A Jet Set Lifestyle: Bæst – Copenhagen

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I do a ton of research on a city before I go. I like to make sure I’m seeing the sites and eating the best food, planning the best travel routes to optimize time and have extra time for unexpected things that may come up.

So as I did my research on places to eat Bæst popped up. A pizza joint? Being from 15 minutes outside of New Haven, living for a long time in New York City, and having visited my family’s roots in Napoli pizza is kind of my thing. I often deny myself the pleasure of pizza due to dietary concerns, but hey when in Copenhagen…. Wait that’s not right is it?

Anyway, I headed off to Nørreport to give it a shot.

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It’s off the main drag in the trendy Nørreport and on a small side street. They opened at 8 pm on the day I went and I arrived a little at 847 pm. It took about a minute for a gentleman to greet me. He returned a minute or so later to tell me he’d be right with me. I said okay, thank you.

Upon his return he asked how he could help me. I told him a table for one. He said he had nothing available that I could give my name, wait at the high counter, and have a glass of mine. He also advised me to hang my coat.

I hung my coat feeling uneasy about it. Granted Denmark is one of the friendliest countries in the world (I happened to read it lost the number 1 spot to Norway right before my visit, 2017.) but it isn’t without it’s stories of pickpockets. And not that I necessarily wanted to tip a coat check person because seriously how hard is your job? You take a hanger, place a coat on it, rip off half the ticket and give it to the person that just gave you said coat. Later you match those numbers and give the coat back. A child could do your job.But there’s a small layer of added security at least. I just don’t think I should tip for that and they should just be paid a living wage.   I’m getting off track, I kept my phone, keys, wallet, and camera on me and hung the only winter coat I took with me on the trip, hoping for the best.

I made my way over to the counter to wait. The same gentleman placed a drink menu in front of me. After about 5 minutes I got his attention and told him I couldn’t drink alcohol and asked if I could please have some water. He asked if I wanted still or sparkling and went with still. From there I waited.

It was probably about another 10 minutes or so until I had a table. A woman comes by and says, I have a table for you.” They seat in communal tables of 6. I was on the end. In the middle were two Asian girls and at the opposite end I learned very quickly two Americans. I sorry Denmark. One went on about he was a Doctor in New York but the two discussed being from San Francisco. So, from his looks and behavior I believe he is probably a resident doing rotations in the Bronx because he does not have the well practiced manners or grace of Manhattanites. At least not the UES types I’ve come to know in my adult years rather the the LES types of my youth. But I digress.

The woman that sat me comes back with a menu and explains it to me. She not so subtly pushes the tasting platter which I currently am unable to eat. It takes close to another 10 for her to come and take my order, chicken wings & a margherita pizza.

The gentleman from earlier comes back with a beer. I stare at it confused. He asks, “you didn’t order a beer”. I say no, he walks away. It gets worked out and we learn that it was a different Asian girl at the table. Awhile later he brings over polenta and starts explaining what it is. I tell him I didn’t order that. He takes it away. I sit for another 10 minutes or so and he comes backs and asks, all you ordered was the pizza? I say no, the pizza and chicken wings. He walks away. A little under 14 minutes later the wings are brought out by a second gentleman he explains they are made from a blend of their own spices.

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There were about 6 pieces in the order, a mix of wings and drums. They were much smaller than the overly processed steroid Terminator chickens back in the states. They were fine. Nothing to write home about (blogging is a different story). The spices were okay. I have a very high tolerance to heat, so I’m not the best judge as to weather they were really spicy or not. They weren’t saucy like a buffalo or BBQ, but they also weren’t like a dry rub, so I did appreciate that. As dry rub I find to be boring. I finish them quickly as I am starving by this point.

I sit and wait for my pizza. During my wait the Asians leave and I’m left with the loud Americans. They have the same woman server. They ask to speak with her manager. Guess who walks over? The very first gentleman. They then go on to please the fine service while I’m sitting there baffled by this conversation, not just because of the mistakes but because she hasn’t come to check on me once. Now I assume this conversation comes from the fact they wanted to do some ungentlemanly things with this young woman as again these Americans were loud and obnoxious and I heard it was their last night in town and I heard them rating women on a scale of 1-10 as they walked by outside, the highest I heard anyone get was a 7 by the way. It may sound like I’m a bit off track again, but here’s the thing, they went in for sometime and then the manger walked away. He was gone for a few more minutes before coming back to tell me my pizza was the next in the oven, so he walked right by me after his conversation with the Americans and didn’t say a word and continued to let me sit there. He could have given me a “I’m going to go check on your food now” or something.

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My pizza arrived about 15 minutes after my pizza at 9.55 pm. The sauce tasted fresh. It was tangy and acidic. It tasted like they fresh crushed tomatoes but added no other ingredients to the sauce. The mozzarella is made fresh daily there and was of a good quality. The dough was cooked to a little bit of burnt char on the underside in their wood fired oven. The ends of the pizza which I often hate as they are traditionally cheese-less and sauce-less weren’t hard and crunchy but chewy and more palatable to my mouth. The basil was fine. There was a good ratio between sauce, cheese, and dough with sauce and cheese being equal to each other and the dough being slightly less. I suggest letting the pizza cool slightly if you’re the type to pick it up and eat with your hands. Once I had finished my first slice of the personal pizza I realized on my second the dough cooled just enough to firm up slightly and make it much easier to hold the mozzarella and cheese.

I scarfed down my food as my appetite was not satisfied by the wings alone as I had gone in at 845ish hungry. I asked for my check the server apologized asked if she could get me coffee or tea I said no just the check I paid and left. Tipping is not required in Denmark but is for exteamley good service only. Needless to say I didn’t leave one.

Maybe I’m a dumb American who doesn’t understand the leasirely meals in Europe, I feel I get behind them in Italy as they are large affairs with various courses but when I think Pizza and wings I don’t think it should take over an hour, butagain, maybe just a dumb American.

All in all was the food worth the hassle? No. If you could go in and it was pretty dead and you could sit right away, and order right away, and the server staff isn’t overwgelmed sure go in and try a pizza. It was pretty good comparative to other areas not bring Italy, New York, or New Haven.

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