Friday, October 18, 2019

Fru Nimb at Tivoli Gardens - Copenhagen, Denmark

Before going, I knew that Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyland. But what I didn’t know was that this 176-year-old theme park is, in fact, Bizarro Disneyland. The similarities to Walt’s park was so uncanny, if Tivoli was created after Disneyland, it would be sued by Disney.

I saw versions of Autopia and Dumbo, even a ride that look suspiciously like It’s A Small World. The latter, by the way, honors Hans Christian Andersen, the Dane who wrote The Little Mermaid and Snow Queen, which, of course, inspired Disney to make The Little Mermaid and this little film called Frozen.

But the similarities didn’t end there. We ate in a restaurant that was the twin of Disneyland’s Plaza Inn. Unfortunately after tasting the dry and chewy schnitzel I ordered, I came to the realization that it also was overpriced, which, come to think of it, is the same feeling I get everytime I eat at Plaza Inn. So yeah, Tivoli is EXACTLY like Disneyland in every way.

Okay, maybe not every way. At least I was able to ask for a beer without having to belong to some exclusive club.

Fru Nimb at Tivoli Gardens
Bernstorffsgade 5
1577 København

Chicken Hero Kho Ga - Anaheim

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Joans Polser - Copenhagen, Denmark

This is what a street hot dog looks like in Denmark: hanging out from a hole in a baguette into which it is inserted but does not fit. The condiment dispensers in Denmark are also hung—literally. When you want mayo (or mustard or ketchup) on your wiener, you grab the hanging condiment tubes like a milkmaid does an udder and squeeze until stuff squirts out.

Joans Polser
Kongens Nytorv 4
1050 København

Knife Pleat - Costa Mesa

Monday, October 14, 2019

Taffelbay Bakery - Copenhagen, Denmark

You know those people who tell you that you haven’t had sushi until you’ve had it Japan? Or croissants in France? Or xiao long bao at the original Din Tai Fung in Taiwan? I hate those people.

But for right now, I’m going to be the thing I hate. I’m here to say that you’ve probably never had a danish until you’ve had it in Denmark.

It’s true!

I didn’t plan to make this proclamation or was even looking to eat one until we passed a pastry shop called Taffelbay on our way somewhere else. On a whim, we stopped in and realized how amazing a real Danish danish (weird as it sounds) was.

The pastries I had were laminated like a croissant, but was so light it seemed leavened by helium. It was buttery, but didn’t leave a trace of its greasiness on the palate. Behind the dough, the flavors of each individual pastry popped without an overreliance on sugar. It made every leadened, hypersweet danish I had in the States not worthy of the name.

So, yes, hate me for saying all this; but I beg you, prove me wrong.

Taffelbay Bakery
Nørre Voldgade 92
1358 København

Heartful Made - Fullerton

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Selma - Copenhagen, Denmark

You go to Italy to eat pizza. I went to Denmark to eat smørrebrød. What’s smørrebrød? It’s open faced sandwiches consisting of a slice of rye bread topped with a variety of toppings, which is a very loose definition, indeed. Smørrebrød, as I learned, can come with anything and everything. It not just open faced; it’s open interpretation.

It’s especially so when it comes to Selma in Copenhagen (@selmacopenhagen), the first smørrebrød specialist to be awarded by the Michelin Guide with a Bib Gourmand. Selma is an upgraded smørrebrød experience. Imagine if a chef created a fine-dining concept around New York’s dirty water hot dog. Yes, it’s like that.

Some of it involves the rye bread only in spirit. The traditional herring smørrebrød has the rye toasted and crumbled into crunchy pebbles. And when you order the baked cod smørrebrød, you get dinner and a show; the chef comes out to ladle the shrimp from a frying pan tableside, pouring the mustard-based sauce over the fish and a perfectly poached egg. There’s even a stunning seared scallop smørrebrød carefully decorated with peas and shoots. Tweezers were definitely involved.

Your move, avocado toast.

Rømersgade 20
1103 København

Sal's Pizzeria - Foothill Ranch