Spisestedet Feed

When trying to find a place to eat in a new city, the challenge is always finding great value — the best food for a good cost.  That doesn’t mean eating on the cheap, and it doesn’t mean finding the top rated restaurant and eating at a premium.  Instead, it is finding that place that might not be so well known yet and sitting down for an incredible meal.  However, by nature of it being less well known, it is harder to find.  To help in the search, there’s TripAdvisor, there’s Yelp, there’s Google, there’s FourSquare, and many others.  None of them is perfect, but all helpful in their own ways.

Some by luck and some by Lindsey’s great searching powers of the Internets, we stumble upon Spisestedet Feed.  This restaurant is only about 6 months old, it is in the basement level, and although it has already begun to receive some very good reviews, it is relatively unknown.  It was started by two friends in their early twenties looking to become great chefs, and the food they are producing shows that they are serious in this mission.  Starting with the appetizer, the meal was delicious.  From the plating to the taste to the service, the experience was as great.  And because it is still a new restaurant run by young 20-somethings, we really appreciated that it didn’t yet seem too pretentious.  The two of them did the cooking and the serving.  One of the walls had a graffiti mural and the other a hand-drawn timeline of how they hope to reach their dreams.  And for the icing on the cake, the final bill was very reasonable given this whole experience.  There still is and will always be room for improvement, but we are confident that this restaurant is well on its way.

At Feed in Copenhagen

We wish both of these young chefs all the luck in the world!

Spotted in Ireland

Throughout this trip, Nick has diligently “checked us in” via the application Foursquare, thus making it easy to retrace our steps and see where we’ve eaten, drank, lodged, as well as what sites we’ve seen. The asterisks that can be found at the end of locations indicate my favorite places, and the more asterisks the better. Although we were only in Ireland for a short time, I feel this list speaks to our commitment to see the country.


Caulfield’s Hotel, 18-19 Dorset Street, Dublin

Mugs Café, Castle Street, Dalkey

The Queens, 12 Castle Street, Dalkey*

Malone’s Fish & Chips, Dame Street, Dublin

Kyteler’s Inn Restaurant, Kilkenny

Market Lane, Cork**

Café Mocha, Kenmare, Kerry

The Quays, Galway

Kai Café + Restaurant, Galway**

Leo Burdock, 2 Werburgh Street, Dublin*



The Workman’s Club, 9-10 Wellington Quay, Dublin

The Temple Bar, 47-48 Temple Bar, Dublin*

The Palace Bar, 21 Fleet Street, Dublin

The Stag’s Head, 1 Dame Court, Dublin*

An Bodhran, Cork*

An Brog, Cork

The Kings Head, Galway

Taaffes, Galway

The Crane Bar, Galway**

Gravity Bar (at Guinness Storehouse)

The Brazen Head, 20 Bridge Street, Dublin*

W.J. Kavanagh, 4-5 Dorset Street, Dublin



Killiney Beach & Killiney Hill Park

Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny

Blarney Castle, Blarney, Cork*

Ring of Kerry, Killarney, Kerry

Staigue Fort, Sneem, Kerry

The Burren, Clare

Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, Clare**

Kilmainham Gaol, 2 Inchicore Road, Dublin**

Guinness Storehouse, St. James’ Gate, Dublin



Imogen’s Lair via airbnb, Dublin

Ambassador Hotel, Cork

Prague House, Galway**

Hello Dublin

Soon after our Boston midnight flight

We seek an Irish morning meal

Blood sausage and eggs, what a sight

And we eat with quite some zeal.


Very soon to Dalkey we train

To visit a friend and relish the sun,

As we walk up and down costal terrain

We feel this day can’t be outdone.


Fish and chips, bangers and mash

Continues the tour de local cuisine.

In day one, we make quite the splash

And we finish in Dublin’s bar scene.


Vamos a Chile

To make our unnecessarily long break from school seem more “productive” and to escape colder and colder temperatures that recently caused the Charles River to freeze, four of my classmates and I took off for Chile.  With temperatures in the high eighties and low nineties, with daylight that lasts until almost 9pm, with an outdoor beauty that rivals the best in the world, and with the general laid back Chilean culture, Chile made for the perfect escape.

Since going to Israel and Jordan, I feigned being busy by doing a quick trip to Disneyland, celebrating New Years in LA, giving 110% of my voice in the Stanford win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl Game, returning to the Bay Area for a quick trip to see my sister, brother-in-law, and friends, and then traveling to New York and New Jersey where my time was split between seeing friends, enjoying New York, and most importantly, being a part of the birth and Bris of my new nephew.

