The Other Danish

I called them chaos sandwiches. From the civilised south, I like my sandwich to have a lid. These crazy Scandinavians, can’t be arsed.  Or maybe I am not civilised enough to control the contents that are stacked on top of my open-face.

I’m here to eat some fine grub at Schønnemann’s in Copenhagen. A Danish institution for Smørrebrød(open faced sandwiches, if you didn’t get it earlier) since 1877. Down some steps into a sunken room. A cubby hole, a social lunch spot. Un-worked wood on the floor with sand lightly dusted across it, gave true grit to the atmosphere in here. A restaurant with a firm service system in place. For years this restaurant has been accommodating travellers and in the earlier days, market traders. So, we jump on the band wagon and get with tradition, and get our lunch on. With just over a gazillion ways of having the ‘Other Danish’, I bit the bullet and aimed wildly.

First there was beer to be had and schnapps to be sunk. 75 different varieties of Schnapps and Aquavit crowded the menu, I simple’d down and went for a walnut infused one.  It was heavy on the nuts and scorching on the throat. Chased with a half n’ half of Carlsberg(local brew) and the mentioned brewery’s porter. Dark and malty, ready to accentuate all the nuances of my smoked eel, potatoes, chives and mayo delight. The rye bread underneath all this mighty muck, provided a solid backdrop  to the toppings, absorbing saucy moisture, the next logical step was to reach for my beer. Refreshed, now on to the next bite. Round 1 a success.

Round 2, this time a house beer ordered, in their words  a ‘clear hazel ale’. Bring on the magnificently titled ‘ Beer Coachman’s Snack’. The rye bread: smeared with anchovy butter; then multiple slices of liver sausage, wobbly beer aspic, gherkins and fried parsley- a way cooler version of crispy seaweed.  This was a hefty load; generous portions of liver, the bread thick cut. Dainty sandwiches fell by the wayside, when the ‘Coachman’ came riding in.

A brief repose:
“Holy gods” the wife said. And, ‘holy gods’ the wife was right. A brief taste, of the smoked potatoes on her sandwich, and I had just been treated to the dopest spud on the planet. Like your fireplace at home. Smoked comfort and cosiness at the end of your fork.

As I squeezed myself past the tight tables, and out the door, I knew that  when food becomes fantastical, when the menu sings enticingly to you, like a mermaid(Copenhagen ref.), when your spoilt for choice and you could go back the next day; then, you have entered into  “The Realm of The Marvellous.”(yep sounds catchy, might register that one.)


Restaurant Schønnemann
Hauser Plads 16,
1127 København K
tel: +45 33 12 07 85


Categories: Travel


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One Comment on “The Other Danish”

  1. Nat
    October 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    What a sandwich…..can imagine how she managed to guzzle down a 16 dish meal the day after!

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