Today we’re traveling to the Scandinavian land of Sweden with the help of Laura Olsson, co-owner of Johan’s Jӧe Swedish Coffee House & Café. Lauren started working as a part-time barista nearly six years ago and quickly worked her way up to manage the joint alongside its two owners. The Swedes had retired to America but then decided to bring a little bit of their homeland to the area by opening up the coffee house. In 2017 Laura and her husband Matti, who she met through her bosses, took over Johan’s Jӧe, and since then it has stayed true to its Swedish roots while also evolving.
Traditionally a haunt for those seeking a caffeine fix, or afternoon fika (Swedish for coffee break) it recently launched dinner service to include new takes on traditional dishes. With Swedish cuisine centering around seafood, you can look forward to menu items like pan seared salmon with black currant glaze served over braised savoy cabbage and Hasselback potatoes and a crepe stuffed with Key West shrimp and mushrooms topped with a creamy dill sauce. Also try to see if you can pick out two traditional Swedish spices in the dishes–cardamom and saffron.
“(Food) allows you an inside look,” Laura said. “It’s so easy to learn about different cultures and countries through their food.”
She attributes that feeling to almost like an inside scoop or secret that people become a part of when they’ve had a first-hand experience of a country’s food. It connects them to that culture.
That’s what she’s hoping to do with both Johan’s Jӧe’s daytime and evening menus. Coffee seekers can look forward to imported Swedish coffee and tea, handmade Scandinavian pastries, breakfast and lunch sandwiches and both savory and sweet crepes (topped with homemade whipped cream and berry preserve). When the sun goes down, Matti’s family recipes are the stars of the menu including the meatballs, a mixture of beef, pork and veal topped with a light cream sauce, lingonberries, a side of mashed potatoes and fresh cucumber salad.
401 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach; 561/808-5090; johansjoe.com