close to many of the important historic sights of the city as the Archaeology Museum, the Topkapi Palace, the Church of St. Irene, Sultanahmet Square, the Cisterns, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A dream come through - staying at Conrad Brussels

I have lost count on the times I have visited the Belgian capital. Many visits I stayed with a good friend up by Avenue Louise, an elegant wide street in the borough of Ixelles. This is the wealthy part of town, with designer shops, expensive restaurants and exclusive hotels, and among the most exclusive places to stay is Conrad Brussels.

Conrad Brussels is a large and very impressive luxury hotel. It is conveniently located in the part of the avenue closest to the city centre, close to trams and the subway. It was opened in 1993 but its contemporary architecture blends in with the grand old facades along the avenue.

The Conrad Brussels is one out of two upscale luxury brands in the Hilton corporation, named after the founder of the hotel chain Conrad Hilton, from New Mexico of Norwegian origin. His father came from Hilton, a farm outside Oslo.

It offers 269 business class rooms or suites, a first class restaurant, and lobby bar. Guests have direct access to the hotel's exclusive health club, Aspria Avenue Louise, with a 17-metre pool, gym, sauna, jacuzzi and a dedicated spa with over 60 treatments.

As this hotel caters to the wealthy traveler, I would recommend you to check the prices, as this luxury is often followed by a hefty price tag.

I am happy to say that in November Enjoy Food & Travel will indulge in the luxury at Conrad Brussels. As a friend and I are traveling to Brussels we found that could offer us a double room for €159 per night, a very favorable price to stay in this hotel.

I cannot wait to get there, but in the mean time do indulge in some of the luxury, by looking through the hotel website. Do take the photo and video tour to experience the beautiful rooms, the restaurant and bar, and the beautiful pool.

See you at Conrad's!