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Published: March 1st 2009
It's much nicer on the inside, but I didn't get a good picture of that yet.
Another uneventful day at work. Fridays are pretty relaxed here.
After work Dave and I tried a new restaurant, Piazza, on the ground floor of the Scandic hotel. At first there was some minor confusion since we wanted to sit at the bar. It seems Finns don't sit at the bar, I'm not sure why. Every place I've been to has a decent length bar with barstools, just no row of fools on that row of stools. (Note: Jim Ed Brown reference, not Alan Jackson). Anyway, both Dave and I find it bizzare that nobody sits at the bar, be it to just drink or eat too. So if you're ever bummed that you can't find a seat at the bar just come to Finland, they're all open.
So... We're now seated at the bar, completing our goal of making the staff confused and seemingly uncomfortable. I ordered up a Czech stout which was mighty tasty, but then I decided I wanted something light for dinner. Oh well... Food and drink aren't required to be matched, it's just what you feel like, right? For dinner I started out with a garden salad, which was fresh with a good mix
I gave my cigar a place of honor with my Finlandia.
of greens, but was somehow lacking... Maybe it needed grilled goat cheese? haha. My main course was a decent grilled chicken with garlic potatos. Nothing special, but it continues the trend of Finland being the masters of making potatoes. Dave had reindeer which he kept raving about. Reindeer meat is quite good... Imagine a very lean filet of beef that's so tender you can cut it with your fork; that's reindeer. Well prepared I believe it rivals even the best beef steak.
After dinner I grabbed a port and bought a cigar from the bar since I'd forgotten mine. Not a bad price at 4 euro, but when I tried it I realized I'd been ripped off. Quite obviously machine made and it clearly had never been stored in a humidor, or at least not one that was humidified. Oh well... It was on par with your standard gas station cigar. A little bit of overkill pairing the port with it, but I puffed away nonetheless. The Piazza bar allows smoking until the end of May this year, so I'm good with that 😉 They have nice, big leather couches in an open area with a large stone fireplace and there are big windows facing the street for people watching. The food was good and it's a decent place for a drink and a smoke so I'm sure I'll be heading back.
Done with the cigar Dave and I decided to pay Jussi a visit at the Celtic house. He served Dave up a Jim Beam and me a dark Irish beer that I don't remember the name of. During the coarse of these drinks I realized that I'd left my credit card at Astor the night before so we settled up and headed there to find my card. The snippy waiter recognized me thru the window and gave me a smartass look. Saddling up to the bar he says, "Credit Card?" I nod and he heads to the back. Dave asks, "How's he know it's yours, you didn't give him your name?" When he shows back up with my card Dave sees it's an American flag theme Apparently those standout in Finland so he knew it was mine. We had a round of drinks, I paid with my card, the waiter forced it back into my hands after swiping it and we were off again. One more stop at the Celtic for one, or two, (who knows) more beers and we headed back to the hotel.
Back at the hotel I met a bizarre Estonian girl that couldn't speak much English, but we had a drink anyway. I'm not good with women in English, apparently I'm worse in Estonian. So I went to bed.
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