PHOTO © CHRISTIAN FROBERG DAHL

An echoing success

TEXT: SIGNE HANSEN | PHOTOS © CHRISTIAN FROBERG DAHL

Located in the stunning Echo Valley on Bornholm, Café Genlyd oozes quirkiness and charm. Famous for its homemade “grandma food”, fairytale-like beauty, and intimate concerts, the small café has become a bit of an institution on the small island.

It is not just that Ekkodalshuset and Café Genlyd are located in the heart of one of Bornholm’s most beautiful natural attractions, or that it serves delicious homemade food. The charm of the small eatery is rooted in something more intangible. Amongst Bornholm’s oldest continuously running eateries, the café is, today, run by husband and wife Joan and Christian Froberg Dahl. “I don’t know what it is,” explains Christian Froberg Dahl. “When we took over in 2013, it was just the two of us, but we quickly got really busy; now we’re 11 employees and we’re number one on TripAdvisor. And considering how many really brilliant restaurants the island has, that’s a bit crazy.”

Having previously worked in the music industry, Froberg Dahl has managed to get a number of celebrated Danish musicians such as Allan Olsen and Big Fat Snake to come play at Café Genlyd. But while the small, intimate music events are undoubtedly part of the café’s appeal, what has defined it is, perhaps more surprisingly, its huge creamed chicken in patty shells. With a width of 16.5 centimetres, the patty shells have become a bit of a sensation, with a competition to see who could eat the most developing on social media. The shell was developed by Joan and local baker Jesper Dam. “Joan and Jesper spent most of half a year developing the recipe for the perfect shell – it’s not easy making a shell that is that big and still keeps its crispiness,” stresses Dahl.

Today, the café sells 30.000 patty shells each year, the equivalent of 15 tons of creamed chicken cooked by Joan who heads Café Genlyd’s kitchen. “The competition wasn’t started by us but it sort of went a bit crazy on social media, so we had to take over to mediate, and today it’s a competition between competitors from the different parts of Denmark,” explains Dahl.

The current record in the competition is four patty shells, the equivalent of 2.3 kilogrammes. Something which, stresses Dahl, is probably not advisable from a health perspective. However, as a treat for the soul, a standard visit to Ekkodalshuset and Café Genlyd is sound advice.

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