Fika, fika, fika

Stockholm is all about dat fika, a culture of coffee and pastries that seems also to extend to a broad array of other drinks and snacks and sandwiches.  Two forms of deliciousness, one liquid and one to eat.  And folks take their coffee seriously, as much as they do their leisure time.  There are a lot of young families in these shops during the day.  So many baby strollers, and so many dads.  God bless your 18-month maternity/paternity leave policies.  I feel like such an American barbarian in that regard.

People with laptops and also with books.  Homogeneous as all get out, but whatever.  I still ride for coffeehouse culture.  We visited a handful of places – Cafe String (Sodermalm), Drop Coffee (also Sodermalm), Bakverket (Bondegarten), and Snickerbacken 7 Cafe (Norrmalm).

A latte and a peanut butter chocolate rice crispies at Cafe String (Google Maps).


Some breakfast pastries and coffee beans at Drop Coffee (Google Maps), also in Sodermalm.  Across the street from the Sandqvist store where I got my backpack.

Mazariner (almond tartlet) and a jam shortbread cookie at Bakverket (Google Maps) in Bondegarten.  The space has a more proletariat vibe, if you will, but whatever, they still put butter in the pastries, don’t they?


Mazariner and latte at Bakverket Sodermalm Stockholm Sweden

And later on our trip, we had ourselves a real healthy lunch at Snickerbacken 7 Cafe (Google Maps) in Norrmalm.  It’s a really hip, but lovely space, and gets super busy around lunchtime, humming with meetings and mommy meet-ups and co-working and readers alike.

Paris, A Moveable Feast, Part 7: Restaurant David Toutain

We spent Christmas eve at the newly-opened Restaurant David Toutain, the inventive chef who had previously put l’Agapé Substance on the map.  Prior to arriving in Paris, I’d originally made reservations for the latter, somewhere I’d been meaning to go since some of the chefs at Mugaritz recommended it ages ago (2011).  But Chef Toutain had moved on, and Chef Christophe Hache, who I had met when he came to De Gustibus Cooking School, mentioned that Chef Toutain had just opened an eponymous restaurant in the vicinity of the Eiffel Tower.

The culinary world is so small sometimes.House of Haos Restaurant David Toutain Paris Wine Menu WaterThere was just one tasting menu, a combination of the several selections of tasting menus typically offered (including the truffle menu).  One of the things that the chef gained a reputation was an adroitness with and love of vegetables.  We started appropriately with a bowl of roasted carrots in a parsnip and white chocolate purée, with a sprinkling of crushed sesame powder.  It was an opening note to an extended étude to the possibilities of vegetables.House of Haos Restaurant David Toutain Paris Carrots White ChocolateThis worked as well, a purée of smoked potatoes, and instead of chips, we got upgraded to perfectly crisp chicharrones.House of Haos Restaurant David Toutain Paris Smoked Potato Puree House of Haos Restaurant David Toutain Paris Pork Rinds House of Haos Restaurant David Toutain Paris Smoked Potato Puree Pork Rind Chip This adaptation of croque monsieur: a finger sandwich of onion compote, smoked eel, parmesan, and beurre noisette emulsion.House of Haos Restaurant David Toutain Paris Croque Monsieur Onion Compote Smoked Eel Parmesan Beurre Noisette Emulsion Continue reading

Paris, A Moveable Feast, Part 5: Snacks à la française

Paris takes snacks to a whole new level.  Pierre Hermé macarons, for starters.House of Haos Pierre Herme Paris France Boite de MacaronsAfternoon tea at Ladurée on Rue Napoléon:House of Haos Laduree Cafe Tea Paris FranceMillefeuille pralinée, up close and personal:House of Haos Laduree Cafe Paris France Millefeuille PralineOne night we cobbled together an indoor picnic from La Grande Epicerie, with pâté de campagne, pickles, cherries, grapes, bucheron, pecorino with black pepper, and a half-round of Brillat-Savarin.House of Haos Paris Picnic Pate de Campagne Pickles Cherries Goat Cheese Brillat Savarin Pecorino PepperA rainy afternoon spent in the tea room at Mariage Frères:Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetAnd a nice cappuccino at The Broken Arm:House of Haos The Broken Arm Cafe Paris France House of Haos The Broken Arm Cafe Paris France CappucinoPierre Hermé
4 rue Cambon
75001 Paris

21 Rue Bonaparte
75006 Paris

La Grande Épicerie de Paris
38 Rue de Sèvres
75007 Paris

Mariage Frères
30 rue du Bourg-Tibourg
75004 Paris

The Broken Arm
12 Rue Perrée
75003 Paris

Coffee Roasting Workshop – Altadena, California

Before leaving Los Angeles, I’d wanted to learn more about coffee, so I found a roasting workshop in Altadena, CA, at the Institute of Domestic Technology.  Despite the name, the place has more of a charming, granola DIY vibe than something more…domesticated, with a well-equipped workshop in what might otherwise be a guesthouse space, right next to the goats.  It was quite literally at somebody’s digs, albeit somebody’s National Register of Historic Places digs. Continue reading