Monday, April 25, 2016

Hverdagsgodt: New breakfast and lunch place in Stavanger

We stopped by Hverdagsgodt for lunch on a Saturday afternoon in April 2016 in their small cafe in Pedersgata 23. Hverdagsgodt means something like "Every day good stuff" and it seems like this is one of the few breakfast and lunch places in Stavanger as they open at 7 am and closes at 4 pm - or maybe the only one! They focus on sandwiches (made on bread freshly baked in the shop) and smoothies.

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When we walked into the place, the girls behind the counter were busy making sandwiches while they were grooving to the music. The menu is limited but there are a few sandwich option as well as chia porridge. We decided to go for a hummus sandwich and cured ham sandwich. They also make a lovely smoothie that we have tasted before - a kale, apple, avocado and ginger smoothie that tastes great.

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The sandwiches were made fast and we got them served wrapped in paper together with a serviett. My sandwhich was with cured ham, mozarella cheese, salad, carrot and a tomato pesto. It tasted lovely and the tomato pesto had a great taste. I would have enjoyed having a bit more mozarella on it. Nikki had the hummus sandwich and she was happy with this. The hummus had a taste of cumin as far as I could tell and the sandwich was served with carrot, feta and the tomato pesto. The bread was excellent and contained lots of seeds.

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All in all this is a great new addition to the cafe scene in Stavanger. There are not many (if any) places you can go to in Stavanger to get a healthy breakfast sandwich in the morning. Well done guys - we will stop by to taste some of the other sandwiches and smoothies. Check out their homepage on http://www.hverdagsgodt.no/

Regards
Gard
gardkarlsen.com – trip reports and pictures

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lovely risotto at Fish & Cow

We went to Fish & Cow late in the afternoon on a Wednesday in April 2016 and the place was quite empty when we got there. I have been there a couple of times in the past and the food has been good but with concrete walls it has also been quite noisy when the restaurant is packed. It seems like they have done some changes to the place (carpets and curtains) and maybe this will fix the issue.

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The menu was presented and we decided to go for steamed buns and risotto to start with and then spare ribs shared as a main meal. We also decided to go for a glass of wine each. Wine is expensive when you buy it at a restaurant in Norway but it is quite a bit when you have to pay 140 kroner (17 USD). Luckily the Norwegian kroner is quite weak these days so at least it won’t feel that bad for foreigners.

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We got some bread when the steamed buns and risotto was served. The bread was toasted and was maybe a bit on the oily side and the honey butter on the side was too sweet in my opinion. The steamed buns were lovely with a good piece of pork belly and intriguing Asian flavors. The risotto was a risotto prima vera – a risotto with vegetables. I like risotto a lot and I think this was excellent. It was rich and creamy and there were lots of flavors from the peas in the dish. There were also pieces of asparagus in the dish but they did not seem to impact the dish as much as the peas.

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The main dish was baby back ribs served with a Korean bbq sauce. The fries were fresh and tasted great and the baby back ribs were good but I was maybe expecting them to be even juicier.

To get a full experience I also went for dessert. I first asked the waiter about the frozen cheesecake and it turned out to be a non-baked cheese cake and I’m not sure that I agree calling a cake a cheesecake when it is not baked. I decided to go for the chocolate fondant with vanilla ice. The dessert was presented in a beautiful way and the chocolate fondant was warm and had a runny center.

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All in all Fish & Cow still works. The location is great (right at the city square), the menu is not extensive but has some interesting dishes. But it was a bit on the price side. We had the dishes mentioned above and three glasses of wine and that was 1000 Norwegian Kroner (122 USD).

You can read more about Fish and Cow on their website www.fishandcow.no .

Regards
Gard
gardkarlsen.com – trip reports and pictures

Monday, April 4, 2016

26 North Restaurant & Social Club

April 1st 2016 was a typical spring day in Stavanger and we made a dinner reservation at the relatively new restaurant 26 North Restaurant & Social Club. The restaurant is located in the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, in more or less downtown Stavanger. We had a reservation for 5.30 PM as we were going to a show at Stavanger konserthus later that evening. When we came in, we were taken to our table by a friendly waiter that preferred to address us in English and we were fine with that. The online booking system bookatable worked great for booking a table by the way.

