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  #21  
Old 15.02.2012, 14:01
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

Actually I did eat at the Parkhotel in Zug a couple of times when we were staying there and the food was very good, though expensive.
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  #22  
Old 15.02.2012, 14:01
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

What's also surprising (at least to me) is how many swiss friends actually like and PRAISE the quality of some restaurants. I mean, they are ok, but words like "fantastic" for what is really an ordinary meal are a bit much.
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  #23  
Old 15.02.2012, 14:09
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

Speaking of which...

An interesting article in the Tagi, written by a Swiss 'Gastroexperte', admonishing restauranteurs to clean up their act, especially wrt friendliness towards patrons. Essentially he is telling restaurant owners that if they are losing business it's likely a case of 'selber schuld'.

http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/leben/es...story/15907995
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  #24  
Old 15.02.2012, 14:10
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

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What's also surprising (at least to me) is how many swiss friends actually like and PRAISE the quality of some restaurants. I mean, they are ok, but words like "fantastic" for what is really an ordinary meal are a bit much.
Maybe it is the only experiences they have? You don't know how good a dish is as long as you don't have the real thing!
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Old 15.02.2012, 14:12
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

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Due to popular demand, (well, ecb anyway) ...

... given that one of the dishes on offer was chicken breast, with red wine sauce, prawns and a fried egg
It was worth the wait. Wiping tears of laughter away at that one

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For the next time: A Wiener schnitzel should not be grey or overpriced.

But it has to be thin and it has to be fried in a lot of butter or cooking fat. Otherwise it is simply not a Wiener Schnitzel.
Tend to agree. A few years ago we were in Vienna and tracked down this little tavern place which both our guide books said have the traditional and best prepared Wiener Schnitzel in all Vienna. Well it wasn't grey, but it was less than 50mm thick, and on the other hand it filled an entire huge dinner plate (fries had to come on their own plate). It was totally delicious too .
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Old 15.02.2012, 14:13
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

Just checked the menu, and the Parkhotel Langenthal has Schnitzel for 30.50 CHF. Entrecote is 36 CHF and the quality is great.

This is so subject to experience, though, so I don't doubt Nicolaschulz's experience at all.
As Samweisevielleicht says, if you know the scene, it is easier, but as an ex-pat, I think it would be more difficult.
When I go to London, I don't have great dining experiences, but I would put this down to not knowing where exactly to go for good food and service. I wouldn't immediately assume that all London is crap because of my experiences there.
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Old 15.02.2012, 14:15
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

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I wouldn't immediately assume that all London is crap because of my experiences there.
Well, it's in England afterall. The food must be great though.
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  #28  
Old 15.02.2012, 14:17
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

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Some people here have posted that the reason for the bad restaruant experience is because the wait staff don't work on tips.

That might explain some of the grumpy service, but it doesn't explain the lack of atmosphere, lack of originality on the menu, crap tasting food, lack of wine and beer choices, or high prices.

I've been in Switzerland for two years now, and maybe the restaurants in Basel are worse than elsewhere, but the typically dire experience in any of them has meant I've actually saved quite a lot of money living and working here. I'd usually dine out a few times a week in London (and a few times a day when I lived in China) but here I almost refuse to go into restaurants instead cooking for myself or hopping over the border.
You, know, I have to say...This website keeps me sane. When I am out and about and have a thought/reaction, sure enough EF will enlighten me as to others with the same experience.

Before my partner and I moved here, we had friends back in the States who have relatives in Switzerland. They told us when they visited them, they never went out, adding that Migros/Coop will be our close friends. I've learned Geant is where I spend my time.

And after being here for only a few months, we find comfort in dining at our home with friends as well. It means much more.

I wonder who continues to pay these prices to keep these restaurants in business.

And with a restaurant/hospitality background, I would have been seriously reprimanded if I treated people the way the OP was treated. I would have lodged a complaint (of course, after the food was served...I've seen too much behind the scenes)...
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  #29  
Old 15.02.2012, 14:17
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

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Anyway, my husband took me to a restaurant last night to celebrate my birthday Valentine's Day and our anniversary, on the recommendation of a colleague.

Lucky (and clever) hubby to only have one date to remember. Wonder if that's why your wedding day was selected as 14th Feb too.....was it his idea by any chance?
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  #30  
Old 15.02.2012, 14:17
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

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But it has to be thin and it has to be fried in a lot of butter or cooking fat. Otherwise it is simply not a Wiener Schnitzel.
Ahh, OK. My husband is German and maybe they are served differently there.
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Old 15.02.2012, 14:18
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

Nicolaschulz - when I read about the dish on offer at your restaurant, I reckoned it could be 'chicken marengo' :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_Marengo

Vive la France!!
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  #32  
Old 15.02.2012, 14:23
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

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Anyway, my husband took me to a restaurant last night to celebrate my birthday Valentine's Day and our anniversary, on the recommendation of a colleague.

