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How to eat on the road for cheap, while backpacking, traveling

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 19, 2008 in Travel Tips

Stuffing my face with a delicious Belgian waffle in Brussels.

Stuffing my face with a delicious Belgian waffle in Brussels.

So you’re backpacking to train-traveling for a couple weeks, a month or lots longer.

You end up with the same problem. Trying to eat healthy while keeping costs down.

I spent almost half a grand on eating during a month of backpacking - less than my train-travel and housing costs - which I think is pretty darn good, considering I had to eat every local delicacy we could find.

Let me throw some suggestions at you.

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Amsterdam versus Brussels, others: Euro frites to the death

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 11, 2008 in Commentary

Sean enjoying a sausage and fries at Curry 36, a food stall in Berlin, Germany.

Sean enjoying a sausage and fries at Curry 36, a food stall in Berlin, Germany.

I try to avoid American foods when traveling. So I can focus on local delicacies; so I can return home and appreciate it all as I stuff my food bag.

But I had to change plans for one of my favorite American foods: french fries. A handful of European cities have stalls that lay claim to being among the best.

We started the pursuit in Amsterdam and Brussels. Both cities have a rich tradition in French fried potatoes, seriously.

In Amsterdam, Mannekin Pis - like the statue in Brussels, confusingly enough - claims the best fries in Holland - and beyond if you ask the right person.

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Belgians say they developed the technique though. We were sent on a long walk south for the best fries in Brussels. They were good - the sausage burgers weren’t - but not worth world renown (video forthcoming).

Then, at a noted sausage stand in Berlin, we came across some more noted fries - Sean’s favorite on the trip.

I think I have to go with Amsterdam’s. Ooh. eating. Anyone have any good Euro-french-fry eating experiences?

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Dagens rätt in Stockholm, delicious and somewhat cheap

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 10, 2008 in Experiences

The fixed price menu of Slingerbulten in Stockholm, Sweden on Nov. 3, 2008.

The fixed price menu of Slingerbulten in Stockholm, Sweden on Nov. 3, 2008.

On Monday, Sean and I took on the urban Swedish tradition of dagens rätt, a fixed price menu for lunch, at Slingerbulten in Stockholm.

Fish, potatoes and cabbage, as per tradition, but even more so is the act of a cheap(er) meal for working people in a business district. We paid 80 Swedish krona ($10.5 USD). In a city as expensive as Stockholm, that is divine.

Check video of the feast below.

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Hungarian cooking lessons in Budapest

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 6, 2008 in Experiences

Enjoying a meal in Budapest, Hungary on Oct. 21, 2008.

Enjoying a meal in Budapest, Hungary on Oct. 21, 2008.

Sometimes, when you use Couchsurfing, you really connect with your host. In time, conversation and interests. Such is how things went for me and my host Bálint in Budapest, Hungary.

I stayed with him two nights. From our first conversation - over a garlic and eggplant dip of his mother’s creation and some Hungarian beers of my purchase - I knew he was a good, fun guy, interested in the world and excited to try out his English - the jokes came faster the better we got to know each other.

So, I was excited to hear his offer to cook a traditional Hungarian stew if we bought the ingredients.

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When abroad, the quality of American food may vary

Posted by Sean Blanda on Nov 4, 2008 in Commentary

Yep, we're all that and a bag of chips.

Yep, we're all that and a bag of chips.

As mentioned before, I love me some Coca-Cola.

Despite trying to avoid consuming the same food and drink products I would in America, sometimes it is unavoidable (i.e. I cave in to the craving for Doritos).  However, while many American food products have made the jump across the pond that doesn’t mean you will be getting the same Uncle Sam taste.

Doritos, Coca-Cola, Hamburgers, French Fries, and Pizza are all classic “American” items that taste just different enough to notice.  As we experienced in Brussels (PUT IN VIDEO), sometimes all you want is a little taste of home only to be disappointed.

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Delicious food from the streets of Stockholm, Sweden

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 3, 2008 in Experiences

Sean and I dropped in on the famed Nystekt Stromming truck in the Stadsmusset neighborhood of Stockholm. It was our chance at (relatively) cheap traditional Swedish foods: fish, potatoes, and cabbage.

Seany found himself the fish and cabbage on a hamburger bun. I got a plate full of the goodness: a pile of mashed potatoes, topped with grilled fish (which I do not know), pickled cucumbers, cabbage, onions and what looked like cole slaw.

Delicious, my friends. Check video of the fun below.

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How Europe fuels my Coke habit

Posted by Sean Blanda on Nov 2, 2008 in Travel Tips

Why, I think I will attractive 50s woman.

Why, I think I will attractive 50s woman.

I used to be bad.  Really bad.

As a teenager I would often drink four to five cans of Coca-Cola or Pepsi a day.  Of course, one visit to the dentist changed that habit.  However here in Europe, I find myself drinking more soda than ever.

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Sausauges… continued in Berlin, Germany

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 28, 2008 in Experiences

Sean enjoying a sausage and fries at Curry 36, a food stall in Berlin, Germany Oct. 29, 2008.

So, turns out that Berlin, Germany has a noted food stall a bit off its more popular touristed paths: Curry 36.

Once the Lonely Plant tour guides started recommending it, though, it’s business skyrocketed and popularity soared. It went from city favorite to international stop. We had to check in on Tuesday. See video below.

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Eating Vienna

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 24, 2008 in Experiences

Sean and I devouring apple strudel in Vienna on Oct. 23, 2008. My photo.

Sean and I devouring apple strudel in Vienna on Oct. 23, 2008. My photo.

Look. I am here to eat. Screw the cathedrals. The languages. The cultures.

Tell me a city is known for something tasty and - damn it - give it to me. There’s a few in Vienna. So we indulged.

Yes, bring on the apple strudel. See some video of other goodies below.

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