Feel like a real treat? How about a Cake Buffet!

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My co-pilot mentioned a¬†Cake lunch buffet to me awhile ago. I was always curious about it but felt like I needed to save it for a real treat. When I was pregnant, I decided I would wait until after the baby was born as didn’t want to have too much sugar. I finally tried this so-called “Cake Buffet” when the baby was almost 2 months old ūüôā

So it’s really a soup and cake buffet (soppa och t√•rta buff√©) but unlike other soup buffets in the city, there is only 1 type of soup available. The cakes are the real star, with about 5 different ones on offer, and¬†all pretty delicious.

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The cakes that are in the buffet typically vary on what’s available. I’ve only been to cake buffet twice in my life and I remember trying 1 really good passion fruit cake and another delicious chocolate one. But the next visit they had different cakes, and I still found something I liked.

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Where is this amazing cake buffet lunch?

At  several Steinbrenner & Nyberg locations in Göteborg.

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Steinbrenner & Nyberg – this cafe/bakery has a few locations in the city but only a few actually offer Cake buffet. The ones I know of are the bigger cafe near Centralstation, the Lindholmen location and the Steinbrenner & Nyberg in Saluhallen (The Market Hall).
They do have other Dagenslunch items available too, but if you want cake it’s extra.
The Soppa och tårta includes different crackers, bread, butter and cheese, and coffee.
For more info check out their website

So the next time you want to Treat yourself, why not All-You-Can-Eat Cake?

Happy Eating!

Thursday Only Means One Thing…

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…Pea soup and pancakes!

During the colder and darker seasons of Fall and Winter, when it’s Thursday, the lunch option (Dagenslunch) in Sweden includes¬†Pea soup and Pancakes (√§rtsoppa och pannkakor)!! This comes from an old Military tradition of eating both the soup and the pancakes.

Most of the time the pea soup is made from yellow peas and includes pieces of pork and ham. At some restaurants and even the grocery store, you can get vegetarian pea soup. If you get it at the grocery store, it will come in a tube shape like many other food items in the grocery store.

I’m not really a fan of the pea soup but I do enjoy the pancakes! Just a dollop of whip cream and some raspberry jam and you have yourself a tasty treat ūüôā
20170216_123836Pancakes and coffee make a great combination!

Dagenslunch or ‘Today’s lunch’¬†usually has 3 options, a meat, a fish dish and a vegetarian dish. Lunch at most places in Sweden, includes salad and coffee and cookies (dessert). When it’s Thursday, the dessert is replaced by pancakes!

Note: Swedish or European style pancakes are thin like a crepe but doughy unlike the thick American kind.

Instead of topping with butter and maple syrup, these pancakes are topped with whip cream and some kind of jam. Strawberry and Raspberry are popular choices.

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When it comes to All-U-Can-Eat, ‘serve yourself’ pancakes, it’s not unusual for people to skip right to dessert!

20170126_125633Happy Thursday and enjoy your pea soup and pancakes today!

Fettisdagen!

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Fettisdagen or Fat Tuesday is here! It’s the day before the Ash Wednesday fast and in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries, it’s the day Swedes enjoy¬†Semlor or Whip cream buns. Those little (or big treats) can be found at cafes all over the city. Similar to a Hamburger but instead of a beef patty, it’s a bunch of whip cream and almond¬†paste in the centre of a cardamom bun. This treat can be quite filling.

20170126_133714There are different ways to eat this bun. You can take the top off and use it to scoop up the whip cream then bite it. I’ve also heard that you can soak it in milk before eating it.

Fork and knifing it or just pick it up to eat like a burger although I haven’t seen this one as the majority of Swedes I’ve seen still fork and knife their hamburgares (hamburger in Swedish)

There are few different Semlor or semla singular that I’ve noticed this year:

The Muffin Semla

20170204_114802The Muffin semlor are on the second to last level of the desserts above

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More muffin semlor with different flavors – instead of whip cream it’s cream cheese.

Semlor with colored buns

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7-Eleven in Sweden has an impressive baked goods selection compared with the 7-Elevens back home! With brownies, swedish cinnamon buns or Kanelbullor and even different chocolate cookies. They also offer a new Nuts semla.

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But the Traditional semla of course is a soft cardamom bun dusted with a little powdered sugar.

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Mini semlor are also available!

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You can even get them at a grocery store! Dahl’s is a bakery that sells their semlor in various Hemk√∂ps around the city.

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Happy eating and enjoy your semla or whatever huge meal or dessert you will eat on Fat Tuesday!

