Saturday, February 06, 2010

Wine, beer, and liquor on Enjoy Food & Travel 2010

To make it easier for you, I have compiled all the wine, beer and liquor stories on Enjoy Food & Travel for the year 2010 on this page. Enjoy!!

Find other stories on Enjoy Food & Travel - see our new page:

Enjoy Food & Travel - main index 2006-2010

Friday, February 05, 2010

Croque at Le Cirio in Brussels

As we arrived in Brussels, I do as I usually do - I take a late night snack at Le Cirio. This time I traveled with friends and we planned to meet at this charming old Tavern by Brussels Stock Exchange, and I knew what I would order - a Croque Cirio.

Le Cirio is one of my favourite hangouts in the Belgian capital. They serve the most refreshing traditional Belgian beer "au fut", on tap. I chose a cold Leffe Blonde.

Le Cirio offers a menu consisting of a few traditional warm specialties, salads, cold cuts, and Croques - delicious toasts.

You may choose from a traditional Croque Monsieur, Madame ( served with a fried egg or poached egg), or a Croque Cannibale - with raw ground meat.

I ordered the delicious Croque Cirio, the house specialty, a toast with cheese, tomato sauce and pancetta, served with salad home mayonnaise and conichons.

A delicious evening snack, when you're not in the mood for a large meal. If you arrive in Brussels on an evening flight, this is definitely something to try.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

NEW on Enjoy Food & Travel - Paris

View Paris on Enjoy Food & Travel 2006-2009 in a larger map

I have not been in Paris for several years, but I have been there many times and know the city well. I, and others, have during these last years written quite a few stories from the French capital. I have made a referring list and plotted them onto a map. So, who knows, perhaps I'll travel to Paris in 2010?

  • Full-screen
    Ermitage Hôtel
    Hotel used by my friends John and Øystein, when in Paris.
  • Fleche d'Or Hotel
    Decent, budget hotel by Gare Saint Lazare.
  • Hotel de Lille
    The first hotel I stayed in Paris, way back in 1984. Then a very "rustic" place with few mod-con's

  • Hotel Nicolo
    Hotel Nicolo
    is a hidden gem. It is quiet and charming with a tiny but lovely garden and newly redecorated rooms and very helpful and accommodating staff.

  • Auberge Nicolas Flamel
    One of the places that I dream to dine, is in Paris. In Rue de Montmorency in the Marais district you may eat in a house that once belonged to one of the greatest alchemists in the world - Nicolas Flamel.
    Read full story here

  • Le Florimond
    I got this mail from my good friend John Wroughton. He and his partner, Øystein, had been to Paris over the New Year. They had their New Year's dinner ar Le Florimond. Here is his account of their meal.
    Read full story here

  • Orestias
    Orestias is my favorite restaurant in Paris. It is messy and noisy and the waiters are real characters. They offer a small menu of inexpensive, seasonal Greek dishes.
    Read full story here
  • Full-screen
    Basilique du Sacré Coeur
    The basilica of the Sacred Heart is one of my favorite places in Paris. In spite of the thousands of visitors every day, it is a quiet place where you can be soothed by the sound of rattling rosaries and the smell of burning candles.
    Read full story here

  • Centre Pompidou
    Closer to Centre Pompidou you find the Paris gay community. And Place des Vosges closer to Place de la Bastille, is maybe one of the most beautiful squares in Paris dating back to 1605.
    Read full story here
  • Le Marais
    The Marais area has many old houses and its narrow streets is a melting pot. In Rue des Rosiers, you find the Jewish community side by side with immigrants from Nortern Africa.
    Read full story here

  • Musé Max Fournet de’l Art Naïf et Primitif
    In Halle St Pierre in Montmartre, at the foot of the hill which is crowned by the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, le Sacré Coeur, is an extraordinary museum, Musé Max Fournet de’l Art Naïf et Primitif.
    Read full story here

  • Place de Vosges
    Closer to Centre Pompidou you find the Paris gay community. And Place des Vosges closer to Place de la Bastille, is maybe one of the most beautiful squares in Paris dating back to 1605.
    Read full story here
Find other stories on Enjoy Food & Travel - see our new page:

Enjoy Food & Travel - main index 2006-2010

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A New Years dinner at Le Florimond in Paris

I got this mail from my good friend John Wroughton. He and his partner, Øystein, had been to Paris over the New Year. Theu had their New Year's dinner ar Le Florimond. Here is his account of their meal.

