21 March 2010

Switzerland has a place called Bitch!

Well it's spelled Bitsch, but the pronounciation is surely Bitch!

Now we all now about Schmuck standing everywhere on Bahnhofstrasse, but do you know of any others? I would love to start a collection of those...


13 March 2010

Is it possible to eat cheap in Zurich?

A reader has asked me for cheap places to eat in Zurich. Well, well, I have been thinking about it for more than a week now and that is a problem because Zurich is not a cheap city. Not for the normal tourist, not for the normal employee.

In the summer, one can go to the Migros or Coop, grab some bread, cheese, cold cuts, salad and fruits and have a picnic along the Limmat, the lake or in a park. Another option is to go to any good bakery and grab a sandwich, a salad, a müesli or a quiche (Wähe) and have it somewhere around. I like the Bäckerei Stocker down the HB. Finally you can as well go to a butcher shop, e.g. the one right next to the train station on Bahnhofstrasse 102: Metzgerei Traiteur Kauffmann and get something warm or cold, e.g. a Wurstweggen (sausage in a dough) or Canapé. It’s still very cheap, quite good, but you will have to stand somewhere and eat it which is a problem in the winter.

Now a lot of people will get a great sausage (don’t forget the Bürli- the bread) at Vorderer Sterne at Bellevue. The line-up is long, you still have to eat outside, but at least you are doing it with a lot of people. I can highly recommend it!

Cheap restaurants in Zurich will include the ones from Migros and Coop (e.g. Migros City next to Löwenplazt and Coop City on Bahnhofstrasse). Their food can be quite good and fresh. Another option would be to go to the University Mensas http://www.mensa.uzh.ch/ .But then it is not centrally located. As a guest, you will pay between CHF 10 and 16 for a meal.

For around CHF 15, you will get several Asian menus all around Kreis 4 and 5. The closest one to the HB would be Chiang Mai Thai on Josefstrasse 13 (see this post from the Blog Half the Sugar Bowl: http://www.halfthesugarbowl.com/2010/03/asian-grocery-stores-in-zurich-part-3.html). And then for about CHF 14 you will get a big sandwich (grosse Pide) at Manta Bar, Bahnhofstrasse 42. Prepare for a line-up, not much space inside to eat it (they have tables outside in the summer), a waiting time to warm up the sandwich, but it’s fresh and tastes great. My favorite one is the chicken and pesto. They always ask you if you want some chili oil in it, so be careful what you answer here!

If you like Japanese noodle soups and are around Stauffacher, you could try Ooki: http://www.ooki.ch/ at Bäckerstrasse 39. The place is very small, so you need to be ready to wait for a table, but the soups are great and cheap. There is not much more than soups though (some giozas and onigiris- which can be very filling as well!), so you need to like them. Drinks are expensive, but so are they everywhere else in the city. You can always ask for tap water. Some waiters are rude enough to give you a mean look, but usually it’s fine to ask.

Hope that helps Aaron and some others! If you have any other cheap spots you’d like to share, please do leave some comments.


06 March 2010

A cheese fondue in a chalet at the airport

A cheese fondue just tastes better in a chalet up in the mountains. Unfortunately we cannot spend all our weekends in the Alps. So if you want to have a good fondue, in a traditional chalet, head to the airport. At Barraca Zermat, next to the bus terminal of the airport, you will find a typical Swiss chalet with the usual cheese fondue menu.

There is a lot to appreciate from this restaurant:

- They always have a “Gruss aus der Küche” (amuse-bouche). This time we had a great carrot soup.

- They serve the fondue with 2 different breads and potatoes. I just love the potatoes!

- They give you some Matterhorn chocolates with your bill. These are delicious! I would say perhaps a chocolate cream with caramel and a pinch of salt. Brilliant!

We had the Ricola fondue. As you can imagine, it was the one with herbs. It was very good.

However my favorite herb fondue is the Gletscherfondue from Pontresina and I order it online on http://www.sennerei-pontresina.ch/index2.html and it takes about 2 days to arrive. Their other fondues are great too. I think you can find them at most Globus Delicatessa, though they never have the herb one.

Barraca Zermatt will be opened until the end of March and then again from November on. In the sommer months, they move to the top of the AlpenRock House and serve “Tatar Hut” grill food. I’ve never had it, might go have a try and report on it.

For more info: http://baraccazermatt.ch/index.html and the sommer one: www.chaletedelwiis.ch (not really readable, hopefully it will work soon).


02 March 2010

The Spice Gourmet is looking for a new place

My favorite Indian restaurant is looking for a new place. Not sure why, perhaps the restaurant is too small with its 16 places, but if you know of a place, please contact them.

Otherwise go have a meal before 30 April! It’s a less than five minute walk from the train/tram station Enge. Their menu is quite short, but everything is fresh and delicious. Be careful: sometime very spicy! I love to start with the avocado & mango salad followed by a chicken tikka masala (with naan bread!) and no dessert but a chai tea. Their chai is perfect. I’ve never been to India, but I like to think it’s the real thing. They have a special lunch menu, but it’s not much cheaper than the evening one. I have been twice in 3 days and I paid 80.- CHF for dinner with some wine and almost a CHF 100.- for lunch for two (we shared an apetizer, just one drink each, no dessert, but coffee& chai).

Service here is great. It’s always the same agreable man. I think he’s the owner. He waits on all table, so perhaps you should not be in a rush. Indian restaurants tend to be kitschy, but not this place. It’s minimalistic and warm. I just noticed yesterday their shelf to exchange Indian books, isn’t it great! I loved the idea!

So here is the website: http://www.spice-kitchen.ch/ if you have a good new place for them, do contact them. We’ll all be greatful to keep this jewel in town.