The Waitress, Slas and the Master Chef

Lena Sahlberg started serving at the Pelikan in 1994. She knows what she’s doing.
- I have met many wonderful guests. Everyone needs attention. You learn how to see how they are and how happy they get if you care.

Many famous people have been visiting the place through the years. Lena Sahlbergs favourite is the author Stig Claesson, also called SLAS (1928-2008). He published 88 books and also worked as a drawer. He spent a lot of time at the Pelikan.

Lena Sahlberg tells a story which shows his oddity.
- Stig came to the restaurant and he had probably a slight hangover. He was determined to eat spaghetti. He reached for a bundle of spaghetti from his inner pocket since it wasn’t on the menu. So I went out to the cook and asked him to fix something.

Lena Sahlberg had no luck. The cook was one of the most popular in Stockholm, a proud Finlander who had no regards: “If it’s not on the menu then it isn’t. You can’t even go to Operakällaren with a fillet of beef in your pocket”. But Slas stood firm. The problem was solved since the owner of the restaurant boiled the spaghetti in the kitchenette at the restaurant’s office.

Lena Sahlberg tells us that a couple of gentlemen each year in February gather at the Pelikan in order to eat and pay tribute to Stig Claesson, especially his book “Who loves Yngve Frej?” The book was published 1968 and filmed in 1973.

Wholesale dealer’s dinner for gentlemen and ladies

At the beginning of the former century the Pelikan – at that time called Port Artur – was one of Södermalm’s outposts just before the land and fields spread to the south. Maybe this was the place where wholesalers mingled with cab owners in order to get a real meal and a dram before turning home again. It is at least known that horse-drawn cabs were lined up along Blekingegatan at the time. It is also said (but not confirmed) that you could rent a room in the upper regions of the Pelikan house. The coachmen surely needed somewhere to sleep in those days before they were up and driving again.

A big and tasty meal was appreciated then like now which got us thinking of a typical wholesale dealer’s dinner made of ingredients from old times.

But let us for safety’s sake mention that no accommodation is possible.

“Grosshandlar” dinner

pre-dinner drink
a ”grosshandlare”
4 cl eau-de-vie with lemonade
first plate
”gubbröra” anchovies, eggs,
roe, parsley & dill
second plate
boiled knuckle of pork w. mashed swedes
& three kinds of mustard
drinks included
2 draft 40 cl and 1 aquavit 6 cl
coffee with avec 4 cl & chocolate truffles