Let me just start by saying my mom is awesome! She booked a trip to Europe and took me as her plus one! For 18 days we got to experience some of the most amazing cities in Europe: Kraków, Berlin, Saint Petersburg, Brussels and Amsterdam. It was a magnificent learning experience and a multifaceted trip. Of course food was amazing! You’re about to find out which restaurants stuck out in my head not only for their food but for their ambiance and hospitality. Lets go!
My first destination in Europe was the amazing and interesting medieval city of Kraków. Situated in Poland, it is one of the oldest cities in the country. Filled with history and delicious restaurants, it is a true European jewel and sadly underrated. I had been to Europe many times before and never even heard someone recommend this place. It’s a shame because on top of all the perks that I already mentioned, it’s less expensive!
While walking around the city, my mom and I were famished, exhausted and had gotten turned away from two other places because we didn’t have reservations. Then we found it…meat heaven.
S?awkowska 3, 31-014 Kraków, Poland
Included in the 2017 Michelin Guide, Ed Red is a modern steakhouse with a rustic feel and an open kitchen. My mother ordered the New York steak which you can appreciate in the pictures. It was amazing, although it says dry-aged, there is nothing dry about it. The sauce balanced not only the flavor of the meat but the moisture.
I ordered the “Marrow Bone” (name according to their menu online) with an ox tail Jam, radish and herb salad. It was buttery, soft and melted in my mouth.
My main course was Duck Breast on cauliflower with a ginger and honey sauce. The sauce was an explosion of flavor and paired beautifully the duck with every bite. At the bottom of the plate were two apple eclairs waiting for me. Duck is very special to me. I’ve been obsessed with the bird since I was a kid. I have tried it in many different restaurants and cooked in many different ways, I really loved this version. No room for dessert though!
Second stop: the ever-changing city of Berlin. This gloomy, politically strong, European capital is a place everyone should experience. The palpable history of the city makes it a place like none other; divided for decades and reunited in its geography, but still not a hundred percent in its habitants minds. It all depends on who you are talking too since there are still many people who remember the wall and all its consequences. During the 1920’s Berlin was probably the biggest cultural capital of the world. German films were top notch and the city was bursting with artists, Zur Nolle is a homage to that time.
S-Bahnbogen 203, Georgenstraße, 10117 Berlin, Germany
The restaurant’s decor is very 1920’s and the walls are painted with murals of the faces of the artists of that era. It lies underneath the famous Berlin Friedrichstraße Station which adds to the nostalgic feeling of the place.
First, I ordered a huge beer which you can appreciate in the photos because it is Germany after all and the Cream of Tomato Soup, topped with pesto. The soup was like eating pizza sauce (I love it!). Really tasty.
I tasted the cheese and pesto Tortelloni and they were delicious. They certainly added something special to the meal. Sadly. it wasn’t my main course, so I only had a couple of those cheesy babies.
We ended the meal with a Hot Apple Cake. Germans know their apple cakes. It wasn’t too soggy or dry, neither bitter nor sweet, it was a good, solid apple cake. I would have had an extra slice if there any room left in my stomach.
Third stop: Saint Petersburg. The so-called Paris of the north, City of Palaces and the former imperial capital of Russia. This city was born out of the whim of Peter the Great back in 1703. He wanted to bring culture and modern ways to his people, so he created this amazing city which remains the cultural capital of Russia. While visiting we went to the ballet and the opera, both at their highest level of execution. While we were there we had a guide who pointed us in the best direction there is, the direction of good food.
Nevsky Avenue, 24, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Katyusha serves modern Russian cuisine. First of all, I need to acknowledge how beautifully decorated the place is. It is filled with printed flowers: on the walls, the plates, the cups and even the lamps. It was like entering into an underground fairytale. Even the waitresses, which were very nice, had flower crowns on their heads. It might sound tacky and overwhelming for some, but for me, it was fun and memorable.
Since we were on a Russian restaurant we went Ruski all the way. My mom and I ordered all the classic foods you’d expect to order at a Russian spot. My mouth still waters remembering the Dumplings stuffed with Ladoga pike, melted butter and red caviar ravioli.
