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Grocery dinners in Reykjavik

 

Pretty nice looking for microwave dinners...

Pretty nice looking for microwave dinners…

 

For the last few days of my trip to Iceland, my travel companion and I stayed at the Galtafell Guesthouse. The Guesthouse itself was full, so we were accommodated in one of their off-site apartments. This was both a benefit and a disappointment for different reasons, but one of the benefits was having a full kitchen, so we could pick up a few groceries and make a few modest meals “at home” to save a few Kroner for dinner and snacks.

Frozen dinners from the Bonus supermarket

Frozen dinners from the Bonus supermarket

One of our meals were “TV Dinners” which we heated up in our apartment’s microwave. We had to guess based on the illustrations on the back about cooking instructions, and still the food didn’t heat up as much as we had hoped – maybe the microwave wasn’t powerful enough?

Either way we split both of the meals; fish cakes, carrots, broccoli, green beans,  potatoes two ways, and meatballs. Not really a glamourous meal like some of our other meals at the lovely hotels we stayed at – but still a good enough meal after long walks around the city centre!

The location of the apartment was on the other side of “the pond” from the guesthouse we had thought we’d be staying in, and was a second-floor walk-up. It was a bit of a pain to have to haul our suitcases (and groceries, and shopping!) up the stairs, as they were narrow, steep, and the railing wiggled – but the apartment itself was very nice – with a large dining room, huge living room (which unfortunately we didn’t use since the TV only seemed to have one channel, and the couches were damp from being deeply cleaned for the entire time we were there!), and a good-sized eat-in kitchen. There was a large master bedroom (which we flipped a coin for, and I won!) and a small second bedroom with two single beds.  The master bedroom had a nice large closet, though the second bedroom didn’t really have a closet, as it was being used to store things. The only real disappointment of the apartment was the bathroom – it was uncomfortably small, with a shower that we needed to squeeze in and out of, without any place to rest shampoo, conditioner, or soap.

Tasty soup!

Tasty soup!

 

Time to bring out Google Translate!

Time to bring out Google Translate!

Another evening we had packaged soup for dinner instead – made from a mix we picked up at the grocery store, it was easy to make on the stovetop… even without reading the instructions in Icelandic!

This one was Italian Minestrone, but we also picked up another mix… and brought it home with us. We haven’t tried that one yet!  This one was really good though, and after another rainy summer day in Iceland, very welcome!

Other than just having a kitchen to make our meals, our stay at the Guesthouse (or rather, the apartment) also came with a nice breakfast every morning. Our host picked us up at a designated time (determined the morning before) and would drive us back to the guesthouse for bread, cucumber, tomato, cheese, deli meat, coffee/tea, juice, cereal, yoghurt, and a strudel sweet each morning, and from there we’d make our day starting from the guesthouse as we would have if we had stayed right at the guesthouse itself.

Having breakfast at the guesthouse also meant we could chat with the resident cat (who I really liked, missing my dog back home) and with the other guests, some of whom visited from Germany and the UK. The guesthouse is a historical house, and a former home of a well-known Icelandic artist, Guðmundur Thorsteinsson – Muggur. The house was built in 1916, and has tall ceilings in some rooms like the front foyer and sitting room, with lots of natural light pouring in from the windows above. The house was also owned by Bjarni Jonsson (Bíó Bjarni) who opened one of Reykjavik’s first cinemas, and who was also the brother of another famous Icelandic artist, sculptor Einar Jónsson.

Oh, and having Wifi, and a washing machine at our apartment was good too!

Minestrone soup mix

Minestrone soup mix

I’ll leave you with another lovely photo from the shoreline at Reykjavik… looking across a field to a home, to the mountains beyond…

Mountains across the water from the Reykjavik shoreline

Mountains across the water from the Reykjavik shoreline

Guesthouse Galtafell
Laufásvegur, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
+354 699 2525

http://www.galtafell.com/

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2014 in Out of town - Europe

 

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Dinner in Borgarnes, Iceland

Borgarnes starter - scallops and shrimps

Borgarnes starter – scallops and shrimps

I’m back with another post from Iceland!

In the town of Borgarnes, we stayed at what was probably my favourite hotel for the entire trip – and the food was delicious too. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2014 in Out of town - Europe

 

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Café Babalú, Reykjavik

Café Babalú menu board

Café Babalú menu board

Next up on the culinary trip of Iceland, I’m going to take you to Café Babalú which we stumbled upon after visiting Hallgrímskirkja.