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26North has joined the trend of being inspired by the cuisine of the Nordic countries and tries to make the dishes based on locally sourced products. A great concept and it has been a trend for a few years now. The menu was impressive, as it contains quite a lot of starters – ideal if you just want to stop by with some friends and share a few dishes. The menu was descriptive and also contained information about allergens – excellent! We decided to go for 4 starters and skip the main meal as we thought the starters looked more interesting. The waiter seemed to think this was a reasonable choice and was attentive enough to suggest splitting it up into two batches for us – which was handy as the table was a bit small, so we would probably not have had enough space for all 4 dishes on the table at the same time.

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On the table to start with we had a pitcher of water and we also got a small loaf of freshly baked inhouse bread with a delicious butter and creamy aioli. The first two starters came relatively quickly – Norwegian crab spring rolls and a bucket of handpicked mussels. The crab spring rolls were served with a sweet and sour sauce and a carrot, coconut and sesame salad. The spring rolls were warm so it seemed like they came right from deep frying. The pastry was rather thick and not much crab meat. The sweet and sour sauce was a balanced accompaniment but the carrot salad needed a little less sesame and little more livening up. The mussels were served in a small bucket, sprinkled with garlic chips and accompanied by mash of salt baked avocado. The spare bucket for the empty shells was convenient. All in all presentation of the food was excellent as it came on a warm wooden platter etc to give you the link to the Nordic nature. The mussels were steamed well and tasty but maybe a tad bit on the dry side. The garlic chips were certainly a favourite for us – crispy and smoky. We slurped up the juices the mussels were steamed in, which came across as rather salty but this may have been due to the salt baked avocado. I think I would have preferred the avocado to be served plain or with lime zest to counter the saltiness of the mussels.

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The next round of starters was sliding moose and fish & chips. The fish & chips came in a small box with two pieces of fried cod, French fries, a chunck of lemon and the house tartar sauce. It also came with a mini-bottle of vinegar to spray the fish and chips according to one’s liking. Again the fish was straight out of deep fryer with a nice crust and the cod inside could have been a bit more tender and separated more gently than flaky. The fresh french fries were excellent, maybe even twice baked. The house tartar sauce was just the right dip, with lots of taste of the capers in it. I think the “sliding moose” was the best dish of our 4 starters. The 3 moose sliders had a good chunk of braised tasty white goat cheese on top. The sliders were just the right size mouthfuls and the meat seemed to be served medium but certainly not overcooked. The wooden serving plate was warm with a side of onion compote, that that had a good taste of honey. The pickled mushroom strewn on the plate, gave the right body to the slider – a bit of needed sourness but not squishy drowned in vinegar mushroom consistency.

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I also had to try out dessert – after all I do have a sweet tooth. On the menu they had 4 different desserts – and you could even get a combination of these. I decided to go for the combination of all the dessert. Again the presentation was great. The chocolate tower was tasty with 4 layers of chocolate cake varieties and served with passion fruit dots that had an incredible sour sting to it – it worked perfect with the chocolate cake. There was also a kumquat that came along with the chocolate but that didn’t really fit in there, if you ask me. I also got a mille-feuille which is puff pastry served with cream of different kinds. In Norway the most common version of this dessert is the Napoleon cake. This mille-feuille had a lovely taste of cherry and the puff pastry was quite thin and delicate. And it was served with an awesome sea buckthorn curd! The last dessert was apple and cinnamon strudel served with vanilla ice cream and small caramel drops. The vanilla ice and the caramel drops were excellent but the portion of apple strudel was a bit too much even if it was served nice and warm.

We had high expectations for this place. The interior is modern and new, the service was refreshingly good and the different food that was served was presented (and explained) in a beautiful way. I think we will have to go back to try it out again with some friends so that we can taste some other starters as well as some main dished to reach a final conclusion. The food was good but we were not blown away by the various dishes that we had this time. The potential is there and I look forward to trying it out again.

Read more about the restaurant and see the menu on the restaurant 26North homepage.

Regards
Gard
gardkarlsen.com – trip reports and pictures

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