Posts tagged ‘Meat’
So I’ve been longing to try some real BBQ in the south of the US, and the Rolling Bones BBQ seemed just like the place. One of the gentlemen who I met up at this converted gas station seemed a little jumpy due to the surroundings, I can tell you that even though I was wearing a suit, nothing happened. Apparently when I got out of the cab some other patrons had to chuckle, this doesn’t seem to be your type of establishment where people go to by taxi. The place is like a fast food joint, you grab your meat at the counter and sit down to eat. I started off with some ribs, which were juicy, smoky and had a decent (not spectacular) sauce on top. I’m not quite sure what this white stuff was, apparently the americans call it bread, it felt more like the stuffing material inside a cheap couch. On the plus side was the brisket, again smoky, with a rich, umami taste to it. My favourite part however was the pork taco I had, simply delicious. I’d have to deduct some points for the side orders, neither the Ocra nor the Cole Slaw were sizzling. Overall a good BBQ joing, cheap and of high quality. Just sitting in the dining room, when they opened an oven it smelt beautiful. To be fair, if you scare easily, not the place you would want to walk to.
Damn – I need more money. I have a couple of restaurants in my head which I know would do great in Zurich, one of them was a decent steakhouse. So your favorite food critic was a tad dismayed to see that a place called Goodman has opened. The restaurant is somewhat challenging to find, since it’s hidden behind some scaffolding. The vibe is clearly inspired by classic american steakhouses, dark wood, leathery seats and decorated windows. Now I’m neithed an expert in carpentry nor in upholstery, but I wasn’t convinced that it was natural leather and wooden tables, it felt a bit too perfect and new. The menu is small and cuts right to the chase, meat in all kind of varities plus some appetizers. What I was missing was a great shrimp cocktail and maybe some more seafood options. The most expensive thing you could order was a porterhouse steak (2.2 lbs / 1.1 kg) for a whopping 200 CHF (200 USD). Now I’m not the saving-for-when-I-get-old-type, but even I find 200 bucks for a kilogram of meat vulgar. There was a striploin steak on the menu. I asked the waiter if that differs from sirloin and he told me no, it was just british english for sirloin… Now if you’re bragging you’re doing steak, you should train your staff to know that difference and avoid spreading false information. Also being able to understand the french cooking grades of meat (bleu, saignant, à point, bien cuit) and not having to guess helps. My appetizer was a Caesar salad, nicely done with romaine lettuce and a decent sauce. I wasn’t quite sure if it contained raw eggs and a sardine, but it was certainly a decent version. I need to call out the bread, it was some kind of ready-bake stuff and just not up to standards and disappointing. The striploin steak (a different cut than a sirloin) had a nice dry aged taste and was cooked they way I ordered it. What needs to be called out especially are the frothy and tarragony sauce Bernaise as well as the hand cut french fries which were excellent. The place is going to very popular with expense account holders, inner city businessmen and middle aged drunks (the four gentlemen causing a racaus vis-a-vis my table account to that). Value wise it just doesn’t cut it -70 swiss francs for a piece of meat isn’t worth it, if the surroundings arent’t perfect. The Eisenhof fillet is the better option if you’re looking for meat, Beef Club for the meat cart, the Goodman’s is recommendable if you’re conducting business or need to impress a German. Finances:
Looking for a special place in Wiedikon Baranes Grill as a kosher place fits the bill. Being new to kosher food, this looked like the place to check out this way of cooking. It felt a bit strange walking in here, since the place does have a special vibe. On the table were some vegetable sticks and dips, certainly a nice and fresh touch. Starter was hummus with warm mushrooms. The dish was tasty, the mushrooms adding a nice flavor and raising hopes for the main course. Apparently kosher restaurants serve either meat or milk products, due to the kosher diet regulations. If they were serving pizza (milk) and hamburgers (Meat) , they would have to have separate silverware, china and even kitches to be in line with kosher regulations. So the main course was mixed kebab skewers and homemade fries. We were excited since good grilled meat and tasty french fries are a comfort food and a sure bet. To cut the suspense – it was horrible. The french fries were probably bathed in oil instead of being fried and lacked any crispiness. The even bigger disappointment was the meat – it was bland, dry and reminded of chewing on an eraser. We even found out why – a friend at the bar afterwards told us that jewish kosher slaughter (same goes for halal meat) leads to the anmal being completely bled dry. So this slaughter method removes taste and juicyness from your steak. The good news here is, that the Baranes Grill didn’t screw anything up, the meat is meant to taste this way. The obvious conclusion – if you’re invited to a place serving real kosher or halal meat – come up with an excuse, fast.
