Arctic eats

Great Arctic Eats, Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø, Norway

Do you love to eat in a town with just the right amount of people, that is 68,000? Do you crave an bustling town with an invigorating night life? Do you absolutely need art, history, and fantastic scenery? Do you want to take classes at the world’s northernmost university? Are you okay with learning Norwegian to get free tuition? Do you want it all by being above the Arctic, yet experiencing a sub-Arctic climate? Is it essential that you dine on tasty food? Then, oh my gosh, Tromsø, Norway, is the place for you.
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Let’s visit Tromsø’s five best restaurants as TripAdvisor(tm).
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The must-go-to restaurant is Restaurant Smak. I want to go there. I want to go there. If you dine at Smak, please enjoy a meal for me and do let me know how you liked it. True, it’s a bit pricy, but I have never, no not ever, seen an Arctic restaurant with more glowing reviews than this establishment. People rave about the attentive servers and the high quality of their fresh food. The restaurant ensures the freshness of their ingredients by buying only food from the neighboring farms. It’s not surprising then, that Restaurant Smak gets a perfect 5.0 rating. Do try their Jerusalem artichoke soup, white asparagus, wild lamb, cod cheek and hot dogs. And for dessert, try their dill and caramel sorbet. Meals run from three-to-five courses and can take two hours, but the time will fly because everything at Restaurant Smak is good as it can be. I really want to go here.
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Winning the silver medal on our restaurant tour is Raketten. It is a hot-dog kiosk, but what a hot-dog kiosk! This small building serves such good food and has been such a mainstay to the community over the decades that the powers that be designated it an Important Cultural Monument. Can your local fast-food joint boast of a distinction like that? No, I didn’t think so. Keep a sharp lookout on Raketten as the outside line of dedicated hot-dog lovers can be over a hour. Sit by the nice, cozy fire and enjoy some gløgg, a hot punch made with red wine, brandy, sherry, almonds, raisins, and orange peels. What more do you need?  Or perhaps you prefer a delicious hot chocolate topped with marshmallows? Be sure to try their reindeer sausage. Is this a great town or what?
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Third place on our dining tour is Svermeri Kafe Og Redesign. The atmosphere is cozy and the staff is friendly and attentive. It serves delicious fish cakes and desserts. They really, really make fantastic soup and cakes. The number of reviews praising their soups and cakes is legion. I think I’d order their wild-blueberry pie. They even make gluten-friendly cakes. Don’t miss this place.
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We now visit Art Cafe. This is an all around good restaurant with pleasant lunches and fine dining at night. Art Cafe possesses a super cozy atmosphere and a friendly staff. The restaurant is decorated with authentic artistic decor which you may purchase. The jazz bar sounds nice as do the reasonable prices. Many tantalizing dishes abound including: reindeer stew, king crab soup, shrimp, mussels, Norwegian cheese, beef bourguignon, and Greek salad.
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We finish our culinary adventure at Mathallen. It’s named after Allen, the local high-school math teacher. No, not really. It does serve great Scandanavian and European dishes. Mathallen’s uses fresh ingredients from local sources. The waitstaff is pleasant and knowledge. All the food is brilliantly presented. Mathallen gives good value. Restaurant goers praise the seafood especially the herring, cod, salmon, and whale. Fans of meat really should go for their deer and reindeer steaks. And who could resist trying their ice cream made from sour cream and hazel/plum sauce? Don’t forget their satisfying local beer.
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Tromsø’s restaurants
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By far, the best two way to reach Tromsø are by plane and by car. (Although motoring can get exciting when the fog rolls in.) You could visit the town by cruise ship as well. However, you’d have to be extremely patient if you wish to get to there by train. The Norwegian government has been debating extending the rail network to Tromsø for decades. You’d do much better riding reindeer and even then who knows if they know the way?
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Go on the Fjord Excursion by RIB. For how could you possibly travel all the way to northern Norway and not visit the nation’s fjords up close. The guides on the speed boats are quite knowledgeable and the fjords spectacular. If lucky, you can see orcas, sea eagles, reindeer, and seals come near your boat. Well, maybe not the reindeer, they tend to stay on land. Dress warm, it can get cold and rainy out there. You might even experience a blizzard. Astoundingly, many  people really want to experience a blizzard on the sea. At any rate, hot chocolate and cinnamon buns await you at the end trip. Mmm.
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Be sure to go on Night Reindeer Sledding with Camp Dinner and Chance of Northern Lights. Well, the name tells you what to expect, doesn’t it? So don’t think the tour guides can guarantee you the Aurora Borealis. Ahem. The trip is organized even to the point of having lasso tossing and other activities before the tour even starts. Or maybe just drink hot chocolate they serve. Until you go to where it’s really cold, you won’t appreciate how wonderful hot chocolate can be. But this excursion really is tailor made for reindeer lovers. Reindeer pull your sled! Your feed the reindeer! The reindeer feed you! Wow! Wow! Sure, the reindeer feed you from a limited menu, but they feed you! Okay, enough exclamation points. Dinner is a traditional reindeer stew served at major celebrations. Can you get that amazing dish at your local drive through? No, I didn’t think so. And learn about Swami history and culture from the pleasant Swami guides. I want to go on this one.
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People with not enough time to get out of town should make their way to the Polar Museum. There might be no better place in the world to learn about legendary polar leaders and expeditions. Learn about fishing and hunting expeditions to even farther north Svalbard. (Warning to animal right activists, this really isn’t a place you’d want to visit.) Others will want to see a trapper’s hut and the objects needed for Arctic survival. You can even learn the truth about polar bears wandering the streets of Tromsø. Egad, that sounds ominous. Probably isn’t though. Probably. At any rate, I want to head out to Tromsø even more
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Tourists with not much time, especially seal lovers, will want to visit Polaria. It’s a cozy place with the emphasis. See seals frolic up close. Try to get there for the seal feedings. Spend the money and feed the seals yourself. What fun! Polaria fills their aquariums with fishes and plants you won’t find anywhere else.
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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Arctic Eats – Ölafsvik, Iceland

