The Endless Road Trip, Philly: A Smorgas-bread of Brunch Foods

Most tourists only make it to South Philly for the gloopy fake-cheese fest at the intersection of Pat’s and Geno’s, but it’s worth going just a little further south for a taste of the North Sea at Noord Eetcafe. Dutch-born chef Joncarl Lachman pays homage to his home country as well as the foods of Denmark, Norway and the rest of Northern Europe at this homey BYOB spot. Anyone who thinks Sunday brunch is the time for chefs to phone it in should check out the full-fledged flavors on display here, from warm, caraway-studded grilled bread and butter plopped on the table immediately…


….to the pickled cauliflower, onions and green tomatoes that come with nearly everything, including the crispy fried mushroom and chicken kroket:


Noord’s daily-changing take on Scandinavian smorrebrod sandwiches always features an array of smoked fish—salmon, scallops and head-on shrimp when I stopped in—finished with a deliciously creamy, mustard seed-spiked dressing, plus more of those lovely pickled veggies.


And in Today’s Disturbing International Candy News…

Amsterdam has provided the world with a lot of great things. The chance for drunken American college students who are “studying abroad” to get waaay overly excited about legally smoking a cheap joint in a coffee shop, for example.  Now we have one more gift to add to the list: really creepy candy.

My friend Caitlin recently returned from a trip to Europe, and this was the souvenir she brought back for me. Weirdass pig gummy candies. “These just made me think of you! I had to buy them!” she said. I’m not sure if I should be flattered or insulted. Either way, they have the dubious distinction of being one of the most bizarre and upsettingly packaged foods I’ve seen in awhile. Those pigs… yikes. It’s like they’re staring into your soul with empty, lifeless eyes. And laughing at what they see. Don’t judge me, pigs!!!

Yes, that pig head is balanced on a wine glass.

Of course, if porcine gummies don’t do it for you, there’s always the candy Caitlin brought back from Spain, featuring a fat, bald, flying Casper on the package. Yum!

Sadly, these are just chocolate-covered peanuts. I was expecting something much more exciting, like… chocolate-covered ghosts. I guess just like you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a candy by its entertainingly bad packaging. All of this makes me wonder: what American treats would freak out the Europeans? The Trix rabbit has always struck me as a bit creepy…