Monday, January 14, 2013

Eating in Bergen

Despite what one might think, we actually didn't eat that much in Bergen. We arrived mid-afternoon and most of us slept about half the train-ride there (despite the gorgeous just can't win the battle of sleep deprivation, no matter how much coffee you drink...or in my case, don't drink). Hong Kong P went to the food car on the train, but other than her none of us really went. It just wasn't a day for eating. Didn't help that all of us were kind of stuck because of lack of sleep and veggies (not to be vulgar). Throwing off the schedules of people who live by schedules and work isn't the greatest thing in the world.

So we decided to take a break from walking (especially now that our entertainment, the shops, were closing) and duck into a restaurant. We wanted something small since we would soon be eating dinner again, so we stopped into a cafe. Easy cafes are surprisingly hard to find in Bergen, or at least the kind that serve anything other than sweet pastries (which none of us were interested in eating...somehow chilly temperatures and room temperature sweets just don't mix that well).

The place we decided to go with was nice enough, but kind of nondescript. I don't remember what it was called but I did remember to order the reindeer soup (called a Norwegian specialty for some reason):

Hot, warming to the soup, and very peppery. Didn't expect Rudolph stew to be so peppery. But it was tasty. Little bits of mushroom and hearty to boot, despite not having much in it.

I also ordered (since this country really doesn't have, another hot chocolate.

It was incredibly rich and not that sweet. The cream on top was dreamy, but this was about the time I decided I'd had enough chocolate. I could feel my body and mind starting to lose interest and the threshold was definitely getting closed in upon. It was time to stop. I don't think I finished the whole thing in fear I'd somehow put myself in a comatose state. I didn't want to push it. I don't think I've had chocolate since then.

Dinner was not particularly more exciting, I'm afraid to admit. We went to three different restaurants before finding one that had acceptable food on the menu (none of us were very hungry since we'd only eaten a few hours before) and seats available for us. Apparently the season of Christmas parties had begun and we were out on a Friday night at prime time. Drunken teenagers (I'm not kidding) were out in force and their chaperones were treating them to nice dinners. Their dinners looked great; it was unfortunate that all of our appetites were failing us. Not to mention our stomachs.

So we all ordered the same thing. Salad. Salad with figs. Apparently figs are supposed to be great for your stomach when you're having such problems. We had hilarious conversations over dinner about how everyone would be giving birth later that night (you can guess the euphemism).

Figs figs figs. Figs with lettuce and candied walnuts and oddly small pieces of bread with brie melted on them. The actual salad wasn't that good, surprisingly enough, despite the quality of all of its ingredients. I'm not a huge fan of fresh figs in general (I think they taste planty and weird and if I'm sleep deprived they will eventually creep me out), but these also happened to not be particularly ripe and matched with a very underwhelming vinaigrette. Unfortunately the most uninteresting food we had in Norway. But apparently a necessary one, given all the bellyaching.

And thus ended the majority of our culinary experience in Bergen. One of these days I'll go back and further explore. But there are so many other places to see and experience first. :)

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