I had a Belgian friend visiting yesterday who, never before having set foot in the fine Danish Kingdom, was very keen to try smørrebrød. And with the Danish General Election taking place tomorrow, I figured – hey, what better place to have lunch than “Slotskælderen hos Gitte Kik”? You see, it’s a very famous Danish lunch restaurant which overlooks Christiansborg – the Danish Parliament. At least in theory it overlooks the parliament because a) it’s in the basement and b) there are thick lace curtains… ;D Given that it’s so close to Christiansborg – or “Borgen” (“The Castle”) as it’s nicknamed – many of its clientele are politicians. Indeed, Thorvald Stauning, who was Prime Minister in the 1920s and 30s, ate his lunch there. Every single day. Herring and a snaps…or two or three. (He had a drink problem and was once sent to rehab by his party.)
The great thing about this place for smørrebrød virgins is that, instead of battling with a menu, you simply go up to the serving counter to see what’s on offer.
|I was so busy talking to my friend that I forgot to take a picture of the counter,
so you’ll just have to make do with this free postcard – but it was the same waiter who served us! ;D
My friend chose a piece of salmon and I went for a kartoffelmad (sliced potato with mayo, chives, red onion) and stegte sild (herring which is first fried, then pickled in a sweet brine). Washed down with a lovely bottle of Tuborg 🙂
We were pressed for time so only managed the one course. And, to be honest, the portions here – like many Danish lunch restaurants – are king size. But we couldn’t resist finishing off with a piece of kransekage (baked marcipan) and some strong coffee. Which was served in this very dinky Royal Copenhagen coffee set – which could easily belong in a dolls-house…
So that was pre-Election lunch.
And what are we having for dinner tomorrow, Thursday, the day the Danes go to the polls? Yes, you guessed it, those crazy Danes even have a tradition for that…Valgflæsk! Valgflæsk means lofty promises (which undoubtedly won’t be kept…) to voters. But flæsk is in fact the Danish word for pork. So, like many Danes, we will be dining on stegt flæsk (fried belly pork) on Election Night. Need the recipe? Mine is right here.
Skål! And may the best man – or woman – win! 🙂