Barbie - a meat lover’s paradise

I’ve told you before that my boyfriend is a meat-eater. So for his last birthday, his friends invited him to try a new barbecue joint in town, which is said to grill up the best meat east of the Mississippi river (take that, New York!). So after much planning and schedule-coordination, we finally booked a table at Barbie, close to Vesterport station. Behind that girly name hides the most manly restaurant since the invention of steak houses.

Located in the basement of Retour Steak, you enter through the steak house upstairs and climb down a winding staircase in the back, which creates the impression of a “secret back room” - kinda fun! The second you step down in the basement, you’re met with a super cozy atmosphere - long wooden tables and benches, low ceilings, candles, and a delicious, soft smell of barbecue. I got there a bit early and waited at the bar with a pre-dinner cocktail to wait for the rest of the group to arrive. Casually sipping my Old Fashioned, I watched trays of meat being transported from the kitchen to hungry guests - needless to say, I was ready for some serious barbecue action!

At Barbie, you can choose between “The Tray”, with 4 meats and 3 sides, and “The Whole Shebang”, which basically covers everything they have. Unfortunately, they don’t let you choose which meats/ sides you get for the Tray, so I decided to mix-and-match on my own, because I’m not the biggest meat eater in the world, and I tend to be picky as well. Also, I really wanted the pulled pork sliders (that sadly aren’t part of the Tray). So I went for the sliders, pork ribs, mac and cheese, and coleslaw. The rest of the group went for the Tray. Service was really quick - a benefit of having a limited menu! - and soon served up ginormous trays full of steaming hot barbecue, and we were ready to dig into all of the meaty goodness!

The guys’ Tray - 4 meats and 3 side dishes

My mix-and-match tray with pulled pork sliders, pork ribs, and coleslaw

What’s called pulled pork burger on the menu is really two small sliders, but that was more than fine by me. I tend to over-order (my mom says my eyes are bigger than my stomach), so anything that comes in small portions is perfect for me. The deliciously smokey pulled pork is topped with shredded red cabbage and pickles, all stuffed into cute little home-baked buns. Very good, especially alongside the coleslaw!

The pork ribs were insane. The meat is so tender that it just falls off the bone, and they are marinated in an amazing sauce. They also have all sorts of killer homemade sauces on the tables. I especially liked the barbecue sauce, which is decidedly more smokey and less sweet than some of the typical BBQ sauces you get other places. The Chipotle sauce added a nice tang, without being overly spicy.

But I have to say, my personal highlight was the mac and cheese! That was comfort food at its best - creamy, cheesy perfection, served in a tiny cast iron skillet. Yum, yum, triple yum!

I mean, just look at it and all of its gooey, cheesy glory! I basically want to eat this every day!

They do have desserts, but for some reason, the rest of the table was “too full” (what? how does that even happen?) - so we just ordered an espresso to finish up dinner. We were all super satisfied with the food, the guys were in absolute meat heaven and I started my beautiful love story with that little skillet of mac and cheese. I specifically also wanted to try out the place as someone who does not usually eat tons of meat - and I was pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong - this is obviously not the place for vegetarians! But if you like ribs, pulled pork, or maybe some brisket and some sides, you’ll be right at home here.

A stormy weekend and dinner at Tight

If there’s one word to describe this past weekend, it would be dreary. Denmark was in the tight grip of storm “Egon” (don’t you love those old-timey names they give the storms here in Denmark?) and everything was grey and moody. The wind rattled our windows and howled through the streets and into courtyards, blowing over patio and balcony furniture, and the water in the canals rose to almost-concerning levels (very happy I don’t live on the ground floor!).

After spending a relaxed Friday night at home, I had gotten it in my head that we should go for some Mexican food on Saturday. More specifically, I wanted to head back to this little taco shop in the center that – according to my Mexican friends – serves real, authentic tacos, burritos, and nachos. Having never been to Mexico myself, I can only confirm that the food is absolutely delicious! Soft tacos with amazing pulled pork and nachos with homemade chunky guacamole… mmmh! But much to my chagrin, they were closed – despite what it said on their website. Sad face!

So there we stood, on a Saturday night, in the howling winds, in the streets of the inner city, stomachs growling, with no reservations. We wandered down towards Strøget, when the boyfriend suggested Café Tight, in a small side road, that he knows from burger nights with his buddies. Hoping for the best, we poked our cold noses in and were greeted by the friendly hostess, who managed to get us a cozy table in the front of the restaurant within 10 minutes. Not bad for 8:30pm on Saturday, I’d say!

We skimmed the menu and swiftly decided to skip dessert in favor of a starter. I’m a total dessert person, but I knew I couldn’t eat three courses, and I had seen crab cakes on the menu! If there’s one thing I dislike, it’s seafood (the texture gives me nightmares!) but somehow, I absolutely love crab cakes. I’m weird like that, okay?!

For drinks, they will serve you your choice of still or sparkling water, but charge you 10kr for it, which I consider fair. I also had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, which could have been chilled a bit more, but tasted very nice.

