Saturday, January 10, 2009

finally, some real chow!



This post is for city people and particularly anyone from San Francisco. And when I say San Francisco, I mean the city. You know who you are. I'm posting this for people that appreciate places like ShalimarCordon Bleu, Home Plate, and Swan Oyster Depot.  I suspect that other people just won't get what I'm trying to say. Maybe I'm wrong.

My husband recently took me to this great little Lebanese joint, der grĂ¼ne Libanon, at Haferstrasse 7 (I think) behind the HB, a "bad part of town" which, of course, also means fun stores selling interesting and delicious things. We had the mixed grill plate for two, which came with flatbread and spreads (hummus, baba ganoush, etc). It was so yummy, totally satisfying and good value: "only" 25sfr, about $11/person.



Now someone who reads this post might eat there and say, that food wasn't so special, I can get better food here or there, bla, bla, bla. These people don't understand what I'm talking about. I'm not saying this is the best food I've ever ate in Zurich or that I'm a connoisseur of Lebanese food. I'm just saying that this was good, tasty chow at a good price, something quite rare in Zurich. This place clearly takes pride in their food. It made me happy and made me want to go back on a regular basis.



Back in SF, I easily ate out five nights a week, usually spending under $20 for 2 people, with drinks! Not only can I not afford to do that in Zurich, I wouldn't want to. It is just not right to pay 60 francs for a couple curries and some naan. Usually when I say something like this to a Swiss person, they look at me like I'm crazy. "No good food in Zurich? But haven't you been to bla, bla, bla."That's not what I'm saying. I'm talking about chow food, not a special night out. I'm almost convinced this is a cultural divide that cannot be bridged.



Clearly, we were two very satisified customers. Can't wait to go back.

9 comments:

Chris said...

I live in Portland now, but years ago I lived in the Bay Area (not the city, unfortunately) and my boyfriend and I used to trek up to the city for lamb schwarma a Shalimar once or twice a month. Loved that place. Glad you have found a place for good chow.

Jack said...

thanks for the tip...and I get it (but then again I come from SF)...

Astrid said...

I get it too, even though I come from Paris! I find my enjoyment of food cannot be disassociated from the price of the meal. In other words, good food at a very high price simply doesn't taste that good, whereas simple food at a great price is yummy. (On the very expensive end, I had one fabulous meal in Zurich that though expensive, seemed worth every penny, at Mesa. Not exactly chow, but if you're going to spend money, it should always be this good.)

Zurich Mama Geek said...

Yum. We totally miss places with "value" -- good and affordable. Pretty non-existent here.

Julie Ramsay said...

I want to try it!!! Looks delicous!

Jessica said...

This looks delicious. I am going to hunt this place down! Thanks for the tip, and I get the whole chow food, even though I am not from SF. Thanks for sharing.

Inga said...

I TOTALLY get it! I miss CH very much, but all of the great chow in the Bay Area definitely makes it a little easier to be back....

Cris said...

I am from Lisbon, living in ZH and feel exactly same way you do. Have you been to Maison Blunt (a morrocan rest)? one of favourites, not much variety but food is good. I'm going to NY in 2 weeks, I wonder if you could suggest some restaurants?

Tanya said...

Thanks for the tip Cris. I'll have to try that place. I haven't been to NYC for a few years, so I'm not the best one for recs (SF is a different story, so let me know when you go there). I always like to have breakfast at Shopsins (I'm a sucker for dives with strange and strict rules), though I haven't been to their new location in the Essex Street Market. And you should go by the Sullivan St. Bakery on 533 W. 47th St for fantastic bread. I know it's a cliche, but I love the frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3. Check on chowhound.chow.com for more recs - you have to sift, but it can be useful.

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