Do you love to eat? Do you enjoy bracing sea breezes, lava flows, chilly glaciers, and relaxing hot springs? Do you dislike great throngs of people? Do the need to meet people who believe in elves? To the point that construction workers must first determine if elves dwell on the proposed site? Well then, Ölafsvik, Iceland is the place for you.
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There are four restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm) for Ölafsvik! Let’s dine at them all.
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The must-go-to restaurant is Sker Restaurant, especially if you’re vegetarian. People rave about their veggie burger. Of course, being in Iceland on the coast, they serve delicious salmon and cod. Their fish and chips is first rate. The friendly, helpful also serves good pizza and an amazing salad. You have a choice of a wonderful view of the town or the harbor.
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Second on our restaurant tour is Hraun Restaurant. It specializes in seafood, serving tasty: calamari, fish soup, lobster tails, and a great fish and chips. This establishment is also friendly to vegetarians. Vegetarians love the veggie taco. The staff is truly nice and the overall atmosphere is cozy. Try the delicious apple pie and caramel pie. They even serve piri-piri chicken, a spicy dish from Africa. Who knew?
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Winning the bronze medal is Kaldilaekur. It’s a delightful cafe and pub. Go there for breakfast and try their excellent oatmeal porridge and fresh apple cubes. Efficient, friendly servers bring amazing coffee and beer. (I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed a top-rated restaurant that didn’t employ friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable servers. It’s something all restaurants could do well to emulate.) Anyway, be sure to try their great fish soup and their traditional meat soup as well. Then order the date cake for dessert.
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We now visit The Secret  Spot.  It is said to have the best fish food in the world. Try the superbly breaded fish and the several sauces that accompany it. The staff is friendly AND they have a putting green outside for their guests to use while waiting for their food to be served. How fantastic is that? I want to go there.
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Ölafsvik’s restaurants
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The four best ways to reach are by: air, sea, car, train, or even a combination of these. The traditional ways are really the best. As you can see from the above photo, the town has a bench for all to use, but Ölafsvik has so much more to offer.
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Be sure to visit Ölafsvikurkurkja. This striking modern church displays unusual lines. Everyone tells of the church’s beauty on the outside. No one seems to go inside. Why? The church resembles a ship from the side. It is also supposed to look like a cod from above. How do visitors know this? Are we to believe that tourists manage to levitate over the church but never find a way to go inside? Oh well, if you do go to Ölafsvik, please go inside and let me know what it looks like. Then pause and reflect at the beautiful waterfall across the street.
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Hike to Bæjarfoss. It is a stupendous, beautiful waterfall with a nice drop. You can see a beautiful church from up at the top. Astoundingly, it’s just an average waterfall for Iceland. However, you are here in Ölafsvik. So go see it. It’s only a short walk from the town. Beautiful lupines abound near the falls.
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Be sure to see Pakkhús Snaefellsbaejar. Say that three times quickly. This museum is fun for the entire family. It seems to cover everything Icelandic. The exhibits include: art galleries, town history, food, and a kids’ section. The museum has a nice gift and coffee shop.
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Don’t you dare miss going on Loki Tours Whale Watching. All sorts of whales can be seen including: humpbacks, orcas, and minkes. You can also spot puffins and dolphins. Excursion goers should be aware, though, that the amount of whales spotted varies greatly from perhaps one to quite a few. Also, bring a coat and a hat. It’s cold out on the water. The staff is friendly and professional. Go on this one for me. I’d surely go.
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Finally, visit Lysuholl. This farm is the place to go to  if you find there’s just too many people for your liking in Ölafsvik, This farm is in the middle of wide-open and beautiful countryside. Being Iceland, there’s also quite a striking glacier to be seen. Is this a great country or what? Stay the night here in one of its cozy cabins. The breakfasts are bountiful and delicious. It’s the perfect getaway for relaxing and enjoying. And oh my gosh, if you love horses, ride their horses.
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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Great Arctic Eats – Narvik, Norway

