Well, we’ve certainly taken our Stockholm stay to recuperate from the busyness of Poland. Though, a girl’s gotta eat! So, we’ve got a couple restaurants that we’ve visited as well as the Royal Palace of Sweden over the past three days.
The second night we made a rezo (the internet said it was necessary; it wasn’t) at Pubologi. Subtitled a few times over, this slightly laid back, slightly pretentious joint was fitting to its sub-sub-subtitle: Fine Dining is Dead. Yeah, it was a touch of odd, with a menu that offers little more than a touch of anything. Is it expensive? Definitely. Is it overpriced? Only probably. I do feel a bit of a way about spending over $20 for a mid-range glass of wine when my server is in a tee shirt. Maybe I’m just bitter that I never found a serving job like that.
Anyway, the Restaurant title, Pubologi, is perhaps the posh way of attracting to hipster businessmen of Stockholm; if so, it works! We were the only females in the place that didn’t work there. What I’d consider subtitle #1 is “Stockholm Multitechnique” (I think that’s right, I only saw it on the wall in graffiti, so I suppose we can consider this an unofficial subtitle). Whatever variation of that it was, if the restaurant’s whole philosophy is based on a word like “multitechnique,” one might suspect that they employ/feature different chefs through different “evolutions” (their word, not mine). Yet, one cannot find any chef’s background or info on the Pubologi website, nor can it be found on the menu. Odd. You can find a picture of a man standing over a flaming grill and a hunk of meat between wine and beer lists on the website, though. Logical. Perhaps he’s the chef? Either way, the current iteration of Pubologi is named “Phase 5: The Carte Relapse” with that sub-subtitle of “Fine dining is dead.”
The menu, short and sweet, was tucked away in a lit drawer in the table/counter that we sat at, along with our napkins and silverware for the meal. It offered a handful of “Snacks” and “Plates” options, coming with the suggestion that in order to be satisfied, one ought to order a few snacks, and a couple plates (each snack running about $8USD, and each plate about $20). Okay, so we legitimately hadn’t eating all day up until our 7:45 reservation, so we were pretty hungry. To my ultimate amazement the tiny little portions satisfied us, with a bit of assistance from the delicious (really delicious) sourdough bread they offer. We shared only two snacks, and two plates, with the intention to try all three dessert options. We. weren’t. hungry. I still don’t know how. I had one oyster, two small pieces of tuna belly, a couple bites of cod, and the majority of my strange-but-good potato tagliatelle and squid dish. I was full! I don’t know if my stomach began to shrink from a day of starvation (unlikely) or if their food was actually satisfying (seemingly also unlikely), but I left in no need of desserts. Altogether, the evening of really well prepared small plates and good wine ran us ~$125. I hear this is on par with Gamla Stan prices, but it’s certainly on the steep side for me. It was good. It was an experience. I would recommend it so long as you’re aware of what you’re in for!
Keeping in line with our daily meal plan, we awoke the next morning and decided to wait it out for a big lunch at Hermitage, a vegetarian buffet in the old town. First though, we got our act together just in time to catch the very drawn out and interesting changing of the guards at the Swedish Royal Palace (~noon). Having missed the changing of the guards while in London, we definitely found our replacement. It lasted over half-an-hour and one part was even conducted in both Swedish and English! If you do get the opportunity to see it, stay! Don’t leave! There are sometimes long pauses between parts, and you’ll just need to wait it out.
From the changing of the guards ceremony we stepped inside the Palace for tickets into the museums. Based on suggestions from a few different locals, we asked which parts of the Palace were open during our visit, and were happy to find out that all areas were open (excluding the antiques, which are closed during the entire winter season). Closures due to official activity, or guests/royals occupying apartments are apparently frequent.
The Palace was full of remarkable artwork and furnishings, along with wedding dresses of past queens and princesses, the crown jewels and an underground medieval museum! It was well worth the entrance fee, though I can see how exhibit closures could make it worthless.
From the Palace, we walked across the old town to Hermitage, a vegetarian buffet. We arrived about 3 minutes after the 2pm cutoff for “lunch” so we spent 20 kronor more. All the same, after drinks we spent 310 kronor for a full buffet of salads, warm dishes and soup! It was too much. Way too much. I ended up eating so much that I spent the evening in the hotel with a full foodbaby. Womp, womp. Note to self: don’t overeat curry!
We spent the evening watching Friends and How I Met Your Mother reruns in English (win!).