After meeting some of the group at JFK Airport, we embark on our eleven-hour journey to Chile, which is always surprisingly more east than people imagine.  As proof, Santiago is two hours ahead of Eastern Time.  After we all recover from our redeye flight, we dare to explore the streets of Santiago.  We hit a couple sights like the Plaza de Armas while walking around, but our stops are generally more food focused.  We stop for lunch/dinner and then continue to find dessert at a fun hipster café called Café The Clinic.

The first day is spent exploring, finding the cheapest shoes we can for the next day’s river rafting, and driving around the many parts of Santiago.

The New Modern Italian Style of Cooking

Filangee of Carrots in white balsamic vinegar with black sesame seeds
Pancetta stuffed with prunes in Negroamaro wine sauce

First course:
Tagliolini with Guanciale and filangee of Roman zucchini on yellow pumpkin sauce

Second course:
Veal and pork “Straccetti” in the Pizzaiola style
Eggplant a la “Parmigiana”

Ricotta cheese mousse with Amaretta in “Nectarina” Peach sauce

Prosecco di Valdobbiadene DOCG (Veneto)
Primitivo del Salento, Manduria IGT (Puglia)
Muscat de Samos AOC (Greece)

Working the prunes

After a relaxing first day in Rome allowing us all to adjust to the time difference and catch up on sleep where our main activities are eating and visiting the Trevi Fountain not far from the apartment, we were ready for a little more adventure on day two.

Eggplant a la Parmigiana

The most repeated phrase of the day is that we are practicing “the new modern Italian style of cooking.” The theme of this style is to make a healthier version of traditional Italian dishes without sacrificing taste. My brother-in-law, George is most skeptical that such a feat is possible. He cringes as he watches our teacher, Chef Stefano, pour the extra grease from the guanciale down the drain.

Dad chopping away

Although we only sign up for a half day of cooking, our lesson lasts until after 3:00pm. We alternate all day between cooking, eating, cooking, and eating. And when we eat, each course is substantial enough to be its own meal. The filangee of carrots (a.k.a. bed of carrots) in the appetizer would be enough to fill anyone of us up. But this does not stop Shana’s sweet tooth from downing three portions of dessert. The combination of eating and jet lag make some of us quite tired. We all start off really strong as active participants and asking a lot of questions, but by the end, all we can do is eat and laugh. I feel the more tired we got, the more we laughed. The meal was delicious and as a family activity, cooking was a great choice.

Taking good notes

Paris and Constance, Part II

When determining the best way to get from the Saumur in the Loire Valley to Cecina, Italy, we figure out that training back to Paris, then flying to Pisa, and eventually training to Cecina is the best route. Once the path is settled, we start finding accommodations. We email back Constance, whom we had rented the art studio apartment from on our way out. She responds that her apartment is booked but that we can stay with her and her daughter in their own Paris flat. We arrive at the flat, settle in to her children’s rooms, and ask how much we can pay for the room. She explains to us that she cannot charge someone to stay in her flat and we are made speechless by her generosity. We had chatted with Constance over tea and snacks for about an hour when last in Paris, and all of us got along very well, but this act of kindness was so far and beyond anything that we expected.

Gabe and I stay in her son’s room, which was better decorated than I have or ever will get my room. He had historic coca cola bottles from all over the world to go along with his guitar collection, bike parts, music posters and great sports memorabilia. Gabe and I were impressed by the son’s room. In the evening, “we” cook dinner. The “we” deserves to be in quotes because there were a couple conflicting kitchen philosophies melding. I stick to opening up the wine and cutting up a couple vegetables and then I stay out of the way. That said, the vegetable medley we had hit the spot. We had eaten a lot of cheese and a lot of bread, but our diet had been missing those colorful vegetables. While we wait for the vegetable medley to bake, we play Crazy Eights using Katherine’s seemingly made-up rules. (We later confirmed that there are a lot of possible rules that can be used in this game, and Katherine happened to be using at least semi-true rules.)

In the evening, Constance is somehow able to convince Katherine that she should go out. Before Constance’s help, Gabe and my powers of persuasion were being tested. We have a fun time, return before its too late, and wake up to Bach playing and a table set with croissants, jams, juice, and tea. As a thank you gift, we give Constance some nice tea and several jams; however, there was no gift that could show how appreciative we are for Constance’s generous hospitality.

Despite loving Constance’s flat, the three of us did explore the city some.  We walked around, enjoyed the park outside the Louvre, swung by Notre Dame, and tasted fun snacks including crepes from a small street side window and macaroons from Laduree.

Flat in Paris

Ode to Cheese

Camambert, Brie and Roquefort,
Chevre, Boursin and Munster
So many types, they’re hard to sort
And after time, they’re only a blur.

And when inside France,
Not any bread will do.
We never took a chance
And had baguettes brand new.

