Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Viking

Chapter 3

The Viking restaurant was a very small establishment in the Calle de los Apuntadores. After walking a short distance in the bright Mallorcan sun Mr. G. and I entered a narrow doorway and stepped down into cool darkness. To the right was a small curved bar which stopped at the kitchen door and to the left a long seat built against a wall which accommodated several tables. The place was packed with what I could make out were mainly English-speaking patrons.

In the centre of the long seat sat Helen, Mr.G.'s daughter, who quickly moved over to make room for me beside her. Although I had not met her before, she made me feel quite welcome. She and I had at one time lived in the same part of the world so we began to chat with ease. She asked about my trip and my first impressions of Mallorca. So far it was all wonderful. How could it be otherwise...I'd had my first plane ride and had just landed in Europe.

When the menus arrived I opened mine to see an appetizing assortment of British food prepared by Anne, the owner. She was known for her roast beef and salad platter, as well as her curries, trifles and chicken supreme among other dishes. Although my appetite was still on Vancouver time and I didn't feel very hungry, I chose the chicken supreme. It was wonderful. A chicken breast perched on a bed of mashed potatoes, covered with cream and fresh mushrooms, sprinkled with finely chopped parsley. The sauce was rich and contained cognac and chicken broth as well as cream.

This is my representation of the dish, although not as nice looking as Anne's which was served on a wide white plate adorned with small blue flowers around the edge.

As we sat talking I couldn't get over the strange new sensation of jet lag. Here it was the middle of the day, and I felt partially bright and awake but with flashes of weariness that didn't seem to fit the hour.

Mr. G. said it was often the custom there to have after dinner coffee in a coffee bar rather than in the restaurant where one had just dined. So we left The Viking and climbed the few stairs back up into the Calle de los Apuntadores, where I became aware of strange and unfamiliar smells. The air seemed to be heavy with a strong cooking odour which I later learned was that of food frying in olive oil. It combined with the scent of black tobacco, another new fragrance that was pungent and not altogether unpleasant. Then we were back in Plaza de la Reina, a crowded intersection filled with exhaust fumes, people of many races, bright colours and new sounds. We were heading for the Bar Reina.

Continue on to Chapter 4......Plaza de la Reina

Go back to Chapter 2......Palma de Mallorca

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