For example, I don't get the hype over Sægrefinn's lobster soup. The kebabs there are great, and I know that all the toursits feel like they're getting in on the authentic due to the straight-from-the-sea venue and the slightly crusty looking proprietor, but come on! That place has been advertised so heavily as the "best kept secret" that it's not a secret anymore. He has an advert in every single tourist paper and free guide and I'm sure every Lonely Planetish guidebook points out exactly where it is.
On to the soup though. I like a perfumed and creamy lobster soup and this one is frankly neither. The broth is thin, the chunks of lobster are meager, and it contains the bane of all vegetables, the green pepper. If I want lobster soup, I go to one of two places, either Fjöruborðið down in Stokkseyri (which is also hyped but in my opinion deserves it), or I'll go to B5. The latter is known as the boozin' place for all the pretty young things and the erstwhile bankers who love them but serves food in the earlier hours. Over the years the quality has gone from amazing to mediocre to confused but the lobster bisque has remained delicious. So that is where I go when I want my lobster fix.
Up next, the ice cream category. As a resident of the west side of Reykjavík, I have already spent time singing the praises of the 'hood, although I tend to forget one of the reasons many people venture my direction- the ice cream. Since Saturday ended up being unIcelandically warm, S and I decided to find out what the Big Exciting Deal was, so we beelined for ísbúðinn and its usual snaking line. He went for the large with caramel-chocolate and licorice bits, while I had the medium with caramel chocolate and Snickers. As I believe I've pointed out before, ice cream here tends to come only in vanilla, with the fancy being added to the top.
They've got excellent selection there, and when you come out with an ice cream the height of your forearm (that's just the medium), you definitely feel like you've got a good deal, but that's where the fun ends. S and I both went for the creamier of the two options available there but frankly the ice cream was not creamy, and its fast melt-rate was another indication that it just wasn't up there on the butterfat scale. The toppings were just fine and they offer amazing variety but if the base ice cream isn't bringing it to the table, what's the point? After two consecutive weekends sampling the stuff, I'm voting for the campsite service spot and tourist center in Þingvellir as my favorite ice cream. It's creamy and delicious enough to stand on its own- no frills required there.
Finally, in the hamburger category, Búllan always wins on almost everyone's fave-burger list. It's got the cute location and the charming American burgerjoint campiness but I just don't love their burgers enough to make a special effort to get them there. When I get my meat 'n bun craving I go to the burger wagon outside my local pool down the street. Less hype, more delicious. That's how it should be.