Culture
Food
HORST TAPAS

HORST TAPAS

Published August 20, 2004

On a hot and sultry day like this it is particularly appropriate to enjoy a round of Tapas. The only restaurant in Reykjavik specialising in this Spanish culinary delight is Tapas Bar, located in the cellar of Vesturgata 3b. The central location makes it an ideal place to visit after spending a sunny afternoon in Austurvöllur, which is exactly what Grapevine did on this hot August evening. We elected to sit outside, although a decidedly un-Spanish evening gust was starting to make its presence felt in downtown Reykjavík. Being young, adventurous and obese, we decided to select the chef’s choice of a large selection of small dishes. We didn’t have to wait very long before the dishes began to arrive, one by one. Among the delicious and often exotic-looking delicacies on offer were scallops, baked salted cod (the strongest economic and culinary link between Spain and Iceland), almond roasted trout with bananas, meatballs with romesco sauce, grilled pork and roasted crabs (delicious, although for the editor they brought back uncomfortable memories of his unfortunate bout with crab lice in the late 90’s)(not true, I didn´t even get to have sex in the late 90´s –ed.). The spices and sauces were savoury, but always played Garfunkel to the main ingredients’ Simon.
For dessert we had the most exotic item we could find on the menu: Baked goat cheese with jam, honey and crisp bread. We were not quite sure what to do with the honey but the goat cheese was delicious, although its taste was a little too reminiscent of the smell in the goat shack in the Reykjavik farm animal zoo. Perhaps a bit like having sex with someone who reminds you of a close relative.
While we ate, we discussed the effects of weather on national character and the Icelandic national character in particular. Our waiter, who turned out to be Portuguese, had various things to say on the matter. Icelanders, he said, are willing to accept any indignity from their government, but if they get cold coffee with their dessert they demand loudly to get the whole meal for free. We couldn’t help but be a little concerned for him, as he chatted with us for several minutes outside in the evening breeze while holding a half-full pot of cooling and potentially rampage-inducing coffee. However, no cold coffee frenzies resulted that particular evening. Perhaps it will be safe to give us beer coolers. Any year now.



Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

ATTN! Brennivín Models Wanted!

by

Iceland’s signature spirit needs you! They’re looking for six models, aspiring models, or people who just like to have their picture taken, ages 18-35, for a photo shoot at a downtown Reykjavik bar, this coming Monday July 7. In return, you will get a Brennivín t-shirt, lunch and a beer….and you’ll be featured on the Brennivin.com website. You can send a pic and a little about yourself to: info@brennivinamerica.com    

Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

In A World Of Coffee, Where Is Iceland?

by

This month, the World of Coffee, one of the leading events in the speciality coffee industry, took place in Rimini, Italy. Coffee professionals from around the world came to represent their home countries in a variety of competitions, including the coveted World Barista Championship. However, for the first time since the championships were established 14 years ago, Iceland failed to send any competitors. Given that there’s certainly no shortage of coffee shops in downtown Reykjavík, this begs the questions: what went wrong and need Icelanders be concerned about the quality of the coffee they’re guzzling down? Coffee is undoubtedly deeply

Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

Street Food, Family-Style

by

Less than two weeks old, Súpuvagninn (“The Soup Wagon”) is Reykjavík’s newest food truck, focusing (almost) exclusively on kjötsúpa (“meat soup”), what food historian Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir has called “the national soup of Iceland.” Owned and managed by brothers Gabríel Þór and Benjamín Ágúst, staffed by their sister, and located, for good measure, in Mæðragarður (“Mothers’ Garden”), Súpuvagninn’s family approach to street cuisine gives Icelanders and tourists alike a taste of amma’s (“grandma’s”) home cooking on the go. On the first afternoon my companion and I arrived at the white wagon, its sides cheerfully decorated with grinning carrots and other anthropomorphised

Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

Kigali Needs Fine-Tuning

by

Kigali is a recently opened café named after the capital and largest city of the war-ridden African country of Rwanda. It serves all the conventional westernized versions of Italian Coffee, the only difference being that their Americano is called an “Africano.” A small number of sweets are on offer to enjoy with your coffee, served in bite-size pieces that are easy to take along with the take-away coffee. In addition to serving coffee and sweets, a small variety of African dishes are on offer as well as a changing soup of the day. “African dishes” is of course pretty vague,

Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

Eimverk’s Whisky Matures, Its Gin Blossoms

by

The first thing I notice as I slip through the warehouse’s unmarked door is the smell: somewhere between the sweetness of freshly-baked bread and the earthiness of a turf fire. The space is given over to several large tanks, all of which are adorned with a confusion of pipes, gauges and valves. Against the back wall, barrels and bottles of Flóki Whisky and Vor Gin await distribution. I have come to meet the brothers Þorkelsson who, along with three other family members, run Eimverk Distillery–producers of Iceland’s first-ever single-malt. Having read that they only had the idea to make whisky

Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

Humble Brag

by

There’s a great scene in the movie ‘Office Space’ where Jennifer Aniston’s character, who works at a tacky restaurant, is passive aggressively reprimanded by her boss for only wearing the minimum required pieces of flair on her work vest, while he expects her to bedazzle her entire uniform to earn her minimum wage. The restaurant Skrúður, a word most closely translating to ‘flair,’ reminded me of this scene in reverse. Rather than adorn itself in tasteless embellishments for the sake of impressing its customers, it had poise, dignity and simple elegance. Located off the lobby of Hótel Saga, it is a

Show Me More!