I’ve seen enough Viking Cruise-sponsored Masterpiece Theatre episodes on PBS to have sailed around the world. At least it seems that way, so when the opportunity arose to actually book a Viking ocean cruise, my husband and I grabbed it.
Unlike the river cruises, Viking’s liners on the open seas, in this case the Mediterranean, are larger. With 888 passengers, plus more than 400 crew members, the new Viking Sky is a mini-city with a Norwegian flair.
Like other cruise ships, dining is a major activity. With six dining areas, plus the option for room service, the Viking Sky doesn’t disappoint. A recent tour of one of the galleys helped put a few things into perspective. First, there are 13 kitchens with more than 100 chefs, chefs de cuisine and sous chefs, who work 10-hour shifts to ensure that everyone on board gets more than they need to eat.
Everything is made fresh, from the breads and pastries to pasta. Chef de cuisine Wayan explained that formulas are used to determine how much of each food item is needed on a daily basis. This involves a heavy reliance on past experience and nationality of the guests, among other factors. For example, the kitchen goes through 3,200 eggs per day!
Much more was shared on the tour and each meal on our 8-day cruise has been exceptional from crispy calamri to grilled sea bass, from fork-tender Chateaubriand to a hamburger. The combination of well-prepared dishes and exceptional service has made each meal a special dining experience.
The Blue Moose in Breckenridge has several issues: lengthy waits, cash only, and limited hours. The best advice is to forget about those things. Instead, focus on the food and friendly staff, which, fortunately, is easy. Mud season may be the only time it’s possible to walk in and sit down without a wait. Even then, it’s iffy since the restaurant appeals to locals just as much as, or more than, skiers and summer tourists.
Recently, we braced ourselves for a long wait and made sure we had plenty of cash in our wallets. We got a table soon after arriving and didn’t have to spend everything we had. The appeal is fresh food, and lots of it, almost too much. The Spuds and Vegies is one of my favorites. Sautéed broccoli, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, green peppers and spinach served over country potatoes. Eggs and cheese on top are optional. The meal is like eating a carb-building garden.
Several types of omelets and the usual parade of pancakes and French toast comprise the menu. Several items include names familiar to the central mountains, such as the Minturn Loop. It’s nothing more than choice of eggs, bacon or sausage, potatoes and toast. On the other hand, the English has everything to do with what’s served. It features plate-size pancakes, eggs and several meats: bacon, banger and ham. In case that’s not enough, toast and potatoes are included, as is a fresh tomato relish.
If you eat outside, nothing beats the mountain view — they’re worth the wait.
The Blue Moose
540 S. Main St.
Four of the six people having breakfast together at Adams Mountain Café wanted the Planet Burger, a blend of brown rice, roasted nuts, onions and cheese. The only problem was that it’s on the lunch menu. Although we pleaded with our server to ask the kitchen to make this possible, she politely, but unfortunately, recited those all-too-familiar words: “If we make an exception for you, we have to make an exception for everyone.”
Only somewhat reluctantly, we ordered traditional breakfast entrees. Of course, at Adams this is not a problem and our collective disappointment was short-lived. Adams is popular for many reasons. It appeals to runners, hikers, shoppers and friends wanting a comfortable place to eat where the food is reliably fresh and good. It’s not uncommon to wait for a table – especially during breakfast service. It’s worth the time.
I ordered the omelet special which, on this particular day, was filled with sliced fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, fresh basil, mozzarella and sprinkled with truffle oil. The licorice flavor of the basil mingled well with the decadent truffle oil. Omelets at Adams are made with three farm-fresh eggs and are light, without being full of air. In fact, the menu describes them as being “French style.”
Other fare includes plate-size pancakes, French toast, homemade cinnamon rolls, a variety of egg dishes and oatmeal. Most meals come with fresh fruit or slices of sunflower whole grain toast. Until, the Planet Burger is served before 11 a.m., it’s easy to “settle” for something else.
Adams Mountain Café
934 Manitou Ave.
Manitou Springs, Colo.