All I need is cheese and bread
My preference of course being goat
And with shops so widespread
The meal becomes almost rote.

more cheese

Destination: Loire Valley

Bicycling through the Loire Valley occasionally stopping at vineyards and chateaus, feasting on French cuisines, and staying in cute hotels is about as enjoyable and romantic as it sounds.

Day 1: Getting to Tours

Accommodation: Hotel le Manoir in Tours

After picking up some more bread and cheese (and a couple pommes so that we felt a bit healthier), Gabe and I head towards the train station to meet up with Katherine, another friend who will be joining us at school next year. We had met Katherine only a couple brief times before, but we figure if she is brave enough to travel with us, we will probably be a fun group. We eventually find each other in the maze that is the train station, sit in a great pod on the train to Tours, and catch up on each other’s lives. After almost exiting the train at the wrong station, we make it to Tours, meet our trip manager and receive our bicycles. We have signed up for a self-guided tour and therefore are also given maps, directions, hotel names, restaurant suggestions, etc.

Tours is a cute even if touristy city. Many consider it as the main passage way from eastern to western Loire Valley. We cover most of the city after walking around for about thirty minutes, in which time we walk into the town’s 12th century cathedral and through its old city. There is a picturesque square in the old city where we find a cafe, order a couple drinks, and reflect on the French youth sitting around us.

Tours, France

Day 2: Tours to Azay le Rideau

Accommodation: Hotel de Biencourt in Azay le Rideau

Meandering through bike paths, the three of us stumble upon a small town where we find some more of the usual bread, cheese, and pommes. And after a short break, we continue on to our first chateau of the trip, Villandry. The castle is nice, but not as nice as the gardens with their well manicured mazes, vegetable gardens, and water presentations. Although most of the rooms come with descriptions of how and why they were used, we decide that it will be more fun to speculate about each room’s use. As a result, we end up passing through places such as the billiards room and the wine-tasting room. The rest of the ride takes us to Azay le Rideau, a very small and photogenic town where we enjoy a great dinner and a very nice hotel called Hotel de Biencourt.

Gabe on a bike

Villandry, Loire Valley

Day 3: Azay le Rideau to Chinon

Accommodation: Hotel Diderot in Chinon

Now with soarer butts from spending copious amounts of time aboard a bicycle, the tour through Loire continues on day three. Disappointed by our lack of degustation yesterday, we begin the day by tasting wine within the first hour of our ride. We stop at Pascal Pibaleau Vineyard, located at 68 route de Langeais just outside Azay le Rideau, and instead of trying several wines, we are poured a sample of what seems like 15 wines. The wines are locally grown, so we buy a bottle because the bottles are inexpensive and the tastings are free with a purchase. Afterwards, to be careful not to bike under the influence, we walk around the vineyard for a little while enjoying the sunshine before continuing on our way.

Next stop is Château d’Ussé. The approach to the castle is as magical as even Disney could’ve dreamed. We bike down a long straight road surrounded by green on every side and the castle growing as we near. And any castle that inspires one in a Disney movie is worth at least checking out. As we walk through the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle, we are bit concerned by the excessive use of manikins in each room, but eventually we realize that the displays help us piece together what we remember from the old movie.

After arriving in Chinon but before finding our hotel, we stop for one more degustation in a wine cellar that has been carved into the mountain next to Chinon’s large fortress. As we taste the big red Cab Franc wines from M Plouzeau Vineyard, which is located next to the Chateau de la Bonneliere, Katherine chats with the server in French and Gabe and I try to stay warm in the chilly cellar. One château, two degustations and a day filled with more bread, cheese, and pommes makes us very happy as we arrive at Hotel Diderot in Chinon , from which we can see pieces of the Vienne River.

Playing in the vineyard

Chateau d'Usse

The view from the bike

Day 4: Chinon to Saumur

Accommodation: Hotel de Londres in Saumur

We get a bit lost at the beginning of today’s journey; however, we make sure to at least keep biking in the correct direction and eventually we find the path. Our first stop is at the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud and its surrounding town, where we meet an aesthetic refugee. He enthusiastically approaches us with a book in one hand and his other outstretched, and then immediately offers that he labels himself as an aesthetic refugee. The three of look at each other, think the same thing, and then ask what exactly that means. Apparently, when he has lived in other parts of the world including northern California, walking around felt like having forks stuck in his eyes. The architecture was all haphazard, ugly, and incoherent. France on the other hand, and even more specially Fontevraud, is his escape from all that is aesthetically unpleasing. After a short talk about what makes French architecture so appealing, we part ways confused as to what has transpired because he did not try to sell us anything, convince us of anything, or capture any of our contact information.

