day 6 – copenhagen-ish

it’s after midnight and the fire is trying to catch and goddamnit i love copenhagen.

today was a pretty solid day. i slept in and woke up late (something i plan on doing again tomorrow). once i got going i cleared up a few errands (credit card knows what country i’m in, cell phone works properly, that sorta thing) and planned out the day:

that’s a pretty solid afternoon. ricemarket for a late lunch, then coffee collective and finally mikkeller and friends. i swapped the last two because i figured coffee would be good after beer (correct decision). then i went to bror on a strong recommendation from my aforementioned contact gabe for dinner and while it didn’t erase my memory like amass did, it was really quite good.

so, my notes:

copenhagen is awesome. i really like it here. it’s friendly, the bike lanes are absurdly large, and there are interesting things at every turn. the bike lanes are worth calling out: they are the size of car lanes in dc. like, 4 lane roads are 2 bike lanes and 2 car lanes. it’s pretty impressive, and allows everyone to ride around without helmets and really without worries. cars know they are 3rd place in this city behind pedestrians and cyclists, and that general understanding makes it pretty safe to ride around on bikes.

the people are also worth calling out: incredibly friendly, understanding, and helpful. ‘kind’ might be the best word. i had great experiences at lunch, at the bar, and at dinner. and also everywhere in between. it’s really quite something.

once i got going this afternoon, i walked up basically nørrebrogade to mikkeller and friends. i stopped off at ricemarket for a quick bite, and had a pretty delicious tuna and some decent fishcakes and dim sum. not amazing, but pretty good. mikkeller and friends is an ideal bar: well-lit, helpful bartenders, 39 (!!) taps, and sausage and chips if you find those taps taking advantage of you. i took notes on the beers i had, because otherwise i would have missed everything:

  1. to øl frost bite – a winter pale ale, made with pine needles which was very apparent, surprisingly bitter, easy drinking, pretty cloudy but overall light.
  2. mikkeller i beat you – a double ipa and a play off of IBU. booze was apparent but covered, resin-y, doesn’t feel like a 9.5% beer but still light-medium body, which is the downfall of every european IPA.
  3. to øl fuck art – this is advertising quadrupel – naturally came up in the progression, but also what a name. what a goddamn name. pretty yeast funky, pretty boozy, pretty smooth. very cloudy, and had all the quad characteristics: raisins, plums, yeast, etc.
  4. to øl jule maelk milk stout – i got this mostly because hainesy and josh noticed a 15% milk stout and threatened to come to copenhagen if i didn’t drink it. much smokier than i expected, which covers the booze well, so it didn’t feel 15% at all. very smooth, very syrupy with cherry tones (which makes perfect sense). milk stout portion only apparent at the very beginning of each sip, otherwise it felt like a very strong barrel-aged russian imperial stout
  5. mikkeller black ba grand marnier stout – roasty as all get out, boozy as all get out. it’s 21% so that makes sense. pitch black darkness, ends with a charred flavor. more of an experiment than a beer

as you can imagine, i was pretty toasted after those beers. so i went to coffee collective, which was a really cool coffee bar. other than their impressive sourcing and how they roast their own beans (super light, as to not introduce unnecessary bitterness), i really liked the layout of the place. it was like walking into someone’s breakfast nook – there wasn’t a bar or anything between me and the person who worked there. i sat at a high table near a window, and she talked to me conversationally about their coffee and made me a regular cup of coffee and an espresso. the good danish places (last night’s meal at amass included) seem to not roast too dark, allowing the coffee beans’s natural fruitiness and sweetness to come out. i’m not used to these light coffees, but i have to say they are pretty delicious. i could get used to them. i got a couple of bags of their espresso beans, which are the darkest they roast but aren’t really that dark. it should be interesting to make them back home in the office and see what people think.

so, beers and coffee and a lovely walk into the northern part of copenhagen. the northern part of copenhagen was great: much more diverse than where i’m staying, definitely very arabic (which i could tell by the arabic writing on a few of the stores), and just a bit more real-feeling than the touristy wonderland of central copenhagen. i’m excited to try out the western part of the city tomorrow to compare.

finally, i made it over to bror tonight. i was going to go to höst, but gabe insisted. so i went to bror and i was not disappointed.

i had the tasting menu with the wine pairing, and i added the bull’s balls as an appetizer. first off: bull balls are annoyingly tasty, once you get past what they are. they are like oysters without the fishy taste and a bit more put together with a hint of beefiness. they were super tasty. the rest of the meal was great: brown trout, amazing cod, beef cheek (guys, beef cheek. always good? possibly), and some ice cream that i wolfed down too fast to even register. while this meal wasn’t the mind-blowing, memory-erasing experience at amass, it was really quite good. the only complaint i have is that the service was a bit slow, but that might be my american antsy-ness. i’m not sure.

thanks to gabe, i’m now semi-pals with the head chef, who was incredibly nice and came to talk to me a couple of times during the meal. everyone in the city notes the same places as excellent, so i’m really excited to go to geist (tomorrow), manfred (sunday), and of course nöma (tuesday lunch, just before my flight home). the food in this city is just so fucking exciting, i cannot handle it.

so, today was a bit more reporting, and less poetic. tomorrow, other than geist, is wide open. i’ll probably check out the palace and explore the city a bit, with a pretty exciting meal capping off the day. so far, copenhagen has just been excellent. while i liked being alone in the middle of nowhere, cities are just more my speed.

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