Happy New Year everyone!
We welcomed in the New Year with our lovely neighbours over good food, wine and smelly cheese, followed by a spectacular display of fireworks over Lake Zurich. The following day, we headed to the mountains of Grindelwald for a change of scenery. Anyone who has watched the classic Clint Eastwood film, The Eiger Sanction, will be somewhat familiar with the famous Eiger mountain that dominates Grindelwald. Unfortunately, I never made it to the ski slopes on this occasion, mostly due to lethargy brought on by round-the-clock feeding and midnight partying at the Little One’s request. That said, despite our initial hesitations about travelling with such a young baby, we had such an enjoyable and relaxing time that we ended up extending our stay.
Quite often when on holidays, eating out at restaurants several times a day for several days in a row can be tiring and make one homesick and anxious for a home-cooked meal. But when you are a new parent, sleep-deprived and out of ideas for one-pot and super-quick dishes, eating out happens to be a real blessing.
Like most popular ski resorts in Switzerland, Grindelwald boasts many good restaurants featuring local fare and hearty cheese dishes to replenish your energy levels after a day in the snow. Our favourite place was the Bäckerei-Konditorei-Café Ringgenberg, a casual eatery which we frequented each morning for a late breakfast (often because we were too tired to make it on time for breakfast at the hotel) and we sometimes even lingered long enough to stay on for lunch.
The café is attached to a bakery which produces a sumptuous array of breads and pastries to satisfy a good continental breakfast, and their lunch menu is appetising to those seeking either a light meal or something more substantial. They serve a very delicious and hearty goulash soup – it was so good that I forgot to take a photo on the three separate occasions that I ordered it for lunch, greed taking priority over publishing. And their toast sandwiches were also delightful. Perhaps my foodie standards are slipping somewhat if I am suddenly critiquing toast sandwiches, but when something simple is made so well, it’s hard to be snobby.
And just look at how cute they are …
If you are looking for other restaurant recommendations in Grindelwald, some places to try are:
Bistro Memory A casual restaurant with lots of rustic charm. A shared fondue and a glass of Glühwein makes the world a better place.
Restaurant Barry’s Although this restaurant is located in the city centre, the interior could fool you into believing you were in some cosy ski chalet, albeit a fairly large and trendy one. Try their varied options for Cordon Bleu or perhaps something from their “light” menu if all the cheese is giving you too much speed on the slopes. The restaurant is very welcoming towards families with children and they offer a special kids’ menu.
Restaurant Challibar Hubby declared their Älplermagronen to be the best pasta dish he’s ever eaten.
Central Hotel Wolter This centrally located hotel boasts a modern restaurant with rustic chalet charm, as well as a great lunch and dinner menu. A changing daily lunch menu is offered at special prices, and their regular menu features popular pasta and salad dishes, a grill menu and Swiss classics such as the fondue chinoise. Their apple fritters with vanilla ice-cream is hard to go past for dessert. The restaurant is child-friendly and they offer a special kids’ menu.
Onkel Tom’s Hütte If you’re in the mood for wood-fired pizza and don’t mind a bit of queuing, this tiny and bustling hut is the place to visit. Their reservation system is a bit complicated, i.e. you can’t call ahead and make a booking, but you can show up at the restaurant and place your name on a waiting list if no tables are available at that time. It goes without saying that their seating arrangements can also be a bit hectic, but as even the locals sing high praises for this pizzeria, it’s worth trying on a night when you don’t mind lingering a bit in the cold or going to a nearby bar for a drink first.
C und M Café Bar Restaurant This cute little chalet is a great place to visit for afternoon tea, although their breakfast, lunch and dinner menu is also worth trying. There is always a great selection of cakes and pastries on offer, and which can be comfortably enjoyed if you can grab one of their cosy sofas upstairs. There is a special menu available for little ones, as well as pencils and crayons to distract them while you enjoy a warming glass of Glühwein or Apfelpunsch.
What I also love about this time of the year is the food associated with the celebration of the Epiphany. I love the Galette des Rois which is produced in abundance by the French bakeries, but I particularly enjoy the Dreikönigskuchen (or King’s Cake) which is popular in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. This particular “cake” is actually a bread made from brioche dough with a little token hidden inside one of the buns, the finder of which is crowned “King” for the day.
It’s just a shame that Dreikönigskuchen is available for such a limited time because I know I could sit down to a bun or two everyday at breakfast.
As for culinary resolutions for 2013 … I believe I still have to tick off some items from last year. Although, my short term goal is to re-enter the kitchen after a much-needed break since giving birth. My dear husband has, in the interim, been grateful to have had full command of the kitchen, churning out an amazing array of dishes that, quite frankly, puts me to shame and threatens my return to the stove. If I don’t pick up my act soon, he might even take over this blog!
Stay tuned for some new recipes as well as a further review of The Little Paris Kitchen as promised in this post.
Do you have any culinary resolutions for 2013?
This post was updated in December 2014 to include more restaurant reviews.