I’ve visited most of the World Cup Bars; but for some weird reason, I was stuck in Rosenlaui during the Honduras – Switzerland game. There is no mobile phone reception at the hotel, they do not have a tv and WiFi still seems a century away. The hotel director of the Rosenlaui obviously lacks any understanding for football experts. So the only option is to walk 20 minutes, climb a hill and listen to the radio. Well the view was great, the seating uncomfortable (rock in a meadow) and no tv, just live ticker and Hans Peter Latour on DRS 4. Wins on atmosphere, loses on comfort – and the question remains, if Chile’s offside goal wouldn’t have counted, we’d be on our way to the finals!
In the middle of nowhere, the hotel Rosenlaui has found its niche. Near Meiringen and the Reichenbach waterfall (where Sherlock Holmes almost died) the hotel is part of the smallest town in Switzerland. There is nothing except the lovely hotel, which has been tastefully upgraded but is lacking classic luxury. Most rooms do not have ensuite bathrooms, but there is a game room, a reading room and a separate library. Dinner started of with a nice Riesling soup and was followed by a very fresh and tasty summer salad with some goat cheese. The bread which was served, however could have been tastier. Main course was a veal steak with vegetables and some potatoes. Now vegetables which is plural, was not quite met, since it was just zucchini and for some weird reason – cherries. The steak could have been a bit more tender and the potatoes could have been crunchier. Still – the red wine prices were very fair and the atmosphere one of a kind! Only downside was the sheer number of teutonic invaders, we were glad that sauerkraut was not on the menu. If you want to stay at this hotel you need to reserve very, very early. Still 250 CHF including a room for two is a great deal.
Saigon opened a new place on Birmensdorfer- strasse next to the Schmiede Wiedikon. It used to be a cafe and now serves vietnamese food. There seems to be a bit of a cluster of Vietnam themed restaurants in Wiedikon. I went for lunch and started with some Tofu Wantons with sweet chili sauce. They were homemade and nicely seasoned, but I would have preferred some other filling than tofu. Everynow and then I give it a shot, but my sympathy for vegan lifestyles is on the same level as my sympathy for dogs in restaurants. Main course was chicken with ginger and rice, nice taste and nice size dportion. I liked that a lot of the dishes are homemade. Comparing it to the other Vietnamese places in Zurich it has the nicest interior but lacks something to clearly differentiate it in terms of food. Prices:
Poushe Cafe Bar has opened a new place on the corner of Berta- and Aemtlerstrasse. The bar is really tiny, offering 3 small tables and a bar. Poushe positions itself as a Cafe Bar with a heavy focus on strudels and pastries. There were two strudels on offer, one with meat and vegetables and one with berries. There’s a small buffet which also carries some salads and I opted for a helping of Tzaziki salad. Strudel was excellent and the sweet pepper with the meat gives away the eastern european origin of quite some of the recipes here. The Tzaziki was too salty for my taste. Including an espresso and a mineral I paid 19 CHF. I really liked that everything was homemade and fresh and you can even look at the chef preparing it. Only downside – not enough sitting space.
Public Viewing is not a big thing in Odessa also the number of niche bars dedicated to the world cup is limited. Reading kyrillic letters and speaking Russian is not our forte so we had no idea what the microbrewery’s name was, where we went to see football in the City Gardens. Anyway beer was cheap, the location so-so for world cup watching and it had a strong german influence, serving bratwurst and the like….
As soon as the world cup comes around, all the amateur football fans start coming out of their dark hiding places. Hence some of the bars are full with greenhorns and women. If you’re looking for a bar for experts, check out the Zentralstube. The average patron is over 50 and the place is really dated, but it has two large plasma screens facing the street. This implies you can sit outside, have a great view of what’s happening and smoke if you’re among the remaining opressed second class citizens. If football is all you want, you’re absolutely right here. You will never have an issue with finding a seat.
It’s the world cup and real life stops for two weeks, for intense bar hopping. The biggest football nerd in Switzerland runs a little place the Bombay Bar which has an indoor and an outdoor viewing area. A nice touch is the Bratwurst (4 CHF) which you can buy and grill yourself. The only thing to keep in mind is to arrive early if you want a good seat. The funniest thing here certainly are the toilets, the international sign for the ladies is Alain Sutter with long hair and for the men it’s Alain Sutter with short hair.