AboutEating my way through the Big Apple and around the world.
Always in favor of extraordinary flavor versus saving a few calories, I’m constantly seeking the best restaurants, recipes, and random little food finds. This blog chronicles my discoveries, most of which are located in New York City, the foodie heaven I am fortunate to call home.
I am an editor at Zagat, but all opinions on this blog are mine and have nothing to do with my employer.
I take my photos with a point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot SD850. Which goes to show that if you're passionate about photography but can't afford fancy camera equipment, you can still take quality photos.
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Recipes and Food Finds
Well folks, it’s true what they say about Oslo being expensive. It’s really darn spendy. And this is coming from a New Yorker. Luckily I was there to visit my good friend Kristina, so we prepared most of our meals at her apartment. Here’s the home cooked dinner we had on my first nite: spaghetti with chicken, white wine, and Smils for dessert. Smils are my new favorite candy (think Rolos with a more gooey caramel center). It was so nice to go back to sharing meals with a friend, and one sporting Minnesota gear nonetheless!
My Oslo dining strategy went something like this: a bowl of cereal at Kristina’s for breakfast, a snacky lunch of treats or a sandwich (yes, I did eat cake, waffles, and pain au chocolats for lunch), and our dinners were split between eating out and eating in.
Wayne’s Coffee near Kristina’s office became one of my favorite little places. I was bummed to find out it was a Swedish chain, but it was still fantastic. One day lunch was a Greek chicken wrap and a split brownie. By the way, brownie with a slice of lime on it? Amazing!
Kristina was kind enough to bring me Norwegian waffles with jam from her cafeteria. How cute?
And yes, chocolate cake. This was my lunch/reward after our intense day hike in the Marka/Holmenkollen region outside of Oslo.
Here’s the pic from one of our two dinners out. It was at Fru Hagen, this great cafe/bar in Kristina’s neighborhood, Grunerlokka (Oslo’s Greenwich Village). Loved the restaurant and the neighborhood. This was my chicken and wok veggie in sweet chili sauce sandwich.
I was in Zurich for just 24 hours, but I managed to scarf down a wide array of delicious delicacies.
My dinner at Zunfthaus zur Waag was absolutely breathtaking. This was definitely one of the best meals of the entire trip. Pictured above is grilled shrimp with guacamole, eggplant tartare, and candied sundried tomatoes.
The main course was grilled sea bass with potato-thyme mash and artichokes. I may or may not have scraped the plate clean.
We had a couple free hours, so I beelined it straight to Cafe Schober, the patisserie with world-famous hot chocolate. Here’s the beauty shot. It was pretty delicious, but not best ever. The desserts were extraordinary, and I believe they speak for themselves.
Chocolate Hazelnut Tart.
Lemon Meringue Pie.
This is the dessert from that beautiful dinner at Zunfthaus zur Waag. Creme Brulee (my fave) with mango sorbet. An interesting combination, but it worked!
My last day staying in style in Switzerland. I had my standard bread basket and nutella breakfast on my personal patio at Hotel Zurichberg, overlooking the city. The watermelon was a surprise bonus. Ahhh, those were the days.
After one day in the big city, I packed my sack for the tiny mountain town of Lauterbrunnen. And with that, I traded in my fancy meals for lunches less than 10 Swiss Francs, and dinner with a glass of wine for less than 25. And I did it! Although meals did include croissants (for lunch), flatbread pizza (8.50 CHF), and bruschetta and wine (16 CHF).
This was the biggest splurge during my two days here, at Restaurant Schutzen. It’s Rösti, the traditional Swiss mountain meal. Basically it’s a giant hash brown with various toppings; mine is veggies and cheese. Not my favorite thing, but I couldn’t leave the mountains without ordering it.
My 26 hours in Lucerne were a nice mix of trying to stick to a budget, but also treating myself on my last nite in Switzerland, and for accomplishing the four-day solo leg of my journey flawlessly. This city is absolutely fantastic, and I was shocked by the number of New Town swanky lounges and restaurants that could just as easily have been found in New York. I’ll have to visit one when I return.
I passed a gelato stand while looking for dinner and couldn’t pass up a dish of hazelnut and caramel. So this was actually the first course of my last dinner in Switzerland. Siting on the riverbank, overlooking the Kapellbrücke bridge, it was just all too perfect.