 

Do you love to eat? Are you like Goldilocks in that you don’t like too many or too few people around?  Do you like the cool, bracing outdoors? Do you like history, beautiful mountains, and skiing? Well, Narvik, Norway is the place for you.
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There are 24 restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm) for Narvik! Let’s dine at the top five eateries.
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The must-go-to restaurant is Linken Restaurant and Bar. Be sure to try their turbot and cod. Fiskehallen also serves great local game such as venison, reindeer, wild boar, and ptarmigan with berries. Ptarmigan with berries! Where else can you get that? And wild boar! You can’t get that in my home town of Poway, California. They also serve reindeer-and-roes soup. Go there, go there and have a meal for me. The rooftop view from Linken is fantastic. Take in the town of Narvik and the beautiful mountains. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. They also have reindeer tartar. Enough said. Go there.
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Second on our restaurant tour is Fiskehallen. As might be expected from a restaurant whose name means “Fish Hall,” it specializes in fish and seafood. But they do fish so well, perhaps even having the best fish in Norway.  The atmosphere is cozy, the portions are big, and everything is served by a friendly staff. Be sure to dine on their huge, fresh shrimp (OMG),  cod, Arctic char, and pan-fried halibut. Their side dishes are also tasty. Save room for their rich chocolate pudding and ice cream.
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Winning the bronze medal is Milano Restaurant Narvik. Scandavia’s Arctic Circle seems to favor Italian restaurants named Milano. Perhaps Milano is a chain and is winning over all the Northern diners. Milano of Narvik certainly serves great Italian food. They specialize in tasty pizzas. They also serve chicken meals and kabobs. Their large portions are served by a great, caring staff. The tea is great.  If I were to go there, I’d be tempted to sample a slice of their nacho pizza. Nacho pizza, north of the Arctic Circle, who would have guessed it? I am happy to relate that Milano Restaurant gave food during the Christmas season to locals hurting from the recent recession.
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We now visit Kafferiet Resurante og Bar.  Enjoy large portions in a cozy atmosphere. Be sure to try their reindeer shank, cod fillet, and leg of lamb.
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Special mention goes to Sushi Point.  A great staff serves tasty, fresh sushi at a good price. Sushi in the Arctic, this is a great town.
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The four best ways to reach Narvik are by: air, sea, car, and train. The fifth through seventh best ways will most likely take significantly longer and be less enjoyable
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Be sure to visit Narvik Krigmuseum.  This museum does a superb job of honoring the achievement and the courage of the Allied forces fighting the German invaders in 1940. Not only does it relate the fierce battles, but it also devotes a section to analyzing the big questions of war and human rights during conflict. It’s interesting and informative exhibits make it well worth a visit, particularly for history buffs. There’s also a nice little coffee shop and gift shop. Go there
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Then take the cable car to Narvikfjellet. This is resort is quite popular with the locals. It boasts of world class off-piste skiing. I don’t honestly know what off-piste skiing is, but it is world class. This skiing resort has some of the largest vertical drops in Scandinavia. Yikes for me, but fantastic for dedicated skiers. But don’t worry,  Narvikfjellet is also suitable for families and beginners. Admire the breathtaking view from the top and enjoy scenery from the cable car.
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You should probably visit Narvik Kjøretøyhistoriske Museum. Kjøretøyhistoriske translates as Vehicle History. That’s all I really know about the place. The museum earned a rare, perfect rating of 5.0. Yet no one left a review. Why? Why was that so hard? Perhaps the exhibits entranced the visitors so much that they were at a loss for words.
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Next on our museum tour is the Narvik Museum. It receives a still quite good rating of 4.0. However, its guests proved to be much more helpful than those went through the doors at Kjøretøyhistoriske. This museum tells the story of Narvik’s development. It emphasizes the stories of the iron-ore mines, the rail transport, the harbor, and the town’s tunnels and bridges. A section of the museum devotes itself to the great fire that destroyed the town’s old wooden center. Don’t forget to ride in an authentic iron-ore car.
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Finally, please visit the Polish War Memorial and pay your respects to the braves Polish sailors who died fighting the Nazis in 1940. They are especially worthy of our admiration for they sailed all the way here, despite losing their homeland to the Germans in 1939. To remember.
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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Arctic eats, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Arctic Eats – Nome, Alaska

