...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Hungry as a day laborer, part 1: Leons

The week's work left us no time for grocery shopping (not to mention cooking) despite working with our bodies and feeling as hungry as bears by the afternoon. Apparently, when you're working like a laborer, you've got to eat like one as well...

Kronängsgatan 16
602 23 Norrköping

Strategically located in Norrköping's industrial area, this gas station turned street-kitchen is an neighborhood icon of the hungry blue collar worker. Overalls are the normal customer attire here --which made us fit in-- and about half of the patrons come in their service cars for a quick take-out in-between jobs. There's the occasional city-clad folk too who come especially at lunchtime (when lunch prices start at 25) or on late night weekends when they seek out the only open diner before a night of clubbing. And since Leons is open until 2 AM on weekdays and 4 AM on Friday and Saturdays (they're only open until midnight on Sundays), it's also the night hangout of taxi drivers who want some instant energy before a late round.

Leons is really an unpretentious stall which has a kind of charm like it could come out of Grease, the musical. Enter John Travoltas with leather jackets, singing about grabbing a sausage-grub, fries, and the fattiest shrimp salad in town. The ordering counter-slash-kitchen is no bigger than a ticket booth, and if you're not taking your meal out, there are garden tables under the old gas station structure where you can at least sit down to eat. Needless to say there are no indoor seats here, no toilets and no waitresses. Everything is served on disposable plates, and are pre-cut so you can eat with your disposable fork. No extra expectations here, it's all about the fatty food.

Despite the spartan set-up, everything has a small-town neighborly "human" feel to it: you get a large bunch of napkins, you sit by growing potted flowers and birds sitting and waiting for your leftovers, there's the background chit-chat of regulars. The food itself is desrcibed as traditional Swedish fast food -- fatty and energy-filled burgers, sausages or meatballs served with fries and the house specialty of shrimp salad, which literally swims in mayonnaise. Marcus and I shared a "half salad" to go with our 150-gram burger and fries. We were also given the option of having mustard on fries, which really wasn't too bad. On another day (we're becoming regulars, as you can see), we ordered a slightly more expensive beef steak with fries and béarnaise sauce -- a 55-kronor meal that is even served with a little green salad on the side. Drinks cost extra, at 10 kronor a can.

Our Leons grub -- they're good especially if you've already worked out a big hunger. If you're extra tired, they even start talking to you!

It's the kind of food that makes you happy and slow in the head, but believe me, I was full until breakfast time even though we had Leons for lunch! We better not make it a habit to eat here unless we're begging for a heart attack, though.


Blogger vlado&toni said...

That Leons sounds interesting - it reminds me of Germany's own Imbiss (Fastfood) where they sell great fatty sausages galore :) However no shrimp salad on the side..

2:46 PM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

That's okay, you have the greatest kebabs (Döner) down there. Even the smallest stalls have great kebabs! I could eat them all week :-) Heheheh.

4:23 PM

Anonymous cheryl said...

hey joy, long time no read!

i'm wondering if we have anything like that here, pero ang naiisip ko lang ay yung mga carinderia, although may seating ang carinderia and food isn't always fattening. :D ay may naisip pa ko, gotohan saka mga pares, hahaha

3:02 AM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

hello hello!

Exakto, parang Pares and Mami house sa may kanto samin, pero yun bukas ng 24 hours, heheh. Parang carinderya din (may seating for 10)

Hmmm but who says carinderya food is not fattening? Tokwa't baboy? bulalo? Hotdogsilog? :-D

10:17 PM


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