DR and I were in Switzerland for 4 days. Our meals alternated between sandwiches, self-catering, and sit-down places. As you might expect, food in Switzerland is expensive. The sandwiches weren’t too bad, but any restaurant entree starts at 18 Swiss Franc (about US$16). Armed with Ultra-fast Lactaid tablets, I easily conquered the cheese-laden meals without fear. So, without further ado: my tale of four meals in Bern, Switzerland.
We stepped off the TGV train after a 5 hour trip from Paris and landed in drizzly Bern. For being the capital of Switzerland, Bern is very small and quaint but also has a surprisingly diverse population. The people there (Bernese?) speak mostly German with some French interspersed. It’s very confusing, especially when I don’t really speak either language. Also, I was forewarned that Swiss German isn’t “really German.” Luckily, most Swiss also speak some English, so the language barrier wasn’t that bad.
I have to admit that I was not optimistic about Swiss cuisine. A friend of mine who lived in Geneva for a year said that food was expensive, bland, and not very diverse. Nonetheless, I stepped off the train hoping for some exciting culinary adventures!
First stop: Anker. Our guidebook said that this place served traditional fondues and rostis, so we decided to give it a try. Rosti is basically the same as hash browns, with some sort of meat on top. My verdict: good, but nothing special.
Because Swiss restaurants are pricey, and since our hostel had a nice, fully-stocked kitchen, we also self-catered for two evenings. We stopped by the Migros supermarket chain and picked up cheese (Gruyere of course), proscuitto, salad, bread, and fruit. As is often the case, I forgot to take a picture of our dinner spread before we started eating, so here’s the only photo I have.
The second restaurant meal in Bern happened by accident. We returned from our day in the Alps later than intended, so we couldn’t go to Migros or any sandwich places. Desperate and hungry, we consulted our guidebook again and ended up at Lorenzini, an Italian restaurant. DR had ravioli, and I had penne with olives and pepperoni. Both dishes were good, though we both agreed that the white bean salad (not pictured) was the best.
For our last dinner in Bern, we wanted to splurge a little. Plus, it had been raining all day and the Paul Klee museum had been a bust. (There was no Paul Klee exhibit in the Paul Klee Museum. This was almost as sad as when I went to Amsterdam in 1999 and the Van Gogh Museum was closed for renovation.) We treated ourselves to Meditteranean delights at Santorini.
It was very delicious, though I thought it was funny that both of our meals came with potatoes. I guess it’s the Swiss touch — maybe Swiss have to have potatoes with every meal, just like my dad needs to eat rice at every meal? All in all, I felt that the food in Bern was pretty good, if a bit expensive.