I was dead set on having some Swiss Fondue for my last feast, but none of the restaurants I found were 1) in my price range or 2) appealing. So I wandered back to the Old Town to Grendel 19, a restaurant I passed earlier that day. I had Alpler Maggrone, the Swiss version of the Kasknopfle I had in Liechtenstein. It made me forget all about fondue. I even boxed up half and ate it on my train ride to the airport the next afternoon. A true first class-riding hobo.
And what would my last day in Switzerland be without a final coffee and pastry. This was at Luz, the cutest little cafe/glass boat house right on Lake Lucerne. So idyllic I stopped here twice.
Little, little Liechtenstein. Small on space, big on flavor. In the two days I was here, we feasted like royalty. The 15 mile by 8 mile principality is landlocked between Switzerland and Austria, so the cuisine is a nice mix of the two neighbors, plus a few delicacies of its own. The proof’s below!
This was my first meal in Liechtenstein, at Residence Restaurant and Bar. Smoked salmon three ways (incredible) and trout on leek risotto (double incredible) with champagne sauce. Edible artwork, no?
This is a country that really knows how to do its soups and salads. Both from Galina in Malbun: barley soup with bacon and a mixed salad. The mixed salads in this region were the best ever. We’re not talking about your basic garden salad. Typically you’ll find carrots, corn, beets, coleslaw, and other fun things like pineapple, potato and macaroni salad, strawberries, you name it!
My second nite in Liechtenstein we did an evening mountain hike, ending at a hut in Sucka. This alpine cheese platter was waiting for us there—cheese fresh from the cows we passed on the way.
This is a Liechtenstein specialty called Kasknopfle: noodles (somewhat spaetzle-y) in a cheese sauce with fried onions and applesauce drizzled on top. It might sound a little strange, but it was absolutely delicious.
Now if this doesn’t stop you dead in your tracks, I’m not sure what’s wrong with you. Chocolate mousse with cherry sauce. Almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.
This is something I’m going to try to make after I go apple picking this fall. It’s a fried apple ring with cinnamon and sugar in vanilla sauce. Simple but absolutely delicious.
I’m not normally a coffee drinker, but that’s another bad habit Europe will get you in to. I thought this cappuccino was exceptionally lovely.
A couple weeks ago I spent three days hiking and eating my way through Lech and St. Anton, Austria. Here are some of the goodies I encountered…and devoured.
Europe means one thing to me: Nutella. Okay, okay, it means more to me than Nutella, but I do allow myself unlimited quantities of hazelnut spread while I’m there. And it’s everywhere! Look! Little individual Nutellas! Give me some delicious chocolate brioche and some Nutella and I’m good to go. Too much sweetness is never enough.
This was my first meal in Austria: Schlutzkrapfen (potato-filled pasta), a spinach dumpling, and a cheese dumpling in melted butter and parmesan. Heaven on a plate.
After one of our more strenuous hikes, this was the giant plate of pasta that was waiting for me at an Alpine “hut” (or small mountain restaurant). It’s spaghetti with kase rahmsosse, a rich Alpine cream sauce. One of my meat-eating colleagues got this traditional Austrian plate: hauswurst with sauerkraut and knodel. Both of these plates were under nine euros. Eating good in the neighborhood!
This was absolutely to die for: Chanterelle mushroom (native to St. Anton) ragu with spaetzle. Spaetzle is amazing.
We had three very fine dinners in Austria, with dishes that weren’t just showing off the country’s native cuisine: cream of avocado soup, chicken and veggies, tuna tartare, mangoes with chocolate, etc. I loved this crayfish on lettuce and carrot salad, Austrian or not.
Even after the three course dinner and breakfast Swiss Airlines served, I was ravenous when I arrived in Lech. This special little bunt cake was waiting for me in my room. I have no idea what the sign next to it said, but that little beast did not last long. Dense and chocolaty, just the way I like it.
This was my last dessert(s) in Austria: homemade apple strudel with vanilla sauce and Calvados (apple brandy) ice cream, a little sugar wafer spoon, and mixed fruit. Jealous?
And this my friends, this is a famous Austrian dessert that I am hoping to replicate here at home. It’s called kaiserschmarrn and it’s like little ripped-up pieces of crepe, served with plum compote, apple sauce, or red currants. So good we had this dessert twice. A recipe I found is linked here.
Here’s an amazing newsflash: If you order an iced coffee in Austria (or Switzerland for that matter; is it everywhere in Europe?), you get a coffee ice cream sundae. Amazing!