February 2015 - A trip to Denmark

by Soren Jensen

I went to Denmark a few weeks ago to meet with a few dealer friends of mine and to stop by and visit a few family members along the way.

I arrived in Copenhagen some time around noon and took the train to the shopping area where my friends of many years had their shop. When I got to their shops I began browsing for some new and unusual finds to add to our collection (which you can see on our What's New page), when they broke to me the bad news. Despite several years of successful business, they were, sadly, closing the next day. They had, unfortunately, suffered too much theft as of recent, and, with the rising costs of security and insurance, had found that it was time to retire. With a heavy heart, this would be the last visit to this particular shop.

I then went to the hotel I was staying at, the Hotel Bethel in Nyhavn, which I have stayed at several times during my trips, and overlooks the canals. I then decided to take an evening stroll around the city.

It was misting rain, but nevertheless a wonderful and pleasant evening. As I crossed the Royal Theater Square, the aroma of fine Danish hot dogs caught my nose. It's a bit of an indulgence, but I normally reserve getting a Danish hot dog for when I'm at the airport, and is one of those small things that reminds me I am back home. Across the square I spotted the hotdog vendor, and as I began to cross the street, I was dismayed to see he began to shut down for the night.

Disappointed but not beaten, I began my walk, up Store Kogensgade, where many  shops were located, and was delighted to simply browse the shop windows and watch the people as they passed by. The streets were alive and full of energy during the early evening.

Turning off the road on to one of the side streets, I happened upon a traditional Danish restaurant, Toldbod Bodega, with a traditional sandwich board outside with the night's specials written in chalk: " Brisket of Beef with Horseradish Sauce "  and in danish" Oksebryst med Pepperrodssovs og Groensager"

The delicious smells emanating from the building and the cheerful noise from the patrons was too much to resist.

Upon entering, I was met at once by a young blonde woman, who, in perhaps not the most pleasant way, greeted me, “And what do you want?” I was a bit surprised, of course, and, with my mouth watering, asked if I could get a bit to eat. She had replied that, of course, they were a bit busy, and had no available tables, to which I responded, “That's perfectly fine, I'll sit in the kitchen and eat if I must!”

She, of course, laughed, and found me a spot to sit at a table which was reserved for a party that was to show up later. I ordered my dinner, one of the specials from the chalkboard outside. While I sipped my beer I enjoyed watching the fellow patrons enjoy the cozy atmosphere of the restaurant, and when my meal came out, I was amazed by the sight of the dishes of brisket of beef, horseradish sauce and vegetables before me. I savored every bite of my meal, along with their fine selection of aquavit which paired nicely with my meal. For dessert, I ordered a lemon mousse with whipped cream, which was equally wonderful and the perfect end to a fabulous meal. I paid for my meal, and set about to finish my evening stroll. It was great to be back in Copenhagen.

A few days later, my daughter, Louise, had made reservations for another fantastic restaurant, Frocken Koch, a wonderful Danish restaurant in my home town of Aarhus. We had to make reservations ahead of time for a special dinner. We started the meal by being served a glass of champagne and for the next 4 hours the most delicious food were served. If you are ever in Aarhus, I recommend making reservations