Grill House Club is difficult to actually enter. The door is locked and until you figure out that you need to ring the tiny bell to get someone to open the door takes a bit of ingenouity. My appetizer were quail eggs with liver on toast, surprisingly quite a nice dish, only the toast was off. The next menu was a real howler, the menu had it listed as Grilled Bull’s Balls and I just couldn’t resist. I decided on giving my already naturally high testosterone level an even higher boost. Tyler Hamilton should have used this argument to explain his hormone levels which led him to lose his Tour de France win. The taste was interesting a sort of creamy chicken taste and the texture comparable to kidney. Surprisingly the potato strings which went along with the balls were excellent. Actually a hint of french fine dining in Chisinau. My rib with sesame and grilled vegetable wasn’t good, it was lacking taste and was overcooked, I should have gone for the steaks. My colleagures were ecstatic about theirs. Prices were off the hook for Chisinau, absolutely comparable to Switzerland. Coming back to high testosterone levels, not sure if that’s the case with every professional football player who just happens to be lounging in the Leo Grand hotel bar…
The old Rebluus, which was run by Felix, has turned from a dark watering hole in a not so dark restaurant, called Don Carlos Asador. It dubs itself as an argentinan grill, since I’ve come off a year long path of wrongdoing and living vegan, this seems to be the place to end my suffering and ill-guided journey through this world. The whole restaurant has a bit of a weird layout, since the bar area is still intact, with a dining room added at the back. Looking at the menu, it becomes obvious that Dieter Meier and his Ojo de Agua meat and wine seem to be omnipresent in Zurich’s dining scene. The onion soup, has a nice level of sweetness and makes for a decent starter. My main course was an entrecote (nicely cut) and a bit stronger in texture (typical for meat from Argentina) than european beef. Really nice is the Chimichurri – argentinian “vinaigrette” served with the meat. The sweet potato is sweet…. but doesn’t go that well with the meat. Prices are okay.
La Cote used to be located at the Lagerstrasse but has moved on to Kalkbreite- strasse. Interior is rather classic old eatery, with white tablecloths. Again not a place for vegans but for meat connaisseurs. Not much action happening on Monday a night, save for a guy walking in to the place and sitting at “his” table, getting an already opened bottle of “his” red wine and two dogs lying under the table. Dogs have no place in a dining room and I never understand why restaurants allow people to bring their pets to the establishment. The amuse-bouche at this place is always an Aubergine, excessivley sour and void of any salt. I never got through to understanding this part of the meal, but they’ve been insisting on it for years, so I put it behind me as quickly as I could. As an appetizer I chose some porcini (Steinpilze), lightly caramelized, a bit of oil and ample serving, all in all a very nice plate. The fun at la Cote is always the Charbonnade. You get a hot small barbeque with hot coals put on the table in front of you. Meat, fries and sauces are served as much as you like. The sauces are homemade, the fries are decent and the meat is good. The only down side is, that it is so much fun grilling your own meat, that at the end of the meal your stomach is so full you really feel like rolling over into your bed and going to sleep. Since my bed is not next to table at La Cote I had to settle for a spirit to kick my mentabolism into high gear. The Charbonnade sets you back 52 CHF (plus drinks)
Have you ever stood in front of the menu posted outside and wondered whether to go in or not? Certainly – but have you ever been approached by people sitting in the restaurant who got up to tell you that you really have to eat here because the food is great ? It so happened at the Pergola . It felt warm and welcoming when coming in and we were greeted in a friendly manner. The interior looks like a restaurant you’d see on Columbo, but it adds to the charme. I ordered Sepia Pergola (cuttlefish) which was served in a small pan, slighlty spicy with garlic and was a decent starter. I’d have preferred a bit more lemon juice and a bit more spice, but at least the Sepia was cooked right. What really got me drooling was my main course. The vegetables were nice – but not the center of my personal attention – it was the filet of beef I had ordered. It was served in a separate metal and very hot pan. Again I see my bypass operation coming closer because the amount of butter in which it was cooked was incredible and it tasted fantastic. Juicy and red in the center, in the sizzling butter – that’s the way to serve meat.