I cannot believe it’s our 4th year in Sweden. Here’s a look back at a previous Fat Tuesday blog

Weekend Brunch in Sweden – UPDATED

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√Ąr du hungrig? (Are you hungry?)

Summer might be over, but brunch dates don’t have to end. Here in G√∂teborg, Sweden, Weekend brunch can mean an extravagant buffet offering delicious Swedish fare or just a quaint little spot in one of the cafes of Old town with some coffee and Swedish pastries.

Since moving here, my co-pilot and I have made it a habit to treat ourselves to brunch every once in a while. When it was warm and sunny, we would sit on the patio and catch up from the week’s events. Now that it’s winter, sitting¬†indoors with a hot drink is my preferred choice, but if you’re a Swede and it’s cold but sunny¬†then sit outdoors on the patio with a warm blanket!

And whenever have guests, it’s a must to take them for a nice brunch as a welcome to the city. Some brunch buffets are only offered on Sundays and start at noon, while other brunch places around the city end at noon. Check before you go. Swedes are very plan-y so if you want to try a brunch place, I would recommend booking a table ahead of time or going early.

We have been to a few really nice brunch places here in Göteborg. Here are some of our favorites.

Park Avenyn Cafe

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For a fancier brunch place, I’d recommend Park Avenyn Cafe. We discovered this place a year or so ago and it was unfortunately on break during the summer! Brunch buffet features some delicious typical Swedish dishes such as warm and cold smoked salmon, pickled herring, Swedish Kaviar and even thin European style pancakes. With a good selection of¬†cakes and pastries, the dessert is a plus. Coffee and tea is included and the ambience is nice. Only indoor seating available.

Ritz Hotel

20150816_123123The Ritz offers dagens lunch(daily lunch) but on weekends they offer more smoked salmon, many different types of herring and traditional shrimp salads. They also have a hot food section with the usual breakfast items like scrambled eggs and sausage, but they also have roast veggies, bbq chicken and pannkakor. The buffet includes a large salad selection with many different potato and veggie salads. For dessert, they have some really good brownies with shredded coconut on top(I remove the coconut), apple
crumble.¬†and fresh fruit. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but well worth a visit. Outdoor seating is available.

We have also tried the Casino Cosmopol brunch that offers an American style brunch.Of course, it’s Sweden so it’s Swedish American style. They had a few good dishes like the smoked salmon with cream cheese and they offered American Style pancakes (althought they kept running out).

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Smaller brunch places

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Most of the cafes in old town, ‘Haga’, offer a frukostbuffe (Breakfast buffet). They give you a plate that usually includes Yogurt (sometimes Turkish) and maybe a protein and you add muesli, nuts, fruit and scones, croissants, hard boiled egg, and whatever else they have that morning. Coffee is an additional cost. Frukostbuffe is usually served until 12pm and then they switch over to Lunch which is soup and various salads (Salad bar with lunch is common here).

Kafferosten

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Le Petit Cafe

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Haga and the surrounding area is a great location for brunch because afterwards you can wander over to the city park for a walk or the botanical garden and it’s a lively area already.

Eva’s Paley

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Cafe Kringlan

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Around here it seems like mostly couples or groups of girls go for brunch, but I think it’s perfectly fine to go for brunch with guy friends and/or alone. Why not treat yourself if you feel like it?

We are so lucky to be surrounded by so many awesome choices for brunch ūüôā

Note: If you are a new parent (like me!) – you can still do brunch. Check out my Parent Tips below.

Happy eating!

Park Avenyn Cafe
Kungsportsavenyn 36-38 ‚ÄĘ 411 36 G√∂teborg
website
Parent tip: Make a reservation and mention that you need space for a stroller.

Ritz
Bastionsplatsen 2, 411 08 Göteborg
website
Parent tip: Make a reservation and mention that you need space for a stroller. They are pretty accommodating.

Casino Cosmopol
Packhusplatsen 7 411 13 Göteborg
website
Bring Swedish ID or your passport as they check before you enter the casino.
Parent tip: Sadly, no babies or kids allowed at the casino even if it’s just to the restaurant.

Le Petit Cafe
website
They have a few locations around the city. The Haga location is a bit smaller so if you want more table room visit the Linné location which also includes a patio. Their brunch includes Turkish yogurt and now includes a hot drink, a smoothie, and unlimited scones/bread.
Parent tip: The Linné location is much better for strollers as the other location is cramped.