Great Arctic Eats – Nome, Alaska

Are you a diner who loves to eat, but is skittish around people? Do you feel naked going outside without a parka or, at the very least, a good sweater? Do you want to see huskies race across a finish line? If you answered yes to these questions, then you owe it to yourself to fly to Nome, Alaska where the beaches are never crowded and the seafood is oh so fresh.
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There are 15 restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm)! Let’s dine at the top five eateries.
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The most exciting establishment is Pingo Bakery – Seafood House. This eatery really is the place to go to if you only have time for one meal in Nome. (Although why you’d travel all the way to Nome for just one meal is beyond me. However, to each his own.) It has charming service, quaint atmosphere, fresh items in their outstanding bakery, and homemade ice cream. However, their seafood remains the star of this establishment. They serve seafood omelettes, for goodness sake.  (You can even order a half-size omelette.) You get a choice of roasted halibut or red king crabmeat. And there’s three seafood pizzas: salmon and artichoke heats, roasted halibut, and crab with roasted garlic and mushrooms. Can you get these culinary wonders at your local pizzerias? No, I didn’t think so. They also serve Belgian waffles and if you’re adventurous, the Chef’s Surprise Breakfast. Go there!

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Second on our restaurant tour is Bering Tea Co. They earned a perfect 5.0 rating. Congratulations, Bering Tea! They are known for their great coffee and tea. Especially their coffee. People love their coffee. They will make coffees to your specifications and with your choice of toppings and other ingredients. They offer wonderful handmade snacks. Go there early for tasty omelettes as they sell out quickly. Bering Tea has a reputation for being the friendliest eatery/cafe in town. And it’s next to Pingo Bakery. Is this a great town or what?
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Winning the bronze medal is Milano’s Pizzeria. This restaurant serves the best pizza in all of Nome. The atmosphere is rustic and local. Milano’s serves up many other cuisines beside pizza including sushi, Korean, and lobster. If you want to tour the world without ever leaving your table, this is the restaurant to visit. And it’s all served up by a friendly staff.

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Next on our Arctic food-lovers tour is the wonderfully named Polar Bear Cafe, a favorite with the locals. You can’t beat its view. It’s only a few feet away from the turbulent Bering Sea. It’s known for its large servings of crab legs and breakfasts all served  by a friendly and efficient staff.
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Special mention goes to Board of Trade Saloon.  Apparently, you haven’t had the full Nome experience unless you drink beer here and then go outside to pee in the frigid Bering Sea. Honest.
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The best way to reach Nome is by air, probably Alaska Air.

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Be sure to visit Carrie M, McLain Memorial Museum. Don’t let the lack of official, accessible websites fool you, visitors love it. It’s charming, informative, and multi-sensory. Well, visual and audial. You’re on own about touching the exhibits. Find out about the fascinating traditional and Gold Rush times of Nome.

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Then hop, skip, and jump or even take an all-terrain vehicle to the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve (BLBNP). But the most popular way to get there is by bush plane. There’s also trekking or sledding if you’re really resourceful. It sports great, informative displays. The staff is friendly and helpful. And there is no better place to learn about mammoths and mastodons. You can see a remnant of the great land bridge connecting Asia and North America. Our Asian ancestors used this land bridge to settle the Americas. But why, I keep asking myself, what possessed these worthy humans to go so far north? It had to be double-dang cold even back then. It’s a mystery, but one you can investigate at the BLBNP.

