Hey guys! I’ve been bugging Chris for a while to write something for the blog, and was able to entice him by proposing he write about his favorite topic – food! See below for his take on European cuisine. 🙂
So, if you have been reading along I am sure you are wondering…WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN EATING!!?? I know I would be.
Here is a list of some of our favorites in Europe (separate posts on Egypt and Asia are in the works). For the most part, I’ll let the visuals speak for themselves.
Food in Europe varies drastically from country to country. Some groups of countries share similar palates while the difference between close neighbors could be night and day.
1. Buffalo Wings at Elephant & Castle in Dublin, Ireland
“Really! Hot Wings? NUMBER ONE!?” Simple answer. YES! They were that good! Served with lime and water to rinse chicken gristle off your fingers. This starter at Elephant & Castle in Dublin, Ireland kicked off what quickly became one of the most memorable meals in Europe.
2. Gelato in Roma
Gelato in Rome, Italy was the best we’ve ever had hands down, for obvious reasons. Don’t visit Italy without trying it at least once.
3. Panini at Pizzeria Persona in Prague, Czech Republic
Mozzarella and Prosciutto Panini at Pizzeria Persona in Prague. To our amazement we fell in love with the simplicity of this panini. Fresh, homemade bread, fresh mozzarella, arugula (also known as “rocket” everywhere else in the world), parmesan and butter. The quality of the ingredients really shows here, and heightened our expectations for our upcoming trip to Italy.
4. Frog Legs at Frog in Nice, France
Frog Legs in Nice, France. A first for both of us. We were hesitant to order this, but Frog, a highly rated restaurant near the Promenade des Anglais, was the perfect place to try it for the first time. The light, crispy batter, garlic, herbs, and butter are what made this dish. As for the texture of the frog legs, I would compare it to rabbit, much leaner, but yet more tender.
5. Fish & Chips at Leo Burdock in Dublin, Ireland
Perfectly crispy and smoky. The famous Leo Burdock chain offers a smoked fish option, making for some unique flavor. A must-try. And don’t forget to wash it down with a creamy, malty Guinness!
6. Escargot at Les Halles de Lyon in Lyon, France
Escargot in Lyon, France. This was our first time trying snails and we were scared to say the least. SCARED. Then, once we tasted it, realized that not only was it not so bad, it was actually delicious. They say butter makes everything better, and this was definitely the case here. Inside the snail shell, the enclosed meat is completely drowned in an herbed butter.
7. Cinnamon Lefse in Norway
Since we didn’t eat out much in Norway, we spent plenty of time wandering the grocery store. One of my personal favorite desserts in Europe was Cinnamon Lefse. You can buy this prepackaged in any grocery store, and there are a few variations, however my favorite was the cinnamon. It is a fairly thin and soft bread, almost similar to the texture and size of sliced white bread and sandwiched between two pieces is the GOLD, the sweet butter, sugar and cinnamon that makes up the frosting.
8. Cheeseburger in the Mall of Berlin Food Court
Bacon cheeseburger in Berlin, Germany. As a self-acclaimed burger critic, I am not easily, or often, impressed by a burger. This burger, though, was bursting with flavor and you can really tell that they use high quality ingredients. I order my burgers medium-rare, so it was a bit messy, but that is expected from a top-notch burger. As for assembly and presentation, they lose points in my book. If they had simply rearranged some of the ingredients, it would have made a significant impact as I found towards the end that the bottom bun was getting soggy.
9. Falafel Plate at Vevay in Frankfurt, Germany
Falafel plate in Frankfurt, Germany. This was vegetarian done RIGHT. Normally, I’m not the biggest fan of vegetarian food as most of the time, to me at least, that means a salad. Vevay had salad, of course, but there were plenty of other options. The food far exceeded expectations. The dishes were flavorful, inventive, and fresh. I’m sorry to say, this is the BEST falafel I have ever had, sorry, Mom, yours has dropped to 2nd place!
10. Strapačky from the Žižkov outdoor market in Prague, Czech Republic
This dish varies from region to region, but is truly unique in Prague. This hot and hearty meal is perfect for a brutal winter day. This dish seems surprisingly simple with 3 main ingredients: Halušky (dumplings, however this also can refer to a similar dish that includes sheep’s cheese), pork belly chunks, and sauerkraut. A cup of hot mulled wine, sold all over the place by street vendors, is the perfect pairing for added warmth.