Ian and I had both been to Brussels before on separate trips over ten years ago. We had already seen the major attractions so we felt like we could focus on food and beer and not get distracted by art, architecture, or history. Stay out of our way, culture, we have things to eat! (In truth, we visited one museum, which was great.)
Our first day, we started off right with omelettes and coffee. I missed you, French cheese!
There are a lot of pictures I’ve earmarked for blog posts that just don’t have enough meat to stand on their own. Here’s a photo dump of quirky things we’ve seen across our trip.
Water Bus – Budapest
I could have used one of these on my last trip when the bridges were washed out from the floods
Pretty sure a strong wind would blow this thing on its side. It looks amazing though. (more…)
We were lucky to have our schedule line up with our friend John’s so that we got to see him in both Berlin and Poland. We visited him and his wife Agnieszka at her family’s home in the Polish countryside near Czestochowa.
John and Agnieszka met us at the train station and we stopped at a giant supermarket on the way home to stock up on food and drinks. Naturally, when we arrived at the house we were fed instantly:
Meat (Beef? I’m not actually sure) in a delightful creamy sauce, Greek salad, a homemade cherry juice, and of course, dumplings.
To make up for all the dumplings and waffles, I have found myself gravitating toward soups lately. I started strong in Warsaw with a two-course soup dinner, in which Ian and I ordered a chanterelle soup for a starter and I had tomato soup for my main. This thoroughly confused our waitress, who informed me, “you know, that is also soup,” when I ordered.
Chanterelles are in season in Poland right now and they are so cheap and delicious.
We heard some skepticism when we mentioned we were going to Warsaw. It’s not nearly as popular with tourists as Krakow and we heard we might not enjoy the city very much. Either we are very lucky, they are misinformed, or we possess all the secrets of Polish travel, because we thought Warsaw was awesome. Here are some reasons Warsaw is great:
1. Parks. Warsaw has TONS of beautiful parks. The most beautiful and spectacular is Łazienki Park, which might just be the best park ever. Observe:
One thing we loved about Berlin was the range of affordable and delicious international food available. While we’ve clearly been eating well, we have missed our favorite Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Chinese dishes. Berlin had good restaurants specializing in all these cuisines. One favorite was Yumcha Heroes in Mitte, which served a wide variety of Chinese dumplings.
This one goes out to @briantobin, who taught me the word pareidolia.
Cranberry danish or evil alien overlord? You decide.
Somebody call this coconut a cab; he’s had enough.
Continuing our legacy of eating all the things, we checked out Street Food Thursday while in Berlin. Every Thursday Markethalle Neun in Kreuzberg has many stalls of vendors selling snacks from all over the world. It’s pretty much exactly like Off the Grid, for you Bay Area friends. Nothing we had was a standout but it was a really fun scene and there was a ton to choose from. Definitely recommended!
These knödel (dumplings) were stuffed with spinach and cheese. They were ok, but really rich.
We ♥ fromage. Cheese featured prominently in all of our dinner picnics in France and we’ve learned a few things about our cheese likes and dislikes. We are all about the runny, unpasteurized cows-milk cheeses that can be spread like butter and that used to be banned from public spaces because of their odor. We’ve listed our favorites below. Word of warning: keep these cheeses in a tightly sealed container or else your house will smell like feet!
We found out that our friends Jess and Koshi would be arriving in Paris on our last night there, so we made plans to meet for dinner and celebrate. We made a reservation at Le 6 Paul Bert, which is the hip and modern sister to the classic French bistro, Paul Bert.