From Iceland — Kaffi Brennslan

Kaffi Brennslan

Published May 5, 2006

Kaffi Brennslan

Kaffi Brennslan has been around for a while, and despite changing owners it has maintained a healthy reputation for consistently good food. Apart from being a restaurant, it’s also a great coffee shop and a pretty good bar. This means that if you would like an after-dinner coffee, it’s going to be top-notch stuff and not something thrown together as an afterthought in the kitchen. The fact that they also have what must be the largest selection of beer in Reykjavík, with several dozen brands from all over the world on offer, also makes having a beer with your food a lot more special than it usually is. I had to reprimand my dining partner for trying to order an Icelandic brand, and under much duress he finally settled on one of the endless list of exotic names: Cobra. It turned out to be an Indian brew, and we both agreed that it was a good, if somewhat random, choice. The waitstaff were patient throughout this ordeal, and overall the service was excellent.
When it came time to order I decided to keep it simple and order the nachos. Okay, so it had less to do with keeping it simple than it did with the fact that the place is famous for its tasty giant platter of ‘Super Nachos’ with everything. The portion was nice and hefty and the staff should get bonus points for serving them with bowls of extra condiments rather than forcing people to rely on whatever is thrown on the plate. However, there was one problem. The cheese, a crucial element to a nacho platter, I’m sure most people would agree, was decidedly unappealing. It had a rubbery consistency and didn’t really taste like much. Thankfully there was cheese salsa, regular salsa, sour cream and guacamole to make up for it – so it’s not like it was bland.
My friend went with one of the day’s specials, grilled beef with brown sauce and salad. It was actually a lot better than it sounds, but while there was certainly nothing to complain about, it wasn’t all that exciting of a dish. Having eaten a bit too much of his meat and my nachos, I was left alone to pick a dessert. Going with the pecan pie was definitely a good move, although for my personal tastes it teetered on the dry side.
Overall Kaffi Brennslan is a fairly priced establishment and a good place to go for top quality coffee, a wide variety of beer and a selection of food that rarely disappoints but seldom thrills.

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