By John Wroughton

This past New Years Eve (2009), we booked a table at Le Florimond in Paris based on its excellent rating with Trip Advisor.

Unlike a more typical night at the restaurant, they had two table settings (kl. 19:00 and 21:30) with the following fixed menu:
  • Pumpkin / squash soup served in its own little pumpkin (not officially on the menu)
  • Fried scallops in a morel (mushroom) sauce
  • House’s own homemade duck fois gras
  • Main course with veal
  • Cheese dish consisting of two layers of brie de meaux with a paprika flavored cream cheese-like layer in the middle
  • Mousse dessert with a nutty caramelized lattice decoration.
Each course was tastefully presented and “delicious” - and we did eat heartily. But I can’t recall any one of the courses as standing out as exceptional / memorable / unique - taste wise.

The pumpkin / squash soup was actually a surprise opening ‘welcome course’. Serving this soup in its own little pumpkin was a brilliant idea – and it was most definitely tasty. And it set the whole meal off on a good note. I’ll let the pictures can do some of the “telling”.

I think we received a very decent value for money - although the drinks we ordered (a glass of champagne each, a bottle of Cahors red wine, and coffee added another 50 euros to the bill – gulp!) But, hey, it was New Years Eve! (The ‘picher’ of water was free, though.)

Le Florimond’s interior is cheerfully trendy without being ‘fancy’ or ‘posh’. The tables were arranged fairly close to one another. The head waiter and assisting waiter(s) were friendly and communicative and the chef, Pascal Guillaumin, came out towards the end of the meal to greet the guests. Putting on and executing a six-course meal must require plenty of thought, planning, preparation and culinary experience.

We most certainly enjoyed the experience, before going out for the New Years “countdown” around the Eiffel Towel, Champs Elysees and finally up at Montmartre near our hotel, L’Ermitage. If I lived in Paris, I would want to go back and try a few of their every-day specialties.

More stories from John Wroughton

Impressions of Italy - the Amalfi Coast

Hotel Principe Eugenio - Rome

Le Florimond
19, Avenue de la Motte-Picquet
75007 Paris
Reservation: 01 45 55 40 38
Official website

Location of Le Florimond - see this new map of Paris

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

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The runic stones of Sigtuna

Sigtuna is the oldest, still populated settlement in Sweden. The long dramatic history spans over 1000 years, and has left a rich heritage of historic monuments. Some of the most interesting are the great number inscriptions on stones written in the old Norse Runic alphabet. Here a a few stones found in the centre of the town.

Stone by St. Lars Church Ruin

Translated text: Anund erected this stone in menory of himself, while still alive.

This stone was found by the north east corner of St. Lars Church Ruin in 1956, where it had been laid down as a corner stone of an old wall.

This means that the stone had been placed into the church wall around 50 years after the constructed in the middle of the 11th century. The stone, predating this old church, may be at least 1000 years old.

This stone may be a result of vanity, as Anund erected it in memory of himself, wile still being alive. A very human trait, bringing the voice of an individual to us through history.

Runic stone from St. Pers Church ruin (11th century)

Original inscription: T(horbiorn r)æsti (s)tæin thennsi æftir Æsbiorn, brodur sinn. Their eru synir dyrvis i(........)

Translated: Torbriørn erected this stone in memory of Esbjørn, his brother. They are sons of Dyrvis at (.......)

This runic stone dates back at least 900 years. It was mentioned in historic records first in 1612, as stone threshold at St. Pers Church. Some of the inscription was lost, when adjusted to the adjacent stones in the church floor.