Being from Mexico, finding authentic Russian food is scarce, much less even finding Russian food to begin with! The Beef Stroganoff was full of a robust flavor. It’s stewed in a curry sauce and tender in texture. Also, the potatoes that came with it were delicious.
I can’t forget to mention the Zucchini Pancakes with smoked salmon. This dish stole my heart. Again, if you are a salty food lover, Russian cuisine might just be your thing.
Onto dessert and black tea- I ordered the Apple cake with cranberry and orange sauce topped with vanilla ice cream. The ice cream was extra-special – buttery with just the right amount of vanilla. The ice cream balanced out the bitterness of the sauce without drowning out the taste of the cake. If only flying to Saint Petersburg were cheaper!
Fourth stop: Brussels, the capital of Belgium and also the capital of french fries, mussels, waffles, chocolates, beer and seafood. Chowing down through Brussels is glimpse of what I’m expecting heaven to be like. This is such a foodie city, literally, there are places to buy food on every corner of every street. Food was e-ver-y-where. What a city! And it also holds one of the most incredible medieval main squares in Europe, La Grand-Place.
On our last day Mami and I did a city walk tour and ended up starving and exhausted in this cozy, tiny two-story restaurant called Le Marmiton.
Restaurant Le Marmiton
Galerie de la Reine 38, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
For our starter, we got the Grey Shrimp Croquettes which I assume is a traditional Belgian dish, since it appeared on almost every menu. If you like shrimp croquettes get them here. I ordered them three different times and they were all really good. The outside crunchiness and the soft interior, with the burst of shrimp flavor, was heaven to me.
My mom went with the Frutti di Mare and I went for the Seafood Platter. The pasta and sauce in her Frutti di Mare dish tasted freshly made and the seafood was high quality. My Seafood Platter was tailor-made for seafood lovers. It had everything: shrimp, mussels, scallops.
My favorite were the scallops. They were so soft and deliciously cooked and served on a lightly buttered seashell. You’re probably thinking we had room for dessert. You are right…we did, but in a city like Brussels you leave one place and five steps later you can stop and enjoy the most amazing chocolate.
As you can see from the images below, both my mom and I got drinks she had a vodka orange drink which she really enjoyed and I got a Raspberry beer. Drink as much beer and as many varieties as you can when in Belgium.
Final destination: Amsterdam- a city with forward-thinking values as impressive as their canals. Where prostitution, drugs, bicycles and immigrants from all over the world live at peace with each other, free of judgement. This capital blew me away and gave me hope for the rest of the world. If only we could learn to be more like the Dutch we would live in a freer world, with more tolerance and less hypocrisy. If only!
As for the food I have no complaints, but it wasn’t as easy as it was in Brussels to get really good food. Thankfully we came across a delicious breakfast cafe called De Spiegel.
Lunchcafé De Spiegel
Lijnbaansgracht 277, 1017 RL Amsterdam, Netherlands
This restaurant’s specialty was the Pannenkoeken which is Dutch for pancakes. Let me tell you they’re not lying when they say they’re the best in town. The pancake that you see in the picture above with ham and cheese and it was the best pancake I’ve ever had. It is a mix between a crepe and a pancake with salty deliciousness inside ready to be folded and topped with syrup. I’m a huge fan of sweet and salty and this one hit the spot. My mom got an omelette and it was good… but she was envious of my pancake.
Later on that day I had a stroopwafel ice cream from The Ice Bakery. The reason that it’s featured in this post is because it was a really good, smooth, milky, sweet, amazing ice cream. The flavor was all Dutch. Stroopwafel is a sort of pressed crunchy waffle with caramel inside, so of course it makes for a bomb ice cream flavor. I think the place I got it from is a chain shop which I’m not into but I have to say they were really good. They offered many flavors that I would gladly try like a 31 Flavors any day!
If you’ve made it till the end congratulations! You can now go to Europe and eat at some awesome restaurants! I just want to say this is just a glimpse of all the delicious food I had and the places I visited. There are too many to mention here and I recommend all of the cities that I went to for traveling. There is nothing like experiencing the world.