Sunday, April 15, 2018

Pita Pyramide (Antwerp, Belgium)

Statiestraat 6, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium
Pita Pyramide is a shawarma place close to Antwerp’s Central Station, where it has stiff competition from several others, including Mandarin. It has a weird set up with red leather chairs and couches as if in you are in the lounge of a railway station. It serves the usuals.

I get a Pita Shawarma, which traditionally comes with three sauces. The pita is standard, but dry, while the shawarma is thinly cut and particularly dry. The sauces are mediocre at best.

VERDICT: 70/100
Mediocre. You can definitely do better in same area.

Frituur ‘t Pakske Friet (Overijse, Belgium)

Stationsplein 20A, 3090 Overijse, Belgium

Frituur ‘t Pakske Friet is a small frituur (snackbar) at the station of the small town of Overijse, Belgian, that serves the usual Belgian snacks and Belgian Fries to locals, who almost exclusively take out.

I get a Small Fries (€2.50) with mayonnaise (€0.50) and a Crisly (€3.30) with Samourai (€0.70). The fries are middle thick, standard size, but very crispy. Snacks and sauces are standard, but good.

VERDICT: 88/100
Good frituur.

Frituur Den Brink (Dessel, Belgium)

Turnhoutsebaan 155 - 2480 Dessel, Belgium

Frituur Den Brink is a small friterie (snackbar) in the small village of Dessel, Belgium, which comes highly recommended according to online reviews. They have a huge selection of snacks, from many different suppliers, and the owner is very helpful and knowledgeable.

I get a Small Fries with Mayonnaise and a Mix Snack stick with Samourai. The fries are exceptional: not very thick, but perfectly crispy outside and soft inside. Delicious! The snack has small parts of various snacks (Kip corn, frikandel, boulet), which is original.

VERDICT: 94/100
Some of best fries I ever had!

SN Brussels (Belgium)

Flight from Bromma Stockholm to Brussels


I know, what am I thinking, trying to pig out on a plane. But SN Brussels, the Belgian airlines, is now offering “Belgian Fries”, in collaboration with Foodmaker, on their flights! The Belgian Fries cost €4.50 and take almost 20 minutes to prepare. I get the impression that they have been deep-fried before coming on board and are then reheated by microwave or oven. The portion is small and the fries are dry and soft even if they have a bit of a crunch.

VERDICT: 73/100

I guess it is as good as you can do in a plane.

Torggrillen (Stockholm, Sweden)

Hötorget 2-4, 11157 Stockholm, Sweden

Torggrillen seems to be a chain of kiosks that mainly serve various types of hotdogs and some burgers. Most are microwaved! I get a basic Bratwurst (SEK 35 or $4.10), which is microwaved and put in the tiniest of buns. The sausage isn’t too bad, but the bun is dry.

VERDICT: 70/100
Expensive and mediocre

Barrels Burger & Bar (Stockholm, Sweden)

Stora Nygatan 20, 111 27 Stockholm, Sweden

Barrels Burger & Bar is a hipster burger bar with two locations in downtown Stockholm, serving burgers and various alcoholic drinks. They have some 7 different types of burgers as well as chicken and veggie options and a range of standard US side, including sweet potato fries (the ultimate hipster side in Europe) and blooming onion (I guess ripped off from Outback).

I get the Matador Double (SEK 139 or $15.95): two patties (120g), pickled chili’s, Spanish salami, and aioli. I also get a side of rustic French Fries (SEK 35 or $4.10) and a Fritz Kola MischMasch (German hipster soda). The burger is amazing, comparable to Shake Shack in the US - thin, crusty, delicious juicy patties in a soft not overpowering bun. The toppings give it a good kick. The fries are very crispy and would have been delicious with mayo rather than the hipster aioli (SEK15 or $1.75).

VERDICT: 94/100
Except for the ridiculous price, which is normal in Stockholm, and some hipster annoyances, i.e. aioli, this is as good as burgers get outside of the US.

Hot Dog Stand (Johanneshov, Sweden)

In front of Tele2 Arena, Arenaslingan 14, 121 77 Johanneshov, Sweden

This is a small hot dog cart, which you can find across the city. I get a Lammerkarv (SEK 45 or $5.30), which is allegedly the most spicy sausage they have. It is a long, thin sausage, partly lukewarm, and not spicy. Neither is the “spicy” chili mustard. The bun is tiny.

VERDICT: 74/100

Nikonostimies (Delphi, Greece)

Vasileos Pavlou & Friederikis 67, Delphi 33054, Greece

Nikonostimies is a seemingly new pita and souvlaki place that has an authentic coal grill as well as a skewer. The menu contains the usual staples of Greek grill food: gyros, souvlaki, etc.

I get a Pita Gyros (€2.50), which is a classic: cabbage, tomato, onion, tzatziki, fries and pork meat in a thick heated pita. The pita is not too doughy and compliments rather than dominates the rest. Still, the meat and tzatziki are a bit too weak. Still tasty.

VERDICT: 87/100
Pretty good and very affordable pita gyros.

Dionisys Souvlaki (Delphi, Greece)

28 Appollonos Street, Delphi, Greece 

Dionisys Souvlaki is a small gyros and souvlaki place in downtown Delphi, which caters to both locals and tourists. It has a classic menu of salads, gyros, souvlaki and kebab in pita or plate.

I get a Pita Gyros (€2.50) and a Greek Salad (€5.00) - I ask without Feta cheese though. Even though there are only two other people, it takes forever for my food to arrive. The pita gyros is underwhelming: doughy pita, weak tzatziki, too many lukewarm fries, too little decent pork. The salad is just big chunky tomato and cucumber and slices of red onion. Far too expensive.

VERDICT: 78/100

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Viva Chicken (Huntersville, NC)

9129 San Furr Road, Huntersville, NC 28078

Viva Chicken is a local chain of “Peruvian Rotisserie Joints” in the Charlotte area. It serves, you guessed it, Peruvian rotisserie chicken in 1/4, 1/2 and whole as well on ciabatta bread or in a sun-dried tomato wrap or on salads. The also do several Latin desserts and (sweet) drinks.

I get The Great ($8.50) on a ciabatta, which is pulled chicken from the rotisserie with lettuce and red onion and rocoto mayo. It is not mind-blowing but fresh and tasty and there are three free sauces that add some kick. As a side I get the chicken soup, which is a bit too light and mainly lives off the chicken. I also get alfajores ($4.50), three small short bread cookies filled with dulce de lecce and topped with powder sugar. They are good but not really worth the hefty price.


VERDICT: 86/100
Nice place for fresh and mostly healthy chicken-based lunch, but not particularly good to pig out.