Monday, May 21, 2007

Thrir Frakkar: The Taste of Christmas and Facial Muscles

Top 3 Tasty Chins

3. Jay Leno.

This one is obvious. It’s so obvious because it’s true. That is one meaty, tender looking chin.

2. Bruce Campbell

Mr. Campbell has written a book entitled If Chins Could Kill. The key word being “if.” His cannot kill, and therefore I am higher on the food chain.

1. The Cod

Who knew?

Q and I sprung for a nice meal one night at Thrir Frakkar (Three Coats), a cozy seafood restaurant right around the corner from our guesthouse. It was off the main street in a more residential area, and it definitely felt like a place where both tourists and locals stop in for a tasty morsel.

We began our meal with an order of scallops and an order of reindeer pate. Suck on that, Rudolph! The pate was rich and venison-like, but a little more magical. Like you’re ingesting Christmas.


For our main courses we had a grilled lamb steak and the aforementioned cod chins. I can’t think of any way to describe the lamb other than pure. The sheep in Iceland are released into the mountains in the spring to graze on the grass freely. In the autumn, they are herded back, and there are usually festivals accompanying this event. So I hear. Anyhoo, the sheep are totally grass-fed, and I believe the use of hormones is prohibited. The difference in taste is remarkable.


The cod chins were actually the bottom parts of the jaws, cheeks included, I believe. Parts were a bit chewy-- perhaps the connective tissues? The chins themselves had a similar texture to scallops. They were prepared in a rich, creamy sauce. It became a bit overpowering at times, but we couldn't... stop... eating. The chins were bite-sized, whereas Mr. Campbell's chin could feed a small army (of darkness). His chin wouldn't be nearly as tender.


We were stuffed afterwards, but we had to try the skyr brulee, made with the traditional Icelandic yogurt-like cheese, skyr. I failed to take a picture because I was too busy devouring the entire thing. It was so light and almost mousse-like, but topped with the same wonderful caramelized sugar as creme brulee.

This was one of our few deviations from Icelandic fast food, and it was worth every krona. Q was a little sad that our meal was over. Chin up!

Friday, May 18, 2007

My Favorite Sign in Iceland

If I were the type of gal to get a tattoo without obsessing over the design for five years, I would totally get this image somewhere on my person:


This is a sign outside the cafe at the BSI Bus Terminal, where we got our Flybus to take us to and from the airport. The french fries jutting from the mouth are what elevates this image to greatness.

Vitabar: Stinky Salvation in Reykjavik

I like stinky foods. There, I've said it. Garlic. Stinky cheese. Onions. I like being able to smell the food on my breath hours after I've eaten it. I know after you eat a particularly pungent food, it's proper etiquette to chew a piece of gum afterwards to ensure your companions retain consciousness. I'm just too selfish to place my friends' need for oxygen over the tasty flavor in my mouth.

To say that the forget-me-not burger at Vitabar located in downtown Reykjavik was stinky is like saying that Paris Hilton is skanky. True, but an understatement. Topped with garlic sauce and copious amounts of blue cheese, this burger ensured that everybody we met that night would remember us.


The patty was thin, but juicy. Also, Vitabar offers a combo special with a cheeseburger and fries for only 650 ISK (about $10 USD), making Vitabar one of the best food deals around. The cheeseburger was topped with a hamburger sauce that seemed omnipresent in Iceland, and it tasted an awfully lot like Thousand Island or Big Mac special sauce.


The atmosphere was English Pubby, and the scene seemed local. A combination of families and young folks fueling up for the nightlife filled the booths in the small space. They also have a liquor license, so you can have a pint of Viking beer along with your artery-clogging burger. Just skip the breath spray afterwards.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Sea Baron: Lobster and Fishbeef

Hi folks! Well, we're back from Iceland, and boy are our arms tired! HAHAHA. These are the jokes, people. Sigh. Along with our memories, we also brought back colds, so I'll hopefully have a bit of time to write some heavily medicated posts about our vacation food adventures.

We started our trip in the capital city of Reykjavik, by far the most populous part of Iceland (over half of the country's population resides in the greater Reykjavik area). A lot has been made out of how expensive Reykjavik is and with good reason. Quite a bit of the food and goods are imported, as most of the land isn't suitable for growing food. However, being from New York, we were used to hunting for a bargain.


Our first meal was at Saegreiffin, or the Sea Baron, a little seafood shack located near Reykjavik's harbor. The building is a vibrant shade of teal, fitting in well with the city's many colored buildings, and a row of headless fish hangs appetizingly from the roof.


We had read a New York Times article instructing us to try the relatively inexpensive lobster soup. And so we did! Well, Q did, but I tried a bit. The soup was pretty darn generous with the lobster meat, and it was ever so fresh. The soup was accompanied with crusty bread and an Icelandic butter called Smjor. That wouldn't be the last time I ate Smjor. Seriously, that stuff is awesome.


As for me, I perused the menu before deciding on my lunch. They don't have a printed menu, but rather a fridge with various raw fish kebobs that you choose and they cook up for you. Being fresh off a plane and ready to dive into all that Iceland had to offer, I chose the whale.


I had read that whale tasted a lot like beef tenderloin, and now I can confirm this. That's what I do. Confirm facts. The texture is EXACTLY like beef, but the flavor was like cow raised completely on fish. That sounds completely logical, but it was unexpected. Q thought it tasted a bit like liver, but I was stuck on the fish-fed cow image. It was good, but I don't know if I'll be eating whale again any time soon. We did some whale-watching later in our trip, and now I feel a little bit bad. Luckily, I have no soul.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Land of Whales and Bjork

Well, I'm off on vacation, so you won't see an update here for a bit. Expect lots of updates in a week about Icelandic food!