Kafferosten
Linnégatan 62 413 08 Gothenburg
This place remains our favorite frukostbuffe with it’s unlimited freshly baked croissants and a choice of salami and brie, Turkey or Ham. The breakfast is available all day, but if you get there before 13:00 they have everything out so you can¬†assemble the plate yourself. On a nice sunny day, it’s nice to sit out on their patio!
Parent tip: It’s a small cafe so strollers must be parked outside. If you have a smaller baby, try to sit in the couches so you can bring the cot or bassinet in and put it on the floor.

Eva’s Paley
Kungsportsavenyen 39, 411 36 Göteborg
website
This cafe offers brunch on both Saturday and Sunday. You get a small hot drink of your choice, but you can upgrade it to a large for an additional cost. It also comes with a smoothie, All-you-can-eat flavored yogurt (Mango or raspberry), hard-boiled eggs, bread and cheese. They make delicious bread and sometimes they even have shrimp salad (called skagenröra in Swedish). Get there before 12:00 as they clean everything up promptly at 12:00.

*Pro-tip* It is a pretty popular cafe so get there early to avoid missing the brunch. One time we were waiting in line and it was 10 min to 12:00 when we finally got to the cashier and they almost told us it was too late..but we complained we were in the long line for at least 10 minutes..
Parent tip: Strollers can be brought it, but there are a few steps to get to the main eating area. There are also 2 small tables on the same floor as the Cashier so they are perfect if it’s just you and your baby.

Cafe Kringlan
Haga Nygata 13, 413 01 Göteborg
Göteborg Tourist website
Recently, we tried this Cafe in Haga and it included Pannkakor, or thin Swedish pancakes, and Eggs in a bun (similar to ‘Toad in the hole’). It also included a hot drink of your choice and a smoothie.
Parent tip: It’s a small cafe so strollers must be parked outside

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‘Toad in the hole’

Weekend in Glorious Rome

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We met some family for a long weekend in Rome recently and although short, it was filled with some good eats and visits to all of our favorite spots!

Having visited Rome twice before, we had already seen most of the famous tourist sights. We were there mainly to spend time with family and show them what makes Rome so amazing. Whenever we visit a city, one of our favorite activities is to¬†walk and explore. When we say ‘walk’ we mean walk all day haha.. Sometimes we actually tire out whoever we are with ūüėČ

We got lucky with the whether that weekend as the sunshine kept us company for most of the weekend, except for a bit of rain that didn’t last very long.

What makes Rome so special and why it’s one of my favorite cities to visit? Rome has so much to¬†offer. It’s not just the history, the museums, the squares or the food. It’s all of those things together. One can easily spend days just walking around to different neighbourhoods and there is always new things to see (and eat) when you come back for a visit.

Here are some of my favorite places in Rome:

Good Eats!

Giolitti
Offering some really delicious and inexpensive Gelato.
How can one say ‘No’ to the whip cream on top?
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Walnut, Dark Chocolate with a dollop of whip cream.

Pizzeria Ai Marmi
Located in the Trastevere neighbourhood, it is well worth the visit. It was full right when it opened with mostly locals. The Napoletana pizza is cheesy and salty and has to be my favorite. In addition to the pizza they offer other Roman/Italian snacks like Fried Zuchinni flowers, and Arancini (rice balls).

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Dolce Maniera
We stumbled upon this bakery on our first trip to Rome. It’s open 24 hours and popular at all times. They offer a multitude of desserts and snacks. Be sure to try their Tiramisu which they give you a generous portion.

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Nice views
The top of St. Peter’s Basilica Dome offers an amazing view of the Vatican and the city.You can stop along the way up at a cafe to take a break and take in the sight of the immense city below you.

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Roman Forum
Included with the Coloseum ticket, there’s a great view spot of the Roman Forum.

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“Typewriter building”
Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (locals compare it to a wedding cake or Victorian typewriter)
It does cost extra to take the elevator higher, but you can still get a nice view in the ‘free’ area.

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Remember, when in Rome…¬†

Don’t forget to enjoy an Italian coffee at one of the cafes and people watch. Take it easy and walk around. You may be surprised by the beautiful square you find after walking down a random street. Walk into any random church and you’ll be surprised by how beautiful it is on the inside! And as in all countries you travel to, it helps to try to learn a few words in the local language, the locals will appreciate it:)

Happy Travels!

 

A Visit to the Beautiful Danish Capital

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The Danish capital overlooking the √ėresund strait and only a few minutes from Sweden across the bridge, Copenhagen is a great weekend gateway! Hans Christian Andersen, who “wrote a couple¬†of fairy tales”, must have truly been inspired by the beautiful city of Copenhagen with it’s beautiful harbor, viewspots, and castles.