Hallgrímskirkja is a Lutheran parish church in Reykjavik, and at 73 meters, it’s the largest church in Iceland, and since it’s also built on a hill, it’s also visible from seemingly everywhere in the city. The church is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Pétursson, and was commissioned in 1937. State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson is said to have designed the church to resemble basalt lava flows in Iceland, and it took 38 years to complete!

A number of streets go up and down the hill to the church, and along Skólavörðustígur, we found Café Babalú while leaving the church with sore feet to head back to our hotel. The interior is eclectic and varied, and from the accent of the gentleman behind the counter who appeared to be the owner or manager, I’m pretty sure the person running the show is an American living in Iceland.

Ham and cheese crepe at Café Babalú

Ham and cheese crepe at Café Babalú

I had the ham & cheese crepe, while my companion had the spinach & cheese crepe (below). The menu wasn’t especially diverse or large, but there were enough little things on there that we had some choice. Honestly our tired feet played more of a role in choosing to have some lunch than our desire for culinary experiences. Soup, chili, lasagna, paninis, and savory crepes filled the food menu, cheesecake, carrot cake, chocolate cake, sweet crepes and apple crumble were on the dessert menu. Of course a standard fare of coffee drinks completed the menu, though we both opted for a glass of water instead.

The crepes were accompanied by a bit of salad with (Ranch?) dressing. Served warm, these were really quite delicious… I liked my ham & cheese better, but had a bite of my companion’s dish as well (of course!).  So see.. it’s not ALL fermented shark and thunderbread!

Spinach & cheese crepe at Café Babalú

Spinach & cheese crepe at Café Babalú

For dessert, we split a slice of carrot cake. It didn’t have the typical cream cheese icing we’re used to, and we both found the cake lacking in flavour and moisture compared to what we’re accustomed to. Of course, there was a lovely dollop of whipped unsweetened cream, which I came to adore at every opportunity during our trip to Iceland. It’s served with a lot of desserts, and it’s delicious!

Carrot cake from Café Babalú

Carrot cake from Café Babalú

I’ll leave you with another beautiful photo from Reykjavik – not too far from the cafe along the shoreline.
Could you imagine sights like these right in the city of Calgary?

Mountains across the water from the Reykjavik shoreline

Mountains across the water from the Reykjavik shoreline

Café Babalú
Skólavörðustígur 22, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
+354 555 8845

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Out of town - Europe

 

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Shiki Sushi – Victoria, BC

take out from Shiki Sushi in Victoria, BC

take out from Shiki Sushi in Victoria, BC

Still in beautiful Victoria, BC, I thought I’d share with you some photos from my take-out dinner at Shiki Sushi.

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Posted by on September 11, 2014 in Out of town - BC, Sushi

 

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Silk Road Tea – Victoria, BC

Selection of teas at Silk Road in Victoria, BC

Selection of teas at Silk Road in Victoria, BC

I’m going to take a little break from my Iceland posts to head back to Canada again – this time for my trip to Victoria, BC, and a must-visit Silk Road Tea shop.

Located in the Chinatown area of downtown, Silk Road is spa on one side, and tea on the other, and a young woman greeted all of the guests with a free sample of a freshly made iced tea to take off some of the heat of the August day when we visited.

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Posted by on September 7, 2014 in Out of town - BC, Tea & Beverages

 

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Saga Cafe

Delicious turkey panini from the cafe at the Saga Museum

Delicious turkey panini from the cafe at the Saga Museum

Since I already shared photos of the meringue cake from the Saga Museum Cafe, now it’s time for the food… along with the absolutely gorgeous cake, we also had a great Turkey Pannini with loads of melted cheese and pesto spread. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2014 in Out of town - Europe, Treats

 

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Iceland National Museum Café

Delicious meringue Skor cake at the café

Delicious meringue Skor cake at the café

My last post included the meringue cake from  the café at the Iceland National Museum – and although the cake was perhaps the most memorable part of the meal, it certainly wasn’t all we enjoyed. In keeping with my other posts from food in Iceland, I wanted to share with you a quick post about some of the other things we enjoyed there. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2014 in Out of town - Europe, Tea & Beverages

 

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