EVERYTHING goes. Yes. It's the last night in the Swedish capital city and a "let's not leave any stone along the way unturned" moment.
At my age, there's not much turn. Grin. But it was worth the missed hours of sleep. How often am I in this part of the globe anyway?
In the company of locals, Althea, a fellow Dabawenyo who found home in Stockholm, and Richard, her partner, we were brought to a couple of favored nightspots of the locals.
For my Swedish meatballs craving (no meat diet broken!), I was taken to Pelikan at Blekingegatan 40.
Pelikan is a century-old restaurant built during the era of horse-drawn cabs. For the haulers and traders, it was the midway stop for a shot of whiskey and a "Wholesaler's dinner," named after the clientele and composed of traditional ingredients typical of that time.
Today as it was in the past, Pelikan honors the "plain food," which was originally meant for laborers and the heart of Swedish cooking wherein preparation and cooking is done the traditional way.
Pelikan was busy when we entered (apparently it always is). We were lucky enough to get a table in the Stora Hallen (the big hall), a room that spoke of its past days in its decor-heavy wooden furniture and wall paneling, the favored shades of brown and yellow from floor to ceiling, frescoes in pale hues (or perhaps faded over time), and chandeliers with white orbs much like those in the Western saloons.
The set menu, a four-course meal with drinks, is still called the "Wholesaler's dinner," but I opted to go a la carte and straight to the Pelikan's Meatballs with Cream Sauce, Gherkins and Lingon berries.
The golf ball-sized meatballs are a house specialty, along with the Boiled Pork Knuckles that's baked overnight.
After a quick dessert of Rhubarb Pie with Cardamom and Vanilla Sauce, we went to our next stop -- the Himlen.
The Himlen is on the opposite pole of Pelikan. The sky bar-cum-restaurant on the 26th floor of a skyscraper in Sodermalam is modern and luxurious, and a favorite hangout of the chic locals, the SRO scene that night laid proof to that claim.
It has become popular with the tourists as well because of its free offering -- a 360-degree view of Stockholm. The bar is a great spot to take photos of the Swedish city's best view. Tourists come and go, and those who don't mind shelling out a few kronas stay and try the "superbly mixed cocktails," which are said to be pricey according to many. That, I will not know. I was the spoiled one in the group. Skaal!
For more photos about this story, and other travel and lifestyle stories, visit http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com and http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/