Iceland: Bjargarsteinn Mathus

Because we spent more time at the Blue Lagoon than initially intended, instead of driving along the coast, we cut straight through the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to get to our Airbnb cabin at the foot of Kirkjufell.  The early morning flight hit our group along the way and we pulled over next to some Icelandic horsies for a quick power nap:


I think I saw more horses in Iceland than I did Icelanders.  Can someone explain to me how breeding horses is a profitable enterprise in Iceland?  They weren't on the menu...so what do Icelanders do with them?  Our Airbnb host told us the horses are essentially pets.  But that makes absolutely no sense to me.  Those be some damn expensive pets.

I could look it up, I suppose. But I much rather talk about food.

Knowing our cabin would be kind of in the middle of nowhere, we made one more pit stop in the town of Grundarfjordur for some groceries (basically snacks for the car) and dinner.  There weren't a whole lot of restaurant options in Grundarfjordur, but a Google search led us to Bjargarsteinn:


From the outside, it looked rather dreary.  From the inside?  So freakin' cute and cozy:


It felt like walking into someone's home, sitting at their table, and digging into their bread basket:


Those bread rolls legitly tasted like pizza.  No joke.  All those pizza-y herbs and stuff.  They came warm and went heavenly with butter:


I learned on this trip that CV is a butter eating MACHINE.  She can eat a pad of butter per bite of bread.  I couldn't but watch in awe as she demolished all of the butter singlehandedly.   

The first thing I noticed when I flipped open the cute hand drawn menu were the prices.  Holy smokes.  I knew Iceland would be expensive, but my heart wasn't prepared.  I WASN'T READY.  The one downside to traveling as a fifth wheel is that while the couples in your group can order multiple dishes to split, you're on your own.  You eat own your food...and you pay for it too. 

Sigh.

I've gotten better about spending money, but I'm still cheap Chinese deep inside.  Not to mention I'm nonprofit, yo.  It hurts when I see the dollar signs...or in this case, the krona signs.  I finally settled on the seafood soup (2850 ISK or around $28.50) as it was one of the cheaper things on the menu that wasn't an appetizer or a salad (I do have some standards):


That was some hearty soup.  Just look at this pile of fish, shrimp, scallops,and mussels:


The broth was sweet from all the seafood.  So much good stuff in one bowl. 

The couples each ordered a seafood soup of their own plus one of the daily specials, which turned out to be mussels (3850 ISK or around $38.50):


The entrée came with a side of salad, smoked salmon, and byggotto (the Icelandic version of risotto made with barley):


The food at Bjargarsteinn was simple, yet delicious.  The atmosphere quiet and homey.  Our server was incredibly sweet and chatted with us about how she left Reyjavik because it was getting too crowded.  (We had a chuckle at that as we wondered what she would think about living in the Bay.) 

Yes, prices were steep, but sometimes, you just gotta suck it up when you travel.

Suck it up, stop thinking about your student loans, and keep your tears locked up tight deep, deep in your weary little heart.

The best way to get your mind off of how much eating in Iceland is going to bankrupt you?  Go home to the most picturesque cabin you've ever seen:


When I said our cabin was located at the foot of Kirkjufell, I wasn't kidding.  It doesn't get much closer than that.


Bjargarsteinn Mathus
Sólvellir 15, 350 Grundarfjörður, Iceland
+354 438 6770
http://bjargarsteinn.is/

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