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Then get a friend in an ATV to take you to the White Alice Site. You can even hike there if you’re hardy enough. I have no idea why it’s called White Alice. Were they talking about Alice’s ethnicity? And why Alice’s heritage? Why not someone else’s? Did Alice see a ghost? Did Alice run naked here after taking an oatmeal-milk bath? It would have been cold for poor, mad Alice. And no one would have been brave enough to brave the frigid air to see her, just like Lady Godiva. Anyway, the site boasts of beautiful scenery and a panoramic view of Nome and the Bering Sea. Be sure to investigate the Cold War early warning communication site.

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Visit Katirvik Cultural Center. It’s in the same building as the McLain Memorial Museum. Hit two must-see places at once, Learn about native ways from the past millennia. The center has great interactive exhibits. The staff is friendly and helpful

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Finally, shop at Maruskiya’s. Buy amazing Alaska Native bead work and walrus-ivory carvings for your loved ones and dear friends. Buy the inevitable touristy t-shirts for everyone else.

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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

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– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Arctic eats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Arctic Eats – Kiruna, Sweden

 

Great Arctic Eats – Kiruna, Sweden

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Kiruna, Sweden June 14, 2018 City views of the iron mining town of Kiruna

Are you a diner who avoids countries that fought in a World War, but loves good dessert rolls, meatballs, potato sausages, and the Northern Lights?  Do you get anxious and feel closed in towns with more than 20,000? Do you revel in Lutheran humor? If you answered yes to these questions, then you owe it to yourself to fly to Kiruna, Sweden. It’s your kind of town.
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There are 30 restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm)! Thirty! It would take you ten days to visit them all, providing you went out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Truly, this is an Arctic dining paradise. Let’s  visit the top six eateries.
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The top rated dining establishment is the highly loved Stejk Street Food. This established gets a 5.0 out of 5 from TripAdvisor’s food critics. Well done, Stejk Food. You’ll never forget the restaurant itself. It’s inside an warm, authentic Sámi tent. They serve tasty Swedish street food. Their Arctic reindeer and moose subs are fantastic. It’s also vegetarian friendly; try the halloumi (It’s a semi-hard unripened cheese made from sheep’s and goat’s milk.) The staff is friendly and professional. You really should go here.

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Second on our restaurant tour is Cafe Safari. They are known for their great coffee. Definitely try their moose and reindeer. For dessert, you would do well to order their cakes. Treat yourself to its wonderful kladkaka, a scrumptious chocolate sticky cake. I’ve made this desert. Here’s a link to my kladdkaka, so can see what its like. This cozy restaurant is also vegetarian and vegan friendly. Don’t leave without sampling delicious ligonberries.
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Winning the bronze medal is Camp Ripan kitchen. Its terse diners love it’s good Swedish, great ambience, and friendly staff. It’s vegetarian and vegan friendly.

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People think highly of SPis Mat & Dryck’s is great mussels and Arctic char. Friendly staff serves good Swedish  and other European food.
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Our fifth dining stop is the rather excitingly named Landstroms Kok & Bar. Patrons rave about its excellent reindeer, elk stew, and other local delicacies, all coming in big portions. Accompany your tasty meals with good beer. What more do you want?
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The last dining establishment you must go to is Arctic Thai & Grill, for it serves good, tasty Thai food. Besides any restaurant with the words “Arctic Thai” is worth investigating.
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Kiruna, unlike many of the other towns reviewed in Great Arctic Eats, has a road going in and out of it.  This feature cannot be overestimated, particularly if wish to get there by car. Pogo sticking or hang gliding there simply isn’t practical. However, once there, the town has many worthwhile things to see.

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Be sure to visit Kiruna Kirkya .  This large wooden church was built a century ago for the Sámi people. It has been voted to be Sweden’s most beautiful building. And it’s downtown, so you can walk to it. Well, perhaps during a wintry snowstorm

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Then reserve your spot on the Snowmobile Aurora Expedition with dinner. Snowmobiles, dinner, and the Aurora Borealis. What more do you want?

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Go on TreriksrÖset.  According to Kiruna’s visitors, it’s a beautiful hiking trail with points of interest.

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Visit LKAB’s Visitor Centre. It’s the world’s largest underground iron-ore mine. The town of Kiruna was built around this mine.

Finally, see the Esrange Space Center. It has a science museum, an observatory, and a planetarium. A family that visited noted they went there. They also recommend that you go there as well. Yeah, tourists in Kiruna really don’t waste many words, do they?

But perhaps the visitors’ words are taken away by the many wonderful things to see in and around town.