The guys from Peter Luger should take a lesson here and learn that there are other ways to prepare meat than just burning it. Pergola is a great neighborhood eatery, prices are not cheap – but decent for the food:
The Gertrudhof is another one of the dark and not so certain what to expect swiss local eateries. Sporting around 30 seats and a expatfree, no non-swiss clientele you get the idea of the type of place this is. Their claim to fame are Cordon bleus with different types of filling. If you call in advance you can order one with a whopping total weight of 1.7 kg and the filling of your choice – a maximum of three people are allowed to participate in this rite of carnivorous passage. We ordered normal sized Cordon bleus (there’s also the option of getting a small one). I had one called “Mir-isch-es-glich”, filled with cheese, spicy tomatoes, onions, garlic and bacon. I was skeptical before starting to eat, but it tasted great – you know that satisfying feeling of biting into a Kebab and well knowing people around you will smell it for the next couple of days ? That’s what you feel when digging into one of these Cordon bleus. Asides from that it also tasted great – strong, dominant flavours but well seasoned and they all worked well together. You shouldn’t mind cigarette smoke and be able to at least read german to find your way around here.
Prices were okay – neither cheap nor expensive – 30 CHF for the Cordon bleu.
The Aargauerhof used to be a real rough place at the corner of Lang- and Hohlstrasse. You’d show up and get a table between the alcoholics and the junkies. Every couple of minutes the waitress (more of a very strict matron) would walk over to a table, wake up the junkie which had fallen asleep and throw him out the door. Why would you go there? Because the roeschti was the best I ever had. The cook would make it fresh every time and you’d have to wait. After you’d been served he’d show back up in the dining room smoking a big fat stinking cigar. The good old days are no more and the Aargauerhof has been turned into a shinier place. There’s still a small section for the alcoholics at the bar, but the place draws more to chic Kreis 4 clientele than your person in unstable living conditions with substance abuse issues.
We had a small dinner my friend opted for the salad bowl “Veronique” – need I comment the name ? I opted for a pork steak. The size of it was phenomenal for the price I paid. It was a tad dry but otherwise tasty and well-cooked, a real bargain. As a side dish I opted for spinach, which was made fresh and went surprisingly well with the pork. None of the food was stellar or worthy of any Michelin stars, but it’s good and at a decent price:
From the outside the Bernerhof looks rather shabby and rundown on a quick look, but the appearence is deceiving, it’s quite a nice place. The menu caused me to raise an eyebrow. They offer classic austrian food, a “famous” fondue chinoise and thai curries. Some people might find this a “lovely combination” , “a brave mix of different cuisines and styles” or “leveraging exquisite taste experiences from across the globe”, I find it incredible stupid. It’s like buying a Zurich Geschnetzeltes at a Kebab stand (something which I’ve done before and have come to regret it the following day). Anyway I was torn between the Tafelspitz and the fondue, my partner in crime was into the fondue so we decided on that. There’s not much you can screw up on a fondue chinoise, except serving readymade sauces, using too light a broth, offering tofu…, none of all this happened. We got rice, french fries, meat, homemade sauces and vegetables a discretion (eat as much as you like). Meat was pork, beef and chicken – which gives the place a negative mark in my book since chicken is a boring meat for fondue. The sauces weren’t really spectacular (bbq – tasted like salsa-, garlic, curry and cocktail), at least they were mayonaise based and homemade. I did like the idea of the vegetables to cook in the broth, that was a nice and fresh touch. All in all, certainly a decent fondue chinoise but too expensive. In most parts of Switzerland you will get a discretion fondue chinoise for considerably less. I remember the restaurant Ochsen in Herisau (which is also a butcher) which during my military recruitement school offered fondue chinoise for 28 CHF. That means you can even pay for the train from Zurich and back. Then again, you want to impress a meat loving woman – go to the Bernerhof and talk about your bonus as a diversity and inclusion manager: