Kings County, Copenhagen
Danes are just like us. They like to name things
after Kings County (apostrophe, no apostrophe, whatever).
They have Nespresso and seltzer machines on their
My counter with the lower-end Nespresso machine that
I took as a freebie (though not exactly free in reality since those pods are
65-cents each and gauge you like razor blades or printer ink) but never blogged
about and requisite SodaStream. (I keep my blender hidden away because it
never gets used.)
Beer, coffee, and water aside, there's little in
Copenhagen to tickle the fancy of an American culture enthusiast. Yes, there is
a Hard Rock Cafe attached to Tivoli Gardens, and Burger Kings and McDonald's
show up in and near transport hubs, but this is no Bangkok or Dubai.
Even homegrown chains were lacking. Joe & the
Juice? Eh, I didn't even take a photo. Sunset Boulevard? Maybe. I'm not sure if The Spot is local. I was bummed that their machine to make Daim ice blended coffees was broken, but they did make up for it a bit by using "nasty" in their ad copy.
Max Hamburger is Swedish so it doesn't count.
Vesterbro, a.k.a. the Meatpacking district, still a
little red light, supposedly great for clubbing (certainly not for late night
dining–try finding anything other than shawarma after 10pm on a weeknight, and
when a friend helped me by putting out a Facebook call to locals for "bars
that stay open past midnight," suggestions were for places closing at 1am,
which technically answered the question yet was not what I meant. Even in
middle America bars are open until 2am during the week) also had the
distinction of housing a mall, Fisketorvet, a.k.a. Fish Market, just across the
train tracks, a block from my apartment.
There is a restaurant called The President that
serves a Nixon Burger and has footballer statues dangling puppet-style in
Instead, I opted for The First Lady, across the
walkway, because it was classier, called itself a gastropub and had burgundy
flocked damask wallpaper. What I thought would be a roast beef sandwich turned
out to be kind of a patty melt, or more accurately, a hamburger sandwich. At least that was actually a cherry tomato and not a marachino cherry, one thing Denmark has over China. This
is where I was introduced to remoulade, the beloved mayonnaise spiked with
pickles and mustard, served with everything.
My first-impression takeaway (why does the rest of
the world say takeaway instead of to go?) was that there is a certain sterility
in Copenhagen, a downer more often attributed to a place like Singapore (one of
my favorite cities in the world). Everything is a little too easy (plus
expensive) which lends to a dullness. If I have to make one reference to
Denmark consistently being the happiest country in the universe, I'll make it now.
I've heard theories on that (where I can't recall) and one that I'm inclined to
agree with is that Danes have lower expectations so it takes less to make them
happy, whereas Americans expect the universe and are consistently disappointed.
Simplicity and security does not make us happy.
More later on New Nordic in springtime, i.e. you'd
better like rhubarb, buttermilk, ramson a.k.a. ramps, nasturtium, necks (pork
and poultry), seaweed, sorrel and nettles.
Read about even less food-related bits here.
Or look at some photos: