Daily Archives: November 12, 2008

Ida Davidson’s

Ida Davidsen’s is very famous Danish restaurant serving traditional Danish open-faced sandwiches called smørrebrød.  This fifth generation restaurant has become very famous for their wide selection of smørrebrød.  Actually, they offer over 250 types to be more accurate.  So after hearing so many spectacular things about Ida Davidsen’s I made reservations for my friends Cyndy and Laurie and I.  

We arrived to the restaurant on Monday around 2 pm.  It’s a cozy little place and everyone who works there is just delightful.  We put or coats down and head to the glass case displaying about 50 sandwiches that are being served today.  One of them women who works there kindly explains all of the smørrebrød we can choose from.  She first describes the fish counter with such detail I believe my mouth began to water.  Laurie and I ordered the seared tuna served over brown bread with spinach and parmesan cheese and a poached egg on top.  Cyndy tried the eel – I think – I was soooo obsessed with my own that I can’t remember what she had.  To accompany our meal we each had a Carl’s Special beer and a glass of traditional Danish liquor, Aalborg Akvavit.  The liquor and beer are supposed to pair perfectly with the meals.  The three of us went for a second course and ordered out of the meat case.  I ordered roast beef with egg, tomato, and fried onions, served over brown bread.  Amazing.  Again, I believe Cyndy had prosciutto with pickles and something else. . . I was paying more attention to my own plate.  

We had a lovely meal.  If you find youself in Copenhagen you really must go to Ida Davidsen’s for lunch and experience a traditional Danish meal!

Lunch in Sweden?

Sunday we started our day walking to my favorite bakery in Christianhavn.  After that we strolled through the Glypotek to see some art.  Finally, we decided it was time to hop a train to Malmo in Sweden.  The train ride was only about 35 minutes long.  When we found ourselves in Malmo the weather was rainy and cold.  We quickly found a few shops to duck into and avoid the rain.  (One of them being H&M – which I am ashamed to say I bought a shirt -but it’s soooooooo much cheaper in Sweden!)  After the itch to shop passed we ducked into a restaurant to enjoy some Swedish food!  We then set out to explore more of Malmo since the rain had stopped.  We were walking through a lovely park when the rain began again, only now it was pouring.  The three of us took cover under some bushes until the storm passed.  

Sweden was great, but if you ask what we did in Malmo we would have to say, “Well we went to Sweden for lunch and then we stood in some bushes.”  Oh well at least we can say we’ve been to Sweden!!!

Wake Up – The Sun’s Out!

Saturday morning (after my out-till-3 a.m. evening) I woke up at 8:00 a.m.  I looked out my window and saw the sun. . . my god the SUN.  Recently in Copenhagen the weather has been grey. . . not necessarily cold and rainy all of the time, just grey.  To see the sun was a wonderful treat especially with friends in town!!!  I knew they were tired and jet-lagged, but I decided to call them at 9:00 and wake them up.  To see this city in the sun was more important than sleep.  

Cyndy and Laurie pulled themselves out of bed and met me at Nyhavn.  We picked one of the restaurants along the canal and ate a good Danish breakfast outside.  After breakfast we walked to see the Little Mermaid statue. . . which for all its hype. . . she really is just a small statue along the canal. . . nothing too impressive. We walked along Kastellet, a nice park heading toward Østerbro.  We met up with a few of my roommates at a cafe along the way and walked to Østerbro.  We stopped at a shop called Norman.  Norman is a Danish home furnishing and clothing shop that occupies what used to be a 1700 square meter theater.  Now it is a beautiful large store with the most interesting items and displays.  We then headed toward another street in this neighborhood which is supposed to be known for its second hand stores.  I failed to check, however, the times that the second hand stores would be open.  We arrived at the first on our list and it had closed at 2 pm.  Bummer.  

Cyndy, Laurie, and I ended up walking back to city center.  We walked along the lakes and through the Kings Garden.  We did a bit of shopping on the main shopping street and then headed to Riz Raz for dinner!  We sat and enjoyed the Mediterranean buffet with fresh salads and vegetarian dishes.  So good.  After dinner we sought out cake and find a nice little cafe to share a few deserts and a glass of wine.  All in all it was a lovely day.  Just wonderful to walk around, shop, and enjoy the SUN!

