What is this?

During one of the usual Saturday’s trips to Zurich with my family, I found out a unique “thing”…
Just at Bellevue, the main square next to the lake, I saw a strange polygonal light blue shape.

I went closer to see: it is not a ship! it is not a boat! it is neither a normal house nor the Addams Family’s mansion! But it floats on the water!
It seems a building arrived here from a fairy tale: the pastel colour, the weird shape, and the magic mood around it…
I went closer and closer and finally I discovered it.
It’s the “heart barrack”!
It is a seasonal (October-March) floating real cabaret theatre with restaurant which offers a very interesting programme: every single night a different show!
This is a great entertainment for Zurich city: it seems like a time machine to go back to France at the time of art nouveau!

You do not believe me? You do not think that such delight can exist in Zurich?
Check it out by yourself and let me know: www.herzbaracke.ch

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Golden coffee? Platinum ice cream? No, just Swiss prices!

Today, Saturday, I went with my family to Zurich to have lunch in the nice vegetarian restaurant Tibits and enjoy a sunny day at the lake and at the cinema.

When you eat outside in Switzerland, the high prices are always reducing your joy of a good meal in a good restaurant.
After lunch, this attracting set of two coffees and two ice creams was “just” 16 CHF! Horrible price, isn’t it? Unfortunately quite usual in Switzerland.
I would be relieved to know that in some other countries these very basic pleasures of life are so expensive too!

World record restaurant

Last Saturday, as often when we go to Zurich, we had lunch in our favourite place in town: the famous vegetarian restaurant “Haus Hiltl”, just couple of steps from the central Bahnhofstrasse.
This time I just realised that they are a Guinness World Record holder! Haus Hiltl is the oldest vegetarian restaurant of the world!
And in 2018 they celebrate their 120th anniversary!

The vegetarian food is very unique, with many exotic influences, fresh and good! You typically choose the specialties and quantities you prefer from a buffet, paying for the relevant weight.

Congratulations Haus Hiltl!
And congratulations small Switzerland, another world record!

The inelegant line…

In Switzerland, at the restaurant, you can order a bottle of wine, an open wine or a glass of wine.
When choosing a glass of wine you would expect that the host pours the wine, so that the glass looks filled in a proper and decent way.
But what about the precision? That’s why all the Swiss glasses for red, white, rose’, champagne, Prosecco are “cut” by a white horizontal line with the mathematical indication of 10 cl!
Precise and perfect, but for sure the wine tastes less good and magical in a “lined” glass!

The “Baden ride”

Baden, the small city in Argovia famous for the old roman hot springs and for being the headquarters of ABB and GE in Switzerland, has just celebrated its “ride” from the 18th to the 27th of August.
The so-called “Badenfahrt” is a great party which lasts 10 days all over the town and takes place every 10 years (every 5 with a smaller version).

All the city transforms itself in a real Wonderland: everywhere you find stalls with food and drinks, temporary open air bars, people preparing and selling food from every country in the world, stages for concerts, a big Luna Park with impressive attractions, western-style saloons, terraces and balconies, even a rocket takeoff installation, tropical clubs, exotic places, fun and happiness. The ultimate 10 years’ recurring event!
The most of this “new temporary city within the actual city” is organised by various associations, which are so popular in Switzerland. Therefore a lot of people are volunteering to contribute to the success of this event.

This time, the small great Baden has done it perfectly!
Better than any pirate, corsair, crusade, expedition, campaign: the Baden ride, the Badenfahrt, has really been amazing!

Fleischk√§se (“Meat cheese”)

fleischkase
Photo from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leberk%C3%A4se

Today I tried again one of the most unusual Swiss specialities: the so-called “Fleischk√§se”, which translated in English sounds something like “meat cheese”.
According to Wikipedia, it consists of corned beef, pork, bacon and onions and is made by grinding the ingredients very finely and then baking it as a loaf in a bread pan until it has a crunchy brown crust.
It looks actually weird and the Swiss name really gives an idea of what this food is. Meat with the texture and the appearance of cheese… or eventually cheese with the taste of meat.
If you really know what this dish is, you will probably not eat it.
But pretending not to know the preparation and the ingredients, it is actually quite tasty. Better if accompanied by some beer.
Beer? Yes, of course. This food is a speciality of Switzerland, but also known in Austria and Germany.
And how can you quench your thirst in such countries without beer?

The pearl of Ehrendingen

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Ehrendingen is the small nearly 5’000 inhabitant village where we live. All the main services are granted as usual in Switzerland (supermarket, post office, pharmacy, etc.), including some local restaurants.

And when I say “local” I mean… very Swiss: Wienerschnitzel and French fries being one of the main and most exciting dishes!

But today at lunch we found a restaurant which is really a pearl: the restaurant is old (it was a Piemontese restaurant, “Heimat”) but it was re-opened two months ago! And now it is based on international flavours with Asian and African influences. All with great presentation of the dishes, marvelous tastes and perfumes and unique recipes. All made by the young and friendly cook Tim, who was working before in a one-Michelin-star restaurant in Basel! I have been living in the Confederation for 15 years but, when eating outside, I never felt the real joy which only special recipes or extraordinary meals can give you!

Congratulations to the new crew of this reborn restaurant! If you are passing by Ehrendingen, a meal in the Heimat is really worthy! Heimat, like homeland…
But don’t worry: The tastes you will experience in this nice restaurant have nothing to do with its Swiss… “homeland”!