Schlössli, Neufrankengasse, Zürich
The Yuppisiation of the Langstrasse is in full gear. The Seefeld is dead at night, except for some german immigrants who read the Lonely Planet (instead of your favorite web site right here) and even worse is the Niederdorf, where all the idiots with pimped automobiles from Aargau spend their time. A new trend seems to be the “Beiz-light”, for people who can’t take a real “Beiz”. A Beiz is a restaurant built in the last century which hasn’t been renovated for at least 20 years, filled with wooden furniture and old junk on the walls. The owner works behind a buffet (counter), where all the drinks are filled and a reach-through leads to the kitchen where the plates are prepared. A Beiz is always a smoking restaurant, 50% of the revenue is made with drinks and the Stammtisch is in the hands of Swiss people over 50 with a tendency to vote conservativley. You grab a free seat, hope not to get involved in a boring conversation with your neighbor (for example with Nemo or Kari at the Rheinfelder) and order a “Grosses” (big beer). Surprisingly the food tends to be great at these places, even if the surroundings look like 1962. Now obviously for younger people this is deemed too rough and a lot of these old great “Beizen” have been replaced. Aargauerhof is the prime example, but places like Eichhörnli or Lade are essentially the same type of “Beiz-light”. But there are some gems! And one of those is the Schlössli at Neufrankengasse (just off Langstrasse). Here even the waitress is already drunk at 7 pm (we had to repeat our order multiple times). The menu is very classic and we go for the Suppentopf. It’s advertised as a broth with vegetables, sausage, meat and bone marrow. The lady who does all the cooking, really knows traditional swiss food, no wonder, she cooked almost ten years for Mrs Rosa Tschudi. It feels homey and soothing when a big pot filled with sausages, lumps of meat and vegetables is placed in front of you. The broth is light and tasty, simply a surprisingly well balanced soup. Everybody smokes, everybody drinks and the few eaters do so while being reminded of the good old days. Welcome to a real Beiz!