It’s a lot more international than the other capitals and the cultural and geographic link between mainland Europe and Scandinavia. Traditional architecture blends with the modern, the pastries are divine and it’s a city full of character, colorful houses and unique areas like Christiana new town.

Copenhagen is my favorite Scandinavian Capital and although I’ve been a few times before, there is always more to discover and our recent Valentine’s weekend trip was wonderful!!

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Woke up to a little snow sprinkled over the city. 

We walked along the waterfront to the palace and the marble church where all the tourists were checking out the changing of the guards.

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Perfect guard formation at the Amalienborg, the winter home of the Danish Royal Family.

There are a couple boat tours you can choose from at Nyhavn, but we went with the one that was only 40 Danish Kroner for a 45 min ride around the canal. We were surprised that the tour is still running in winter but there is a covered area. Although, I don’t recommend sitting in the covered area¬†if you want to take some photos as the cover seems to obscure the view. The tour was in English and Danish.

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You can choose to sit in the covered area of the canal tour boat or in the back. It is a bit chilly sitting outdoors so make sure you are well covered.

I always look forward to a visit to Denmark for the delicious pastries that don’t have cardamom ūüėČ Danishes as they are known in North America were brought to Denmark by the Austrians (Weinerbrod) but became a Danish specialty and boy are they good!
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There were raspberry and apple pastries with the raspberry one being sweeter. I liked the apple pastry best.

20160213_163321…and of course the chocolate pastry found at various bakeries around the city were heavenly. Pair it with a coffee and you have the ultimate coffee break snack (or “Fika” in Sweden)

Hungry for lunch, we tried one of the Hotel recommended restaurants close to Nyhavn and the hotel, for an open faced sandwich or Danish¬†Sm√łrrebr√łd. Believe it or not, there is a slice of rye bread under all that delicious shrimp and egg!

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This brisket sandwich included some horse radish butter for a little extra kick.

Our favorite viewspot in the city has to be from Church of Our Savior steeple but this was my first time up the Round Tower (or RundeTaarn in Danish) so that was pretty cool!

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One guy was walking round and round with his selfie stick in the air lol

There is a little doorway that leads into the centre of the tower. That can be scary if you think that only the glass you are standing on is stopping you from dropping down the tower.

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When we¬†moved to Sweden, our very first trip in Europe¬†was to Copenhagen. After that, I realized how easy it was to get out of town and explore a new city or country and we have been traveling since ūüėȬ†Our first visit to Copenhagen was¬†in¬†April and we were lucky to get some beautiful Spring weather complete with blue skies and sunshine. Check my blog post on our¬†Easter trip to Copenhagen.

Copenhagen Admiral Hotel
Beautiful old stone warehouse converted into a hotel, in a great location
right next to the waterfront and near Nyhavn! We had a nice loft suite here.
The Admiral Hotel on Tripadvisor

Cafe Fremtiden
For some delicious¬†Danish¬†Sm√łrrebr√łd.
website

Lagkagehuset
Stop at this cafe for some delicious pastries and bread.
website

Holms bager
There’s a nice location on the walking street and it
was nice to tuck in here to warm up and take a break from the shopping
and exploring
Bakery’s FB page

Thanks for reading!

How Swedes Celebrate Fat Tuesday

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It’s that time of year again, when the Swedes celebrate Fettisdagen (The Fat Tuesday) or should I say, when Swedes stuff their faces with whip cream buns called ‘Semla’! They always make sure to have a bunch of Semla at work on Fat Tuesday and then everyone tries hard¬†not to fall asleep right after Hahaha..

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“Celebrate Fat Tuesday with us! Order already now!” Beautiful window displays of Semlor all over the city!

Semla or Semlor (plural) are available at one of the many bakeries or konditori around town, at grocery store where they are usually sold in packages of two or even at the
7-Eleven, which has some really nice desserts btw. Nothing like the 7-Elevens back home.

My first couple of years in Sweden, I always made sure to have one (or 2)… but I have since learned my lesson. Those buns can¬†be quite filling!

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They come in different sizes from mini to huge and they are all pretty delicious (and fatty lol)

Aside from the delicious whip cream, semla also have¬†some vanilla and almond paste. The bun itself, of course, uses the spice, cardamom. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Swedish pastries…most of them use cardamom..which I and a few other expats decided we aren’t so fond of , now that we’ve realized how much Swedes like it in everything ūüėČ

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“Cream with love” Coffee and Semla only 30sek (which is about $4.50)

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An evening view of the Göteborg canal on Fettisdagen

Happy Eating!
(Hope you enjoyed Fat Tuesday and celebrated with whatever food your heart desired!)