No pictures – we were sitting outside and it was too dark. Studer’s is located in the drinking spot for youths and secondos in Zurich, between Escher Wyss Platz and Bahnhof Hardbrücke. It seems a bit strange place for a restaurant to open, since it’s less of a fine dining spot. The menu is very concise and has a couple of traditional swiss dishes on it. I reserved a table for three at 8pm on Saturday night, it wasn’t necessary the place was almost deserted. Either it hasn’t caught on yet or the crowd just isn’t digging it. I had a salad with house dressing (italian) – decent, but nothing to come back for – and ordered the pasta with chanterelles (Einerschwämmli) and cherry tomatoes. It was delicious and I was quite surprised, I’d expected worse.
All in all a good place to grab a decent bite to eat with friends – not recommended for a more serious dining experience. Salad, Pasta, 2x 3dl Turbinenbräu beer, 37 CHF, quite okay for a sit down meal.
I spent a whopping 10.40 CHF at the Burger King, a typical case of needing it right here and now and thus dropping all better judgement. The Onion rings were carbo-hydro-nitro-something, the onion tast and the salt got lost somewhere in between the factory in Kentucky and the arrival port in Rotterdam. Onion rings are junk food, but they could be made in a tasty way. The burger was like a bad Big Mac. It lacked something tomatoey and the buns weren’t toasted sufficiently. There’s some strange sauce in here and the meat doesn’t taste like proper hamburger meat. The worst part is always when you have a small appetite and walk past a burger place, some chemical in the food is hitting your nose and suddenly you have this huge urge to eat a cheap burger. 5 minutes later you feel a bit sick. I’m sure the guys which designed my cigarettes and pimped them so that I can’t quit, are now working for the junk food industry and are ensuring that people feel the same way I do when walking past a burger joint.
Quick lunch at Hiltl, the first and oldest vegetarian restaurant in Zurich, it’s been around for roughly a century. Now, I personally think vegan lifestyles is something for Shemales and I’m only somewhat more thrilled by pure vegetarian restaurants. But Hiltl’s quality of food is quite nice and I’ve eaten decently in the past, my favorite being their salad buffet (although pricey) and the Riz Colonial. What I really detest about Hiltl, is the techno-sleek feeling it imposes. Everything is organized, optimised and ready to be synergized. Waiters with head-sets and WiFi-Triple Band communication gadgets, leave the impression that turnover of tables is the key mantra of the Hiltl.
We got a nice table outside on a beautiful day. As in all “well-frequented” Zurich restaurants, I’m not the paying customer which needs pampering, no I have to be glad to be actually allowed in to eat here. We were seated promptly (I had reserved in advance) but It took the waitress a considerable amount to take care of us. Ordering was a bit strange, the glass of wine I wanted from the menu (white house wine) was probably sold out[original quote], the waitress said she’ll find out, I’m still waiting for an answer. My partner’s order for 2dl of wine (price on the menu per dl) was denied, the Hiltl only has caraffes with a size of 2.5dl. Lack of meat seems to cloud the ability of the brain to think straight.
Anyway we had a salad and a tomato gazpacho with cucumber. The salad was good, I really liked the gazpacho, some lightly sauteed scallions were added which gave it a bit of a zing. The croutons were sitting in the soup to long and were too soggy. For mains we had a libanese badingal, a sort of ratatouille with cous-couse and whole wheat penne with mushrooms. The cous-cous was good and especially the arabic seasoning on the vegetables was excellent. I made the error of ordering whole wheat pasta, which is just lacking the silky sexiness of normal pasta. Otherwise it was okay, I liked the mushrooms. Price for salad, gazpacho, badingal, penne, 5dl sparkling water, 1 espresso and a glass of wine was 78 CHF. Not a bad choice for lunch, but not spectacular (except the salad bar).
Büscion / Buescion is a lovely place which just opened up on one of the busiest streets in Zurich (Weststrasse). It calls itself a Osteria e vino ticineso, thus offering specialities from the italian speaking part of Switzerland. I’m guessing this is an owner run place, by someone who is venturing into the restaurant business for the first time. A very lovely and charming lady, Gabriella welcomed us in the place. She was extremly sweet and you could feel that she really cares about food from the Ticino and is determined to show her passion to her guests. Service isn’t perfect, but it’s honest and with love, something which I value very highly in such a “terroir” restaurant. I certainly prefer it to snotty german waiters in the Park Hyatt, acting about as cuddly as my former drill seargant in the army.
