Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Scandinavian Connection

So who are the happiest people in the world? According to Forbes Magazine, Norway takes the crown, followed by Denmark and Sweden. 

Could it be because Scandinavians have some of the best food in the world?

Sweden’s Faviken, one of the world’s top 50 restaurants, has only 12 seats and is on a remote farm 600km from Stockholm.

Faviken photo  from  

Denmark’s Noma, ranked as the Best Restaurant in the World by Restaurant magazine, has a daily 1,000-person waiting list. 

Here in San Miguel, two new Scandinavian owned restaurants have opened up in the past month and both of them have quickly made their mark.

And what you'll love most? The atmosphere at these two restaurants will make you feel like you've just found another place to call home.

Buen Apetito!

Cafe Oso Azul 
Zacateros 17

This cafe is the place to go for breakfast when you're looking for a healthy dose of fresh-made-daily food and great conversation. Jockey for a spot at the communal table in the courtyard.

The cafe looks typically Scandinavian with its white walls and blue-washed wooden tables and chairs. You might even think for a moment you're in Denmark.

Bo, one of the owners, has a coffee plantation in Veracruz. Check it out as they roast the beans right here in the restaurant. Their coffee is one of the best brews in town.

The hot chocolate is delicious too with just a hint of cinnamon. You can also request a tropical version with coconut.

They are in a perfect location if you’re coming from either Centro or the Ancha. 

My favorite things on the menu? The homemade goat-milk yogurt and granola for $45 pesos and Mexicans eggs for $40 pesos. The eggs are perfectly cooked in a little, cast iron skillet. All of the dishes are plated and have a beautiful presentation.

True to Danish tradition, try this open-faced tuna sandwich for lunch with a pile of freshly baked bread served on the side.

Yes, Denmark's diet is among the healthiest in the world so no surprise that Jens and Bo are trying to create a totally wholesome menu. And like in Denmark, the food is simple and they make everything from scratch.

Tapas sma
Umaran 36
Opens: 5 PM

Delicious mini-sliders $95 pesos. Asian Spring Rolls $45 pesos. Banana Fritters $45 pesos. I guess I don't have to convince you the prices are great.

I love this cozy spot that does everything right including the Margaritas. 

There are so many good things on the menu, it’s nice to try multiple dishes and not have to pick just one. That's one of the benefits of small plates.

Anders Litzen and his wife Kajsa of Los Senderos Bistro fame opened this little gem that has already hit #1 on Trip Advisor in just 5 weeks. That's got to be a record.

Many restaurants encourage diners to share what would normally be considered an appetizer for one. Not this restaurant. With the exception of the Calamari, portions were all very generous. 

Ask for Antonio who will give you better than good service. He's one of the best in SMA.

The only problem I had with sharing was the dessert. I never go crazy about calories when I love something...and it's usually a dessert.

So to all my friends who split tapas with me the other night, be forewarned. 

I'm not sharing the Banana Fritters with you next time around. Get your own!