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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

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– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Arctic eats, things to see and do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Arctic Eats – Utsjoki, Finland

 

Great Arctic Eats – Utsjoki, Finland

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Are you a diner who shuns crowds, but loves saunas* and watching reindeer ? Do you love words with “aa” in them, such as “kalastaa,” the Finnish word for “fish?” Indeed, do you love Finland but feel uncomfortable with large crowds of Finns who often congregate in the country’s large cities? Do you wish to dine above the Arctic Circle? Well make your way to Utsjoki, Finland, the little town that has it all.
* “Sauna” is “sauna” in Finnish. See? You’re speaking like a native already.
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There are five restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm).  So, the competition for your patronage will be fierce indeed. Let’s  visit the local eateries.
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The top rated dining establishment is the esteemed Restaurant Deatnu. They serve traditional Sámi dishes. Yes, they do wonders with reindeer, local berries, and fresh fish. The restaurant has a nice view and a friendly staff. But please, please try the salmon soup.

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Next on our restaurant adventure is Restaurant Aurora Holidays. They serve great local food. Try their delicious reindeer and cod. For dessert, you would do well to order their great sticky cakes. The restaurant looks out on a soothing river. Maybe you’ll even see some wildlife. This pleasant restaurant is run by the family who owns it.
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Winning third place is  Utsjoen Kylatalo Gilsa. It’s known for its hot drinks. Not only is it a charming cafeteria will the flavor of local culture, it also has a grocery store. It’s your one-stop place for food. And remember, you’ll love their buns.

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All self-respecting towns will have a great hamburger joint. Annukan Grill fits this bill nicely. And oh my gosh, oh my gosh, they have a reindeer burger. I want to go there!
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Honorable mention goes to Restaurant Pub Rastigaisa. It serves pizza and has a bar. This restaurant received many reviews written in Finnish, so you know the locals frequent it.
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Utsjoki, unlike many of the other towns reviewed in Great Arctic Eats has a road going in and out of it. It can even boast of a spectacular bridge going into Norway. So you’ll be able motor into town. No dog sleds and hiking needed to get to Utsjoki. Well, I suppose you could charter a plane from Helsinki, but if you want to travel by yourself and see soothing scenery, travelling the last leg of your trip by car really is the way to go. Anyway, there are many must-see sites in Utsjoki.

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Be sure to visit Kevo Strict Nature Reserve.  This place boasts of extremely beautiful hiking routes. You’ll find you self losing track of time while viewing the entrancing scenery. So, be sure to bring a watch with an alarm on it, as the park gets dark at night.

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By all means, see the enchanting church huts. They’re beautiful in their simplicity. All in all, it’s wonderful way to learn Finnish history while staying outdoors. None of that entering the bowels of a stuffy museum for us. The site sports a splendid, little craft shop and a waffle cafeteria. What more could want?

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Drive over the nearby Sàmi Bridge. It’s boasts an elegant, yet impressive dressing. It’s perched over a river dividing Finland from Norway. The bridge and its surrounding are especially beautiful in the twilight. Plus, it doesn’t take much time to take it all in. Just drive your car over the bridge. If you want a quick bit of beauty, this bridge is for you.

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Try to see the beautiful Utsjoen Kirkko. This is the northernmost church in the European Union. So there. The church’s architecture is both pleasant and impressive. Go inside and spend some soul-soothing time with God.

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If you prefer guided tours rather than thrashing about by yourself, look up Aurora Holidays or Tundrasafari Finland. And at the end of a glorious visit, simply unwind at Utsjoki DiscGolfPark.

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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

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– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Arctic eats, humor, international, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Arctic Eats – Cambridge Bay, Canada

Great Arctic Eats – Cambridge Bay, Canada

Do you like to eat well, but hate crowds? Do you quail at visiting the same local restaurants one more time? Do you wish to chill out in new soundings? Well, I have the place for you. It’s Cambridge Bay in Nunavut, Canada. Chilling out and shunning teeming urbans mobs will be easy peasy in this getaway  above the Arctic Circle.
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There are four restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm).  So, the competition for your dining dollars will be fierce. Let’s sample the local cuisine.
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The top rated dining establishment is the highly regarded Kuugaq Cafe. They serve the best muskox that I know of. You simply cannot visit here without dining on their tasty muskox chili and muskox chili. And if you love fish, may I suggest their delicious Arctic Chow chowder? Kuugaq Cafe regales its dinners with superb lattes and baked goods. The owners don’t neglect the international culinary scene either. Try their tasty Trinidad stew and pizza quesadilla.