We started our meal off with a plate of cold meats to share between the two of us. I’ve never had “lardo”, which looks like the white part of a strip of bacon (and essentially it is). A lovely taste of fat, meat, salt and herbs fills your nostrils and mouth – I could have done with a second serving… The real relevation is the bread however, rustic, simple, delicious. We shared an perfect tomato & white bean salad, it’s summer and the tomatoes tasted liked it. The minestrone was too bland and not thick enough. Even though the vegetables were perfect, hand cut, the pasta in the minestrone was spot on, but I guess this is the difference in tastes between men and women. Men like a bit more powerful flavors (more salt, pepper, herbs) than women. First main a ragu with a tomato sauce flavored by salsicche, was lackin a bit of a more powerful sausage taste. The homemade Gnocchi (as usual not as firm as the factory ones) again very subtle flavors, but I had to grate some more cheese on them. I also though they where so delicate, that I got fed up with them very quickly. The perfect ending was the dessert of the day – a light crema di lemon with grappa, the truly perfect ending to a good meal. I will be back and I’m looking forward to it – details on prices, see here:
How bad can it get ? We grabbed lunch at a nice little place in Bern, the Bio Peppe Takeaway, which sells Sandwiches, Pasta and Italian specialities. I had a look at the pasta on offer and decided to go for the Tortellini a panna e proscuitto (Tortellini with cream and ham). It was horrible. I can only imagine that it was bought at the outlet from the main meal supplier of the Russian Army located in Novosibirsk. There was no love, let alone flavor or texture in that meal. The prepackaged dish was cooked in what looked like a fancy microwave. He did add some fresh ground pepper to it, but sprinkling dog poo with gold, doesn’t turn it into a fashionable accessory either. The tortellini were either searing hot or frozen cold, the sauce was thin and tasteless, all in all a horrible meal.
Takeaway dish and 5dl sparkling mineral water – CHF 11.50. Too expensive, since there was no quality. I wonder, why I bother ….
The Restaurant Zebra in Bern has a unique selling point, a wonderful garden. There is gravel on the ground and a whole set of beautiful trees giving shade to the complete garden. The place was buzzing for lunch, no tables were available without a reservation, so call ahead if you feel like eating there.
The menu is concise and displayed on a wall. Certainly convenient for the staff, but a pain trying to read it from across the garden. Printing the menu out and propping it onto the table isn’t that much work… We kicked our meal off with a menu salad, nothing special. Main Course was great, excellent price, spot on for lunch. This was one of the best pork steaks I’ve had, crunchy and caramelized exterior, wet and soft center. The Gnocchi were actually homemade, you could feel the love of a big fat italian mamma coming at you through this plate. The Marsala sauce went nicely with the Gnocchi. The only bad part were the vegetables, they looked very nice, but like a photoshopped bikini babe in Playboy, they fell short on a closeup and personal inspection. Underseasoned, overcooked.
Salad, Steak with Gnocchi, 2x 3dl Cokes put me out 26.10 CHF. Great place for a summer lunch, decent prices.
For lunch we went to a swank little place called Veranda, the interior of the restaurant is a bit like an upperclass IKEA shop. Lot’s of wood in an otherwise beautiful place. It seems to draw a bit more upon affluent, environmentally conscious women, than your average male food conaisseur. If your looking for a rich and fun widow to date, this definitely seems the place to be. The menu is very concise during lunch time, something which I value greatly. We had a pumpkin soup, a small salad, lamb with bulgur and peppermint. The pumpkin soup was tasty and spicy (a hint of curry was present, maybe even some saffron) but not thick enough, the consistency was too watery. The main course was a small disappointment. The lamb itself was spot on, but the whole junk around it, really affected the dish. Sauce, almonds and apricots were added to the beautiful lamb. Whomever dreamt up the idea of sprinkling apricot on a piece of lamb, should find himself in a new job acquiring fresh members of the Blue Cross at the next Botellon. I wasn’t crazy about the Bulgur either, the mint killed it and it was lacking salt. Eating the Bulgur felt comparable to smoking a menthol cigarette.
Desert was a lemon tiramisu, which looked and smelled great. It tasted quiet good, but it got tiring very quickly. The reason lies in it’s heaviness. Too much mascarpone and not enough airy fluffiness. Very unfortunate, because I liked the concept of the dish.
Value for money is great! 32.70 CHF for salad, soup, mains, dessert and a 3dl Coke, the menu without dessert and coke was 21 CHF.