The clouds loom as we leave this small town, but just as it starts to rain, we find another conveniently located degustation, where of course we stop for a taste. With pouring rain outside, we taste a couple more Loire Valley Cabernet Franc wines. We try to buy a bottle and set up a picnic in the winery; however, this apparently is not allowed (the picnic-ing that is). We are then forced to put on our rain gear, mount our bikes, and ride maybe 100m to the nearest cafe, where we each enjoy a hot drink with our previously purchased bread, cheese, and pommes. Our French touring meals had a very distinct pattern– bread, cheese, pommes, repeat.

We finish the afternoon by bicycling through the Saumur-Champigny vineyards before arriving at the medieval town of Saumur where we enjoy one more degustation before going to the grocery store to purchase some food for dinner at our hotel.

Wine tasting in the Loire Valley

Day 5: Leaving Saumur

Katherine, more than anyone, is a bit anxious to get back to her long lost love, Paris. Gabe and I could’ve used some more Saumur (pun intended), but we are flexible and so we all board an early train as we leave the Loire Valley behind us.

Three Amigos on Bikes

Andiamo a Roma

After a bus ride form the Airport to Piazza Cavour in the center of Rome, I meet up with my good friend Gabe. We were both classmates at university and will be starting school together in just a couple months. But before that, we will be traveling together first bicycling through the Loire, then farming in Northern Italy, and later jumping from Amsterdam to Prague to Budapest, finally ending up touring around Sicilia.

Gabe has been living in Rome for the last year working half the time in an Italian kitchen and the other half of the time organizing elaborate Italian events and holidays. When he picks me up, he is carrying several bottles of wine that a client gifted him as a thank you. He calls up Sam, his good friend in Rome who picks up some delicious steaks and meets us at Gabe’s apartment. Both Sam and Gabe demonstrate their cooking skills as we savor the rich, full-bodied reds that complement the steaks perfectly. Rome starts as food, wine, and friends.

In the spaces between picking up some food, eating and catching up on each other’s lives, Gabe points out some of his neighbors, including the Pope. We walk through the Vatican, which happens to be the view from his apartment window, and I start to soak up the immense amount of history packed into a relatively small space. After dinner, we celebrate one of Gabe’s friend’s birthdays in the middle of the Circus Maximus, where I imagine Ben Hur racing around us. We follow this with a visit to the pub affectionately known as Mafia Bar, a hole in the wall karaoke place full of Italians that stays open well into the morning. We leave to the sun rising in the distance, pop into a bakery for fresh morning pastries, and head to sleep.

Veiw from Gabe's window
View from Gabe's window

Moroccans and their Tea

Tea has become an unplanned theme of my trip, so I might as well continue to weave this theme into my Moroccan experience. Requesting tea in Morocco always means requesting sweet mint tea, and labeling this tea sweet is an understatement. Sugar is easily the primary ingredient, but having the sweet tooth that I do, I never refuse a refill. Staying in the Riad de Amour in the Old Medina of Marrakech, Adam and I are offered tea one evening, and I use the opportunity to learn the intricacies of sweet mint tea preparation.

Predictably, the process begins by boiling water. A small amount of green tea is the steeped in a little tea pot. Meanwhile, mint leaves are crushed and washed. The steeped tea from the small pot is stylistically poured into a cup from an unnecessary height before returning it back to the small pot. The other rational reason I can produce is that a cooling process aids in something. Afterwards, the mint leaves are added into the small pot along with more boiling water to fill the pot to the top. The most critical ingredient ingredient, sugar, is then added by the cube full. In a pot that may have held about 200 to 300 ml, about 10 sizable sugar cubes are added. The small pot is then placed on the stove until the water comes to a simmer and threatens to spill over. After a little more fancy height pouring, some tasting, and adding more sugar, the tea is ready to be served. But just in case the tea is not sweet enough, it is served with more sugar alongside. My question, however, is given that the sugar can no longer stay in solution at the present moment, how is adding sugar going to do anything except to contribute to the bottom sugar collection.

The strong religious, Islamic culture in Morocco results in limited availability of alcohol. After all, one cannot drink alcohol while in eyesight of a mosque, and the country is not short on mosques. One evening, Adam and I try to find a local beer, and everyone we ask in the Marrakech Old Medina points us to Gueliz. The vagueness that is Guilez was a bit frustrating because it only signifies the new area of Marrakech, and we ask the cab to take us there, we end up in front of a McDonald’s. We complain and say we want to go to an area with bars, and we are soon dropped off at a building with the word “Bar” inscribed in bright red lights at the top, where we eventually find a Casablanca brew. More typically, in the evening, instead of seeing a group huddled around a bar, many locals relax at a cafe, sip tea and cafe noir. At the end of meals, tea is served. When negotiating in a rug shop, tea is present. After entering a home, tea is offered. When planning our southern Morocco excursion, we all sip tea. Tea is ubiquitous, delicious, the beverage of choice here in Morocco.

Moroccan Tea