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Next on our restaurant tour is the fine Saxifrage Resto-Cafe. This cafe cooks great Arctic Char. (I mean Cambridge Bay really is the only place in the world for serious Arctic char connoisseur to visit.)  Saxifrage also delights its customers with juicy hamburgers and truly good fries. This cafe is known for friendly service. The staff also provides Chinese food to go on Sundays 4 to 6 pm. What more could you want? How about free medium coffee with every meal? There you go.
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Winning the culinary bronze medal is Arctic Island Restaurant. It serves a good breakfast. It’s specialties are Caesar’s salad and Black Forest cake. Visiting workers will be pleased to know that they can have their meal waiting for them at their hotel room when they come back from work.

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Honorable mention goes to the KFC/Pizza Hut restaurant. People have complained of its cost, poor quality, and lack of variety. For Pete’s sake people, this KFC/Pizza Hut lies 400 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It’s by far the best fast-food combo that far north. I’m amazed that KFC/Pizza Hut had the courage to build a restaurant in such an isolated place. All their ingredients must be flown in from over a thousand miles away. Not many many vendors of fresh pepperoni near the North Pole.
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Ahem.
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Speaking of flying to Cambridge Bay, the best way to get there really is by airplane. Hikers will surely be discouraged by the miles and miles of open water between the end of the North American continent and Cambridge Bay’s Island. And I have to imagine that you really won’t be able to carry the tons of food you’ll need to get there. No, fly to Cambridge Bay, even if you adore white landscapes. Book that flight to Cambridge Bay Airport (YCB.) You’ll have to fly the last leg by charter. There are no flights that go all the way from your North American metropolis to this Arctic outpost no matter what those air-fare sites will claim.

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Speaking of hikers, lovers of outdoor rambling will love the trail of Ovayok Territorial Park. See the awesome panoramic views, the wildlife, and the trails when the visibility is good.

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You won’t want to miss the Canadian High Arctic Research Station. It’s open to the public. Does your city have an Arctic Research Station open to the public? No, I didn’t think so. You must reserve your guided tour. I never suspected you’d need to do this. Is it like trying to get tickets for the next Star Wars(tm) movie? By all means, make the reservation. You don’t want to sleep outside in a sleeping bag in that frigid air just to reserve your place. Or just show up and look at the station’s brochure.
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Do you hate coming home only to find out that you’ve missed a hot-spot tourist attraction that everyone has raved about? Don’t let this happen to you. Stampede the Arctic Coast Visitor Centre. They’ll fill you in.
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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

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– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

 

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Great Arctic Eats – Archangelsk, Russia

Great Arctic Eats – Archangelsk

Do you like to eat well, but you’re an introvert? Do you find social distancing difficult in your crowded, bustling metropolis? Well, I have the place for you. It’s Archangel in northern Russia. It’s perfect for those who can’t find authentic Russian cuisine near their home and absolutely have to turn the thermostat down whenever the office gets above 40 degrees.
As of press time, Archangelsk’s population was 351,000. The temperature was 12º F.
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SPECIAL NEW FEATURE! Top rated restaurant that delivers: Presto/Presto Pizzeria. Click here for menu.
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SPECIAL NEW FEATURE! Top rated restaurant with outdoor seating: Paratov Club & Restaurant
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If you traveled to Russia to get an authentic Russian meal, by all means, make your way to Velvet. People love this restaurant; I can tell by its good ratings. However, what customers raved about is a mystery to me as all the comments are in Russian. Commenting in Russian for the Russian restaurants seems to be a thing for the inhabitants of Archangelsk. It’s quite likely this occurs from the nearly all Russian population of Archangelsk. By the way, the Russian language has a word for everything.
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However, the best restaurant in Angelesk is El Fuego. It’s a Latin Steakhouse where they serve amazing food. No, Latin does not mean the menus are in Latin and that the waiters speak Latin. Rather, this establishment serves Latin American specialties.
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Fine diners who meant to fly to the French Riviera, but accidentally boarded a plane to arctic Archangelsk, can at least feast on Mediterranean fare at restaurant Rika where they serve beautiful food at a great price. Although you may wish to sample Restaurant Pochtovaya Kontora 1786. It also serves Mediterranean cuisine. However this restaurant is known for good food AND comfy seats. With all that, I am at a loss to know why Poctovaya Kontora 1786 doesn’t score higher than Rika.
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Hungry travelers who meant to fly to the French Riviera but ended up here can also drown their sorrows in alcohol at the gastropub Lock Stock Pub where they serve excellent beers and good food.
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What whirlwind tour of frigid Archangelsk would be complete without dining on the fine Czech dining to be had at Stare Mesto? One customer summed his experience up by simply saying, “The Meat.” What more do you need to know?
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Finally, don’t let your culinary adventure of the pizzeria capital of Arctic Russia end without visiting Dodo Pizza. Its customers can’t stop raving about it in Russian.
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In my mind, the most exciting thing to see in Archangelsk is a British Tank Mark V from World War I. How it got here beats me. Did it break through German lines in France and simply through lack of orders keep going until it ran out of gas in northern Russia? How did it manage to go so far on one tank of gas? How did the German air force and army not even notice the tank plodding ever forward on its epic journey across nearly all of Europe? Disappointingly though, it’s enclosed in glass. You may not take it for a spin.

