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Cruise Day 7 – Brasserie 30

November 5, 2012

Normally, on a cruise, when you’re due in port that day, you get up early, grab some breakfast, and then you’re in port and out and about exploring a new city.  At the end of the day, you come back to the ship, and then it’s time to get ready for dinner and the night’s activities.  But, on days when you’re at sea and there’s no scheduled port stop, the atmosphere on the ship is nice and relaxing.  In the morning, there isn’t the hustle and bustle of trying to get up and get ready to go ashore, it’s a lot more quiet and mellow, people sleep in so it takes a while before you start to see the buzz of activity on the decks.

One of my favorite things about sea days on a cruise is that you have time to sit down and enjoy a meal beyond dinner.  Whereas on a busy port day I may only see the buffet for a quick breakfast in the morning, on a sea day, I can take my time and have a nice served lunch meal in the main dining room.  Something about having someone serve you always just seems to make the whole meal seem classier.  The cruise line I was sailing on transforms their main dining room during lunch hours into a bistro they call Brasserie 30.

One of the guests favorite things about Brasserie 30 is the tutti frutti salad bar.  Essentially, it is an opportunity to make your own custom-made salad.  You walk up to the salad bar set up in the middle of the dining room.  You tell the line chef if you want a appetizer-size or entree-size salad, and they start making your salad creation based upon what you tell them that you want.  There’s various types of lettuce to choose from – iceberg, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, etc.  Then there’s various types of toppings for your salad all laid out in front of you.  You can choose from all sorts of salad accompaniments – shredded carrots, hard-boiled eggs, tomato wedges, sprouts, garbanzo beans and so forth.  From there, there’s a variety of salad dressings you can choose from.  The line chef will then toss your salad for you.  You can choose to top your salad with sunflower seeds, croutons, or any other sort of yummy, crunchy topping.  Part of the salad bar also had a selection of cheeses and prosciutto which was being sliced right off the cured leg.

Although it wasn’t listed on the menu, the day we dined at Brasserie 30, there was an offering of soups to start the meal.  My husband and I both chose to start our meals with a corn chowder.  Unfortunately, I think we both wished that we hadn’t ordered it.  The soup had too much starch in it and was more like a thick gelatinous gravy rather than a corn chowder.  There was no actual corn kernels in the soup that I could determine.

For my lunch, I ordered the slow roasted beef strip loin.  I figured a dish served alongside potatoes au gratin couldn’t be a bad choice.  My husband had ordered the burger on the menu for his lunch entrée, but for some reason, the waiter must have misunderstood him, and actually brought out 2 plates of the slow roasted beef strip loin.  My husband, being too polite, decided to just eat the meal rather than ask for the burger.  In the end, he said that he was glad he got the beef strip loin rather than the burger because the beef was really good and cooked perfectly, and the accompaniment of the potatoes au gratin was perfect.  I pretty much felt the same way too!

For dessert, I ordered the caramelized banana mille feuille.  This dessert was TO-DIE-FOR.  Talk about delicious, this desert was a custardy-creamy cake topped with a caramelized banana with more caramel drizzled over the entire thing.  It was so light and fluffy, slightly sweet (but not overly sweet), I could have had the whole cake rather than just one small piece of it!

My husband ordered the warm cherry custard crepes for dessert.  The waiter had actually recommended this dessert, so my husband figured he should give it a try.  He said that the dish was delicious.  The cherries inside the crepes were warmed through but weren’t overcooked to the point of being mushy.  Topping the whole dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream really brought the dish together.

Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back, relax and have someone serve you.  This may be a cruise vacation where the point is to be able to visit new places and explore, but part of the vacation is the cruise itself, and it’s nice to have sea days interspersed into the itinerary so you can take time to just enjoy the vacation.

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