Quickly, we were presented with some bread – BLACK bread! Bonus points for creativity – which we hungrily dug into. And a couple of minutes later, our starters arrived – my eagerly awaited crab cakes! And boy, were these babies delicious! Crispy, perfectly seasoned, and served with a spicy chili mayo and a lemon wedge to freshly squeeze on top. Heaven!

My man went with the Jerusalem artichoke soup, which I tried and approved of. Perfect, creamy texture, with some crispy root chips on top, and drizzled with a couple of drops of truffle oil to round off the flavor combination.

For mains, I chose the vegetarian pasta and was served a steaming plate of fresh linguine with baby spinach, mushrooms and parmesan cheese. I have to say, while the pasta was absolutely fine, I wasn’t blown away – but let’s be serious, it’s not easy to get blown away by a pasta dish. It was a huge portion, though, so I was sad to have to send about half of it back due to being seriously stuffed.

My Viking chose the Surf’n’Turf and he was definitely over the moon, saying it was one of the best Surf’n’Turfs he’s ever had (and believe you me, he’s had many!). Served with a potato gratin and some delicious sauce concoction, the meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender – so I’m told. I didn’t actually try it, because a) the seafood issue, and b) it’s borderline dangerous to try and steal meat from my boyfriend!

All in all, this was a great experience. The atmosphere is very cozy, despite the fact that this place seems to be huge – it extends over two stories and has a back part, too, which we could see through the kitchen. Service was friendly and relatively quick, especially taking into account that it was Saturday night and they were crammed full. This also seems to be one of the very few places in Copenhagen where the kitchen is open past 10pm, so if you’re a late diner, this might be a place worth trying.

I will definitely be back soon – maybe just crab cakes and dessert next time!

An evening at Höst Copenhagen

Happy Monday everyone - let’s all for a second pretend that something like that actually exists! I confess: I don’t like Mondays. I’m a weekend person. And maybe Friday, because that’s almost weekend. But seriously - whoever decided that out of the seven days of the week, we should be working on five and relaxing on two - that was a BAD idea! What’s wrong with a 4-3 split? Much more manageable, if you ask me!

Oh, last weekend. You were glorious. You were three days long and full of good company, delicious food and wine, and relaxing. I already miss you. We had a great time together, didn’t we?

Starting out on Friday with a day off from work, which I pretty much exclusively spent in the kitchen preparing the Thanksgiving meal. Sans turkey, because this girl only has one oven. And probably wouldn’t really dare make a 12 pound bird anyways. Oh well. The main part of the weekend was then spent relaxing on the couch, recovering from the feast, watching series, maybe taking a little walk. But Sunday night, you were a highlight! And I shall turn all my attention to you now.

I was meeting a bunch of friends for dinner. I know this bunch from the wine tastings I frequently (maybe too frequently?) attend - that’s how you can tell they’re great people! We went to a place I had long had on my “must try” list - Höst. Part of the Cofoco restaurant group, they are an upscale, but affordable restaurant focusing on New Nordic cuisine. The entire place is styled through to the last roll of toilet paper, and they even have their own line of dinner ware (how beautiful is this?!). For some great pictures of the interior, see here.

As we were a larger group, we had to decide on the menu beforehand, and we chose “An evening at Höst”, which is a 3 course menu with an accompanying wine menu, coffee and petit fours, and water. Much to our delight, our very sweet waitress told us that, actually, there were a couple of surprises and we were actually going to end up with six courses. More food, you say? Count me in!

Now, I don’t want to lose many words on the menu or the wine, I’m not a food critic and would probably embarrass myself. I will say, though, that this was one of the best overall restaurant experiences I have had in Copenhagen. Everything is styled through to perfection, but without being artificial. It’s not the kind of perfect you’re afraid to touch. It’s the kind of perfect you wish you’d be able to recreate because it looks so easy (spoiler alert: you won’t be able to. Okay, I won’t be able to.)

Enough with the words. Dive right in and feast your eyes on these wonderful dishes!

Scallops with cucumber, buttermilk sauce and cracked wheat

Why are we not serving more food in shells?!

Muffins with caramelized onions

Hake with kohlrabi, dill and blue mussel sauce

Homemade sauce on crispy bread with field salad…

… accompanied by a mushroom soup. As a German, this is hurtful to admit, but this was one of the best sausages I’ve ever eaten. Drinking warm soup through a straw is a bit weird, though.

Duck with purple kale, celeriac-puree and sauce based on roasted duck-skin, walnuts and pickled truffle 

A sort of caramel-y chocolate cream with a hint of liquorice (okay, I’ll forgive that), drizzled with sea buckthorn

Christmas-tea ice cream with meringue and cherry compote, with black tea on top

Finally, brewed coffee and this selection of petit fours, including marshmallows and caramel wafers

I’ll be going back here soon, that’s for sure, and I strongly recommend that you try it out, if you haven’t yet! Have a great start into your week!