It was drawn and the registered over 300 years ago. The text in the brackets refers to the text visible when it was registered for the first time in the 17th century.

Fragment of three rune stones from Mariakyrkan (11th century)

Deciphered text:
  • Rune-stone 1: ......Åsbjørn and kus did......
  • Rune-stone 2: .....God help the spirit.......
  • Rune-stone 3: ........after Orm.......
The Church dedicated to Saint Mary, is the only Medieval church still standing in Sigtuna. Here you find three rune stones with inscriptions.

Stone number 1 is located by the main entrance of the church, number 2 is a part of the eastern wall of the Gernerska Mausoleum by the church, whereas number three is found on the mausoleum's northern wall.

Runic stone (11th century)

Translated text: Gillug and Usi had this stone erected in memory of ...... Arne's son...

This stone commemorates son of Arne, and was erected by a man, Gillug and usi, possibly a man's name, maybe her husband? It was found in a cellar wall of a building close to St. Lars Church ruin.

We do not know exact location of this stone, and it is now standing by a building in one of the city streets.

146 rune stones are found within Sigtuna town

These are just four out of 146 runic inscriptions found within the city borders of the town of Sigtuna. They are some of the earliest written messages left by the Vikings to be read by us, and stones like these mark the start of the written history of the Scandinavian countries.

The runic alphabet was not unique for the Scandinavian countries. The oldest date back to 150 AD, but they are in use as a parallel set of letters to the Latin from the 6th century. In Scandinavia they were in use from the 8-9th century to the 15th century.

More on Sigtuna

Monday, February 01, 2010

Two gluten free recipes

More and more people are tested to discover the they either suffer from Coeliac disease or gluten intolerance. Erica E. Brady, my American cousin sent these two gluten-free recipes that she'd got from Rita Evans, a friend. The first substitute quinoa with ordinary flour, the other use rice flour, one of the most common flour substitutes for sale in ordinary supermarkets.

Quinoa Veggie Burgers

3 cups (70 cl) cooked, cooled Quinoa – make sure all water is absorbed and consistency is fluffy when measuring.
4 oz (100 grams) extra firm tofu
½ rice French roll processed to bread crumbs or 1/2 cup (15 cl) gluten free bread crumbs
1/3 (5 cl) cup black beans
1 med yellow onion – finely chopped
¾ lb (320 grams) Portobello mushrooms – sliced
1-2 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cummin
Splash of Sherry wine

Sauté onion, mushroom (cook all water out of mushrooms) add garlic and Sherry at very end, lower heat and cook most of liquid out– let mixture cool slightly.

Combine all ingredients in large bowl and hand mix, being sure to well incorporate tofu into as small pieces as possible.

Add entire mixture to food processor and pulse until smooth but still with some texture.

Test a small portion either raw or cooked and correct seasoning if necessary

Chill for approx 30 min and form into patties – can be formed, separate with parchment paper and frozen.

Cook on flat top – if using sauté pan, do not cover.

Gluten-Free Corn Bread


1 cup (23 cl) white rice flour (or other gluten free flour)
3/4 (18 cl) cup stone-ground cornmeal
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 beaten eggs
¾ (18 cl) cup corn niblets
1 (23 cl) cup milk
1/4 (6 cl) cup melted butter


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (200 C). Mix the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum) together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a food processor combine milk, sugar and corn niblets – pulse for 10 seconds. Add eggs and process for 30 seconds.

Add this mixture all at once to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened. Add melted butter and stir until just combined.

Pour batter into the hot buttered cast iron skillet or baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

Serve warm.

Other Gluten-free stories on Enjoy Food & Travel

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Enjoy Food & Travel on YouTube

As I have traveled around the world, I have taken many videos with my camera. They have, until know, only been available to me in my own library. I have embedded a few, in my stories on Enjoy Food & Travel. Now I have started to make all films available to you on YouTube.

There are 80 films available on YouTube, from different destinations in Europe, Africa, and the US. You can find films from different locations here. I plan to make all my videos available for you to enjoy on my site.

See all my videos on YouTube