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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Recipe Wednesday: Reykjavik, Iceland Nomz

Happy Wednesday!! My teacher life is back in full swing, we just moved back into our renovated building, setting up our classrooms, etc...there's a lot going on.

I'll be sharing my European travel adventures in a Travel Tuesday series, but since there are so many pictures of well, food, I figured I'd separate my nom-ing pics from the actual sightseeing.

So, for the next few weeks, Recipe Wednesday will be recipes someone else did a fine job creating, that I enjoyed while abroad!

My first stop was Reykjavik, Iceland...I think we can all agree Iceland is having a moment..amirite??  I feel like everyone is talking about it, and it's so trendy to like...go to Iceland. The city of Reykjavik is so beautiful, but let me tell you, the food is not cheap.  At all.  It's so expensive, but also, as I quickly learned, so worth it. 

After walking around the city for a few hours the day I arrived, I was looking for a quiet place to have some lunch and read, and I stumbled upon Bryggan Brugghus Bistro & Brewery, located on the water.  First of all, the location of this restaurant is top notch, they have a great outdoor patio, and the inside had a rustic chic feel.

This seems like a great place to gather friends and enjoy drinks on the patio, the picnic table set up made it friendly for larger groups, and the overall vibe of Bryggan Brugghus is chill and fun.  It's a brewery, and they offer tours, which was awesome too.  Even though I'm not a beer drinker, I still took a tour, the man who took me around was so nice and answered all my silly questions...I know nothing about beer, so I'm sure I sounded ridiculous to him, but whatever.

I enjoyed some Chardonnay and had the fish soup for lunch.  It had the taste of a bisque, filled with shrimp, and other local, Nordic, fish...i.e. mussels.  Perfect first meal in Iceland after traveling!!



Later that night, after so much more exploring, I stopped by Sjavargrillid Seafood Grill, which was on my possible list of restaurants to try.  This restaurant is definitely not a cheap eat, it was quite expensive for one person, but it was so worth it.  I mean, so so so worth it.  If you're visiting Reykjavik any time soon, you need to put this restaurant at the top of your list, I'm 99.9% sure it was the best dinner of my whole trip!  Also, make a reservation, it was a Monday when I went & I was thankful they could fit me in, but it got packed quickly.

I was exhausted from walking everywhere, so I was really looking to a relaxing, slow, dinner.  Luckily, I got just that at Sjavargrillid, my server was excellent, and I was truly able to relax and just chill out after a long day of sightseeing. 

I opted for Sjavargrillid's 3 course summer menu, which had great choices.  As a first course I had fried Brie cheese, I learned in Iceland they love their Brie, which is awesome because I too love my Brie.  It was so delicious and had a rhubarb jam, honey, and toasted bread.  I cannot remember the name of the delicious cocktail, I should've written it down, ugh!  It was so fresh, pretty sure it was vodka based, and according to my server, their most popular original cocktail.


The second course was langoustine tacos with figs, but I ordered it sans figs.  In case you're wondering what langoustine is, it's the Nordic lobster...I honestly didn't know that beforehand, but apparently most people know what it is...I didn't. Ha.  THESE TACOS WERE SO GOOD I WISH I HAD THEM RIGHT NOW.  They were garnished with garlic, red onion, and an aioli, my mouth is watering thinking about them they were so delish. 


Lastly, for dessert, the second food dish from Iceland I can't stop thinking about, I had a deconstructed creme brûlée with cocoa pieces, strawberry, caramel, and sorrel, which is a more bitter herb that balanced out the super sweetness of the dessert perfectly.  I loved the presentation of the creme brûlée too, it was so funky, and I wish I had been able to finish it because I'm not sure where I'll find a dessert so impeccable again.  Le sigh.    


The next day I went to the Blue Lagoon and with my ticket I was able to get a reservation at their restaurant, Lava.  Since I was booking the reservation that day I was only able to get an 11am by the time I got there, which was fine since I hadn't eaten breakfast.  I did the two course set menu, and had langoustine soup and then creme brûlée, again.  They love their creme brûlée in Iceland just as much as they love their Brie, which totally works for me.  The langoustine soup was not as filling as the fish soup at Bryggan, and the creme brûlée was also quite light with main flavors of vanilla & orange.  Yum.  


Side note, loving how the Iceland versions of creme brûlée look so much different than ours!
I had a great lunch at Lava, everything was yummy, but nowhere near as jaw dropping as the night before.  My ticket into the Blue Lagoon included a complimentary glass of sparkling wine with my meal which was a nice touch.  If you visit the lagoon, try out the restaurant, it's worth it!  Make sure to make a reservation when you arrive, it's not so easy to just walk in and get a table.

When I got back from the Blue Lagoon I took a nap and then went walking around the city again.  I really wanted to try the hot dog stand, Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, everyone told me to go to.  I mean, even Conde Nast Traveler wrote about it back in 2014!  I've also had a few friends go, so I knew I needed to stop by and get a dog.

BTW this translates to "best hot dogs in town".
It was about a 25 minute walk from my hotel, so I was ready for a hot dog by the time I got there, but didn't really know what to expect.  I ordered it with all the traditional condiments, ketchup, sweet mustard, fried onion, and raw onion, but passed on the sweet relish mayo.  If you know me, you know I'm terrified of pickles.

Okay so, I feel really weird saying this, but...I didn't love the hotdog.  It was okay, but I was prepared to be in love, and I...wasn't.  I'm a grilled hotdog type of girl, and this was not grilled, so I'm thinking that was part of my issue?  Also it's a bit crunchy, without being grilled, which I found a little weird.  I waited so long in line for it, and while I'm happy I tried it out, I guess I'm just confused about the crazy hype around it all.  Or, I don't know what I'm talking about & I'm not hotdog cultured.  Not sure which it is.


After my famous, yet slightly underwhelming dog, I continued to bop around Reykajavik while I listed to my favorite Podcast, Casefile True Crime, and eventually I started to head back to the hotel.  I heard a lot of noise & what I thought was a concert in the main square, so I walked on over to see what was going on.  It's an amphitheater-esque set up, and they were showing the Iceland women's soccer game.  There were tons of people gathering around to watch, and locals leading chants.  So, I grabbed a seat outside at the super cute Uno Bistro, ordered some wine and baked Brie, watched the game, & read some of my book!


 My Icelandic food adventure ended a couple of hours later at Eldur & Is, an ice cream & crepe shop close to my hotel, apparently the best in the city.  I should've ordered a crepe, not sure what I was thinking, but I opted for a mint chocolate chip sundae instead.  Um, it was so yummy and the perfect ending to a great 2 days in Reykjavik!! 


Stay tuned for next Tuesday's post, where I go in-depth on my trip to Reykjavik, and give some helpful hints, tips, and must sees for the city!

XO.
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