Swedish Food Truck Dishes Up Airport Cuisine

Sweden Airport Food Truck
Photo credit: Swedavia

Whether you like to hunt down the hidden hole-in-the-wall eateries, the popular street food stalls or the city’s best haute cuisine, you probably agree that food is an important part of the travel experience. But if there’s one aspect of travel dining that is universally loathed, it has to be airport food. Bland, congealed — not to mention overpriced — airport meals seem to be an inevitable part of the journey.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise that one country has decided its airport food is so good that it is part of its marketing campaign. Sweden believes the fare at Stockholm Arlanda Airport is so nom-worthy that it is loading up food trucks with the airport cuisine to tempt the taste buds of the city’s residents and visitors.For $10, hungry patrons can dine on dishes like braised veal, pulled pork, truffle risotto, lasagna and ramen soup with wasabi-marinated smoked salmon. Those behind the concept say they believe people will be surprised by the quality of the food, and will hopefully be encouraged to get to the airport earlier to sample more of the cuisine on offer.

The food truck will make rounds of Stockholm for several weeks, but may stick around longer if the idea proves a success.

What do you think of airport food? Would you try out the Arlanda Food Truck?

Take As Many Selfies As You Want At This Instagram-Friendly Hotel

In the last year, travel and Instagram have grown to go hand in hand. Seriously, how many photos did you post during your last trip?

Banking on our selfie and hashtagging obsessions, the new boutique 1888 Hotel in Sydney, Australia has made Instagram a key part of its visitors’ experience. The lobby features a digital mural of Instagram shots, the front desk has a map of top picture taking spots that you should be sure to put on your to-do list, it offers a free night’s stay to anyone with more than 10,000 Instagram followers and there’s a specific booth for taking selfies when you check in, ensuring that you can make your friends jealous immediately.

The photo-friendly theme makes sense; 1888 is not only a reference to the year that the building was constructed, but also when Kodak launched the first box and roll camera, the kind of thing you didn’t need a vintage filter for.

But if you go, make sure you know how to take good pictures: each month the guest that snaps the best Instagram photo will get a free night’s stay.

Swedes Don’t Like Aggressive Beer

Iron Maiden Beer

The first piece of news is that if you’re an Iron Maiden fan, there’s now a beer for you. The second piece of news is that if you’re going to Sweden you won’t be able to drink it.

Trooper, the new beer for hardcore Iron Maiden fans, is now available in the U.K., and can also be bought online and distributed to a variety of E.U. countries – except Sweden. Why? The label is just too much.

The main representative for Systembolaget, the government-run store that is the only place to sell any liquor above 3.5% alcohol in Sweden, claims that the label doesn’t adhere to Swedish labeling laws, which regard the Trooper beer label too “aggressive” to be allowed into the Swedish market.

Want your Iron Maiden beer? Stick to the U.K. for now.

San Francisco’s Mobile Eateries: SOMAny Food Trucks, So Little Time

food truck
In a city like San Francisco, there’s so much to love, it’s easy to veer into bad poetic cliche (the fog rolling in on the Golden Gate; how, on unseasonably warm days, the entire city appears to be picnicking on every available patch of green; the dreamy views of the bay from the top of Pacific Heights).

There are other things about SF that rock, however, despite an obvious lack of romanticism. There’s the food truck scene, for example, which in less than five years has become a firmly entrenched part of the city’s culture. Like SF’s ethnic restaurants, the trucks roam the culinary map, from Eritrea and Malaysia to the Philippines, Hawaii, India, the Deep South, Latin America, and even, god help us, dessertlandia (cupcakes have nothing on the crème brûlée truck).

I’ve written before about Off the Grid (OTG), the ginormous, weekly food truck fiesta held down at Fort Mason (there are other, smaller venues and food truck “pods” in SF, the East Bay, South Bay, and Marin County, as well). Featuring over 40 trucks, music, and stellar views of the Bay, it’s become a beloved celebration of all that’s great about life in San Francisco. My favorite vendors include The Chairman (as in Bao), and Gohan.

I’ve been to OTG before, but until last week, I’d never visited its more urban equivalent, SOMA strEAT Food Park. Located just south of Market Street (SOMA), this formerly dumpy, sketchy block has been transformed into an oasis, complete with landscaping, attractive seating areas, music, a beer garden, and an indoor tent for inclement weather. SOMA has long been an up-and-coming ‘hood for hipsters thanks to its bars, cafes, and restaurants, but it’s also convenient to the Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Metreon entertainment complex, Yerba Buena Gardens, Moscone Center and the Union Square shopping district.

Unlike OTG, the Food Park is also open daily. A number of the same vendors work OTG and the Food Park (which has different vendors every day), but others are unique to each location. My favorite at the Food Park is Adam’s Grub Truck, which specializes in Pacific Rim-inflected sandwiches that are the bomb. There’s also Del Popolo, inarguably the most famous – and high-tech – food truck/pizzeria on wheels in the nation. It alone is worth a trip down to SOMA.

Whether you head to OTG for the scene, selection and bayside location, or the strEAT Food Park for a convenient shopping or cultural break, you’ll come away stuffed, satiated and waxing a little poetic about SF, yourself.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Gary Soup]

This is Melbourne…Wow! (confusing video edition)


Ever wanted to visit Melbourne? Well dear traveler, today’s your (un)lucky day! We’re going to take you on a video tour of Australia’s second largest city like you’ve never seen it before – down streets lined with “fanciful emporiums!” Inside a place where restaurants serve meals chock full of “extrinsic flavors!” and past public spaces adorned with the work of “young genius.” Wait…huh?

If you’re feeling confused (or even a little deceived) not to worry. We are too. Apparently the above production, crafted by the geniuses at Powervision (Asia Pacific), is a tourist DVD intended to wow visitors with Melbourne’s show-stopping beauty, mouth-watering cuisine and buzzing nightlife. We’re not so sure it’s working. Then again, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to visit the “Big Spine”? Give it a watch and decide for yourself.