Friday, 19 July 2013

Gourmet hot dogs @ Tall Ships Race Helsinki

A blogger colleague from Israel was visiting in Finland so we actually got the chance to meet in the three-dimensional reality. Our road took us food bloggers to Helsinki Tall Ships Race. Pure Bistro's pop up hot dog- restaurant wasn't the least of reasons...

The expectations ran high - especially after the wonderful dinner a while back. There were 4 options: vegetarian, shrimp, salmon and pulled pork. My friend had shrimp and I (obviously) went for the pulled pork. Though the flavours were ok in both, we (I hate to type this!) weren't really impressed. I'm not much of fundamentalist, but the two things that make a hot dog are the heat and the dog - a.k.a. the sausage nestling between a warm bun.

This was made with ciabatta, which (especially not heated) just didn't work - the texture was just too... tough.  Hot dog no, sandwich yes, bordering on po'boy. Shrimp turned out to be squeezable paste, which we didn't expect. Even pulled pork was dryish. The seasoning crumble that both were sprinkled with was good (sesame among other things) but overall we didn't feel these were quite worth the price tag (€7.50).

Oh yeah, and then there were the boats...

And mighty fine boats they were too. With a heavy heart I made my way towards home, wondering vigorously whether the charming people at VISA might be willing to raise my limit. We could start with.. say, a million?

With its fantastic, fairytale-like appearance Swedish boat Gothenburg was the clear winner in our personal ranking. The atmosphere on the Mexican and Brazilian boats were, however, in a league of their own. Salsa that they kept blasting out actually got people spontaneously dancing on the street. Even in rain.

My companion has lived all over the world and felt immediately at home. A slow-thinking, stiff-hipped northern ogre like me would have needed a couple of caipirinhas for that. Unfortunately no-one was handing out those. Radler, Foster's take on shandy on the other hand was a different matter.

In addition to the magnificent vessels we feasted our eyes on the Brazilian crew. Those figurines in the front of the boats on the other hand (I, of no seafaring nation would not know any proper name for them...) surprised us with their... progressive nature? They were a sight for sore eyes alright, but for women!

Mos of the boats were open for visitors. I'm writing this at my laptop at my home so as that suggests, I did manage to resist the urge to hide in the hold and am therefore not headed for Riga, these boats' next destination. 

Tall Ships Race continues until Saturday, so if you're in town you still have plenty of time to go enjoy the buns and the boats!

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