To say that we had a disappointing experience, both in terms of food and service, would be a huge understatement. On arrival, I asked if there was an English menu available, which was met with a very curt "Nein". My husband translated the menu and, given that one of the dishes on offer was chicken breast, with red wine sauce, prawns and a fried egg (!!), we both opted for the Schnitzel.
You ate a schnitzel on Valentine's Day?
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  #33  
Old 15.02.2012, 14:23
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

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Nicolaschulz - when I read about the dish on offer at your restaurant, I reckoned it could be 'chicken marengo' :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_Marengo

Vive la France!!
he he - thank you! Although something tells me that what we would have been served at this restaurant would not have looked as enticing as your recipe
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  #34  
Old 15.02.2012, 14:29
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

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You ate a schnitzel on Valentine's Day?
Yes, but only because it seemed the lesser of several evils.

I forgot to add that I write restaurant reviews in Malta for a friend who publishes a local restaurant guide. I would love to do that here, although I dare say if I did I would open my front door on a daily basis to a barrage of sheep's heads and the like (at best)
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Old 15.02.2012, 14:37
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

Sometimes I wonder how these restaurants survive. It happened to me that an Entrecote, when served after one hour of waiting, was still frozen in the middle. The waitress told me "sorry, we are going to roast it some more" (???!!!). I refused to stay and just paid my drink.

On another occasion I found some plastic foil which is used to seperate two pieces of frozen fish still between the two pieces. Last time I ate there, the cooks should be ashamed. And I grew up in Restaurants as my parents owned some. I also worked in a food laboratory and had some insight from that side. Sometimes I was really shocked.

I also don't get why Restaurant owners don't insist that the waitres grant at least a "normal" service. This means ask the client from time to time if he needs something, pay attention to the whole restaurant and so on. That would generate some more money and tips.

I guess the prices and the bad service is why we swiss invite friends rather to our place and cook something nice than eat out.
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  #36  
Old 15.02.2012, 14:40
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

Ok - anyone fancy coming round to mine? I love cooking and I don't charge much
Just bring the booze ..!!

(I promise I won't do chicken marengo)
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  #37  
Old 15.02.2012, 14:45
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

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it was less than 50mm thick,
I hope you're out by a factor 10. 50mm is close to 2".

Another thing about "Wiener" Schnitzel is that it has to be veal. Pork or Chicken can only be "Viennese style" ("Wiener Art").
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  #38  
Old 15.02.2012, 14:46
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

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Maybe it is the only experiences they have? You don't know how good a dish is as long as you don't have the real thing!
Exactly! This country is filled with food virgins

Perhaps that's why all the expats are considered loose and whiny?

I tend to frequent small places that remember me. Once you become a (friendly) regular, it's a much better experience.
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  #39  
Old 15.02.2012, 14:51
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

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I hope you're out by a factor 10. 50mm is close to 2".

Another thing about "Wiener" Schnitzel is that it has to be veal. Pork or Chicken can only be "Viennese style" ("Wiener Art").
Apologies! yes I wrote that incorrectly .. it was well under a cm thick, and infact looking at my ruler I'd say it was probably even thinner than 5mm, and it was made from veal.
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Old 15.02.2012, 14:59
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Re: Swiss restaurant dining experience

I used to run a foodie blog and put restaurant reviews up - unfortunately it got hacked and vandalised so I closed it down as I didn't have the time or energy to fix it.

Having lived in CH (Basel and Zürich) for more than 10 years, I have to say that my restaurant experiences have rarely gone above the mediocre, both in terms of food and service.

Now that we have NickJnr - and we are currently living on just my wage - we eat out very rarely. I much prefer to cook at home, spending my money on quality ingredients and finer wines than we can afford to drink in a restaurant.

We recently spent a few days in Edinburgh - we lived for a few years before we came to CH. Eating out in the UK remains a hit-and-miss affair but we were reminded of the eclectic mix of eating out possibilities and and a quality per price ratio that we have forgotten about. And not a po-faced waiter in sight!

To find anything comparable in Basel or Zürich to what we had in Edinburgh, we've easily paid in excess of SFr200 for a meal for 2.

Like adrianlondon, in Edinburgh we used to dine out in comparative style a couple of times per week. Here it is more like a couple of times per year.

Cheers,
Nick

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Yes, but only because it seemed the lesser of several evils.

I forgot to add that I write restaurant reviews in Malta for a friend who publishes a local restaurant guide. I would love to do that here, although I dare say if I did I would open my front door on a daily basis to a barrage of sheep's heads and the like (at best)
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