Mad & Kaffe
Fried Chorizo Sausage with BBQ Ketchup, Chicken Nuggets with Sweet and Sour Sauce, Blueberry Soy Yogurt with Housemade Muesli and Berries, Organic Vesterhavsost Cheese with Housemade Currant Jam, Organic Rye Bread and Sourdough Bread with Butter, Organic Cinnamon Bun with Chocolate, Organic Gluten Free Brownie
With the 25% Sales Tax and focus on quality ingredients making most of Copenhagen’s dining fairly expensive compared to the rest of Europe it was admittedly a bit surprising when two people independently suggested Mad & Kaffe as one of the city’s best breakfasts, the choose your own adventure menu at a bargain price of 3 items for 78DKK, 5 for 120 and 7 for 148…or about what one would spend for a half-dozen pastries at Lagkagehuset.
Opened in 2015 at Sønder Boulevard 68 in Vesterbro, a second location eastward toward the Airport opening since, it was just past nine o’clock that the bike was parked amidst many others outside a space that would soon be filled with 20-somethings on a non-Holiday Monday, most of them speaking Dutch and clearly local, though both the menu and service is available in English.
Essentially a quick fire kitchen, most of the Breakfast items easy to prepare or pre-made with Breads and Sweets outsourced or baked early, those dining at Mad & Kaffe are first given a table followed by a Checklist and a Pencil, the choices divided into sections including Dairy, Greens, Bakery, Meat & Fish or Treat of the Dairy with Eggs randomly filed under the first section and the total number of options around twenty.
Self service for water, though most seemed to be lingering at tables over coffee and conversation, it was after some deliberation that the seven item choice was made with a 4/3 split towards Sweet, the wooden board arriving about fifteen minutes later with everything accounted for and first bites of the “Chorizo” a bit strange as meat had definite heat, though not the source typically found in the Mexican version with a texture more akin to a Hotdog than a housemade ‘Sausage.’
Taking a few bites of Bread before moving on, the thinly sliced Rye textural and dense while the Sourdough unfortunately seemed a little dry even with the packaged Butter, a Chicken “Nugget” that would actually be called a “Strip” or “Plank” Stateside was tasted next, the coating a spicy mix that imparted a slight nuttiness nothing like the Batter used back home and all the better for it, though the “Sweet and Sour Sauce” was more like American BBQ while that served with the Chorizo was sort of like Heinz mixed with Tabasco Sauce.
Using Cheese as a sort of transition, the Danes’ love of Bread with a slice at Breakfast fairly obvious from a look at any morning counter or takeaway in town, the thick wedge of semi-hard Vesterhavsost provided a mild bit of sweetness while proving a pleasant foil to the Sour Currant Jam by its side, the Soy “Yogurt” to follow nicely flavored with Blueberries and creamy in texture though the Granola fell far short of the likes of Mirabelle or Grød.
Sad to see the Kanelsnegl topped in a big dollop of Chocolate, the Pastry layers mostly fine though not as heavy in Butter or Cinnamon as others, Mad & Kaffe’s Gluten Free Brownie would turn out to be the most “American” of the trip, the flourless base eating a lot like Fudge beneath a layer of Ganache while the typical Danish “Brownie” more closely resembles a slice of Chocolate Cake.