Christmas in Denmark

Last Friday I was lucky enough to have two friends from the motherland fly into Copenhagen to visit!  After checking into their hotel we spent the day wandering around city center so they could get a sneak peak of all that Copenhagen has to offer.  We ate outside at Hoppe’s on a little street off of Strøget, even though it was raining and about 50 degrees we decided to eat outside.  (Granted, under umbrellas with blankets and heat lamps at our disposal)  We started to wander about the city after lunch and noticed so many restaurants and pubs with blue banners and flags displayed in their windows.  The festive signs were there to advertise J-Day, an age old Danish tradition dating back to 1990.  Since Copenhagen is such and old city and even Tuborg has been around for ages, I thought it was a little funny to be celebrating a tradition that had only been happening for 18 years.  I guess I shouldn’t complain because this holiday (18 years in the making) was awesome.  

J-Day represents the unveiling of Tuborg’s Christmas beer (Juleøl) or Julebryg.  On the first Friday of November each year all of the pubs, cafes, and restaurants begin to sell Tuborg’s Julebryg at 8:59 pm.  If an establishment sells the brew a moment before 8:59 pm on this day they could be penalized with a fine. . . or worse. . . no more rights to sell the Christmas beer.  (Those were the rumors, not sure if they are true – but nonetheless the establishments we went to that day/evening wouldn’t budge on the 8:59.)  Adding to the celebration there are a set of Tuborg trucks with little elves and faries to distribute the beer and goodies all across the city!  The trucks even look like they are covered in snow.  (The fire department sprayed each one with foam.)  

Everywhere we turned, Cyndy, Laurie, and I saw advertisements for J-Day.  Our anticipation began to build.  We could hardly begin to think of waiting until 8:59 for the introduction of this holiday beer into our lives!!!  For Cyndy and Laurie, it was because they were jet lagged and wished to climb into bed way before 8:59 pm.  For me it was just pure excitement.  The three of us went to eat at Stella’s and then wandered down to Nyhavn’s Barock to try the beer.  The countdown began and then at 8:59 on the dot a bartender with a blue and white santa hat served us each a Julebryg.  It was delightful.  

After sampling the Juleøl, Laurie decided to call it a night so Cyndy and I walked her back to the hotel.  After that, Cyndy and I set out to see all of the excitement going on around the city over the Christmas beer.  We walked back to Strøget where we ran into about a dozen Santa Clauses.  Upon closer inspection these Santas were about 16.  They began chatting with us and asking where we were going, what we were doing, etc.  As we conversed with three of the pubescent Santas another one approached Cyndy and I, stroking his fake beard and said “vhat brings you to Danaaarrrkkk?”  The image of teenage Santa stroking his beard and asking the Americans why we are in Denmark will be forever burned into my mind. . . so funny.  Eventually four of the Santas piled into the back of a rickshaw and were peddled off to another bar.  

Cyndy and I continued to wander, hoping to catch up with my friends.  However, my phone had run out of money and I could not call anyone!  So Cyndy and I wandered about, in hopes of getting a free Julebryg hat, but mostly in search of more beer.  We came across a Tuborg truck and a woman dressed in a giant blue heart costume for the event.  Unfortunately she didn’t have any hats for us.  So we wandered to Charlie’s Bar.  Charlie’s Bar is a great little English pub that serves an assortment of really really good beers.  We found two spots at the bar and bellied up.  First we each had a cask beer.  That was good, but our second beers were amazing.  Cyndy ordered a porter and I ordered a different kind of Christmas beer.  Both were amazing!  We sat and talked for ages, just enjoying the atmosphere and buzz of the people around us.  Cyndy began to notice all of the cool coasters on the walls and bar, advertising the beers on tap.  She politely asked the bartender for a few coasters.  The bartender dissapeared to the back and returned with about 200 coasters.  He handed them over to Cyndy and said Merry Christmas!  

After leaving Charlie’s Bar we wandered toward Nyhavn.  Still determined to get a hat, we went back to Barock where we had sampled our first Juleøl of the evening.  The bar was closing but Cyndy pleaded with the staff for a hat.  Finally, one nice girl handed me her blue Santa hat with the little ball on the end that lights up.  I’ve never been so happy.  I walk Cyndy back toward her hotel and notice that it is 3 a.m.  I guess we got a little carried away with the holiday. . . but we were just doing our party to make this 18 year old tradition the best year ever!!!