The Small Korela Wooden Architecture and Folk Art Museum comes highly rated. It’s unclear if: the museum is small in number of buildings, if it’s buildings are actually small as in three-feet tall, or if it’s named after Ms. Korela Wooden who was small. If you go, please let me know.

Visit Archangelsk Gastiry Dvory, This museum tells the story of the area through stone objects, bone carvings, Middle Ages’ stuff, church icons, and other stuff. This is a must-see stop for lovers of stuff.

People who love to ride horses should go on the Horse Lovers Tours. The name says it all, doesn’t it?

Jazz lovers will feel at home at Jazz Club JAZZ WORKSHOP. I don’t know why jazz workshop is completely capitalized. Perhaps their caps-lock button got stuck.

Similarly, lovers of puppet theater, must visit the Puppet Theater.

Many fine churches and monasteries adorn Archangelsk. Be sure to visit the Holy Trinity Antony of Siya.

Northern Tourist Company provides a multi-day historical-and-heritage tours.

As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.” See the city’s points of interest, the countryside, and snow.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Arctic eats, international, things to see and do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Arctic Eats, Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada

Say you want great arctic food near the Arctic Ocean? Go no farther than Inuvik, Canada. The highest rated restaurant according to TripAdvisor isOur Lady of Victory Church Inuvik Northwest Territories, Canada Cafe Gallery with its banana bread loaf and great coffee. Arctic foodies still talk about the sandwiches once served there. Stampede Cloud 9 Cafeteria for the best burgers in town and wonderful poutine, a Canadian specialty. By all means head over to Tonimoes to savor its muskox ragu and fresh arctic char. If you and your date cannot decide between pizza and Chinese, why not try Roost? China Express serves the town’s best all-Chinese food. Don’t forget Northern Quick Stop which offers the best KFC and Pizzahut delicacieswithin a 1,000 kilometer radius.

Inuvik’s restaurants

People liking to sleep in or sleep it off will want to take advantage of Inuvik’s 720 hour night. After awaking nice and refreshed, you might want to take in the annual Sunrise Festival, consisting of exciting dog-sled races and community bonfire. Don’t miss the spectacular fireworks display. Mark your calendar the best you can for the Muskrat Jamboree, held in March or April. See the dogsled and snowmobile races, before dancing the night away. Patrons of the arts will want to come for the town’s Great Northern Arts Festival which boasts among other things, an outdoor carving village and an Arctic fashion show.

As always, good eating, good traveling.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Arctic eats, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Arctic Eats – Murmansk, Russia

If you hunger for good Russian food served in the Arctic, you really must visit Murmansk, Russia. There are many fine hotels and hostelries if you ???????????????????????????????????????wish to stay a while in a place where you can take big steps without bumping into someone. The Park Inn by Radisson is a favorite while the unfortunately and ominously named Terminal Hostel and Terminal Hostelries get good reviews. Try to reserve rooms in advance as the nearest town is really, really, really, far away.

TripAdvisor rates Cafe Leto as the best restaurant. The best sushi is found at Fusion. Lovers of Italian food should stampede Mama Mia. And check out M-Club Meridian Hotel for fine barbecue and Russian.

Murmansk’s restaurants

Murmansk has a lot to see. So, it’s best to avoid the winter when the days are short and the nights mighty long. Most people will want to visit the Lenin Nuclear Icebreaker. I’d love to take that for a test drive. People wishing to know the local history must go to the Aloysha Monument for the Defenders of the Soviet Arctic during the Great Patriotic War. Fish lovers will want to spend time at the renowned Murmansk Oceanarium. Enjoy the arts at the Murmansk Regional Drama Theater with the best productions for miles around. And don’t forget to spend some quiet time at the St. Nicholaus church.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Arctic eats, humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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