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May 23

Strange But Good: Switzerland

Strange is global.

 

Ever use a Turkish toilet?  I still have nightmares.

Switzerland suprised me with it’s fancy strangeness.  I had one huge “treat” meal there.  By treat, I don’t mean indulegent (I did that on emore on e occassion).  I mean ridiculously expensive fancy.

The day started innocently enough.  I left Lucie to in Basel to explore Interlaken for a few days.  One of the best things about Europe is the train system.  You can get anywhere so easily!  And it’s fast – I left in the late morning and arrived in time to check into my B&B and do a little exploring before my fancy dinner.

I went for a leisurely run to take in the sights.  There were streams and lakes filled with impossibly blue water, majestic swans, breathtaking mountain views, and a cable car ride to the top of a small peak called Harder Klum.  I had a salad and glass of wine at the top while I gawked at the view.  Also, there was a cow.  And a certain apron.  Strange, no?

Interlaken

 

Then it was time to get cleaned up for tyhe evening’s adventures.  I found the swankiest hotel in the city, Victoria-Jungfrau,  and pranced in to the Brasserie for a little self-romance.

As soon as I set down, the server wheeled over a cart that held a giant silver basin of champagne on ice.  Clearly, I’d found my home.  They also brought out homemade bread and three toppings: herbed quark, butter, and some mix of apple and onion that I supposed to be more addicting than crack.  There was also an amuse-bouche, or gift from the kitchen, that was some sort of cheese sauce with a cheese souffle, and a delicately pickled slice of cucumber.

Victoria-Jungfrau

 

Next up was the started.  I selected the wild garlic soup with a garlic-stuffed ravioli.  It was perfection.  Just the right amout of food!  The foam on the top of the soup was light and rich, and that little ravioli was the single most perfectly cooked piece of pasta pillowy goodness I’ve ever had.

And it was green.  Perfect for a dose of foamy strange!  It was all I could do not to stick my finger in the glass to get every last bit of the soup.

Wild Garlic Soup @ Victoria-Jungfrau

 

Then came the main.  Chicken stuffed with morels over a bed of creamy spinach, balsamic reduction, and barley.  The cubes are bread dumplings” that were essentially a savory black potato bread pudding.

It seems strange to order chicken in such a fine establishment, but the stuffing and sides were too enticing to pass up.  Those bread cubes alone were worth the price of admission.  The thought of dessert My pride held me back from begging my server to bring seconds.

Chicken @ Victoria-Jungfrau

 

Dessert.  The whole menu was #strangebutgood.  They offered indulgences like fennel creme brulee with candied celery and lemon verbana foam and a goat cheese-saffrom dome with rhubabrb compote and dandieon sherbert.  The struggle was real!

I sipped an espresso and ate some housemade chocolates while I mulled over the choices.  Therapy.

Espresso @ Victoria-Jungfrau

 

My selection?  Strawberry crunch (a soft of strawberry brownie with a nutty crust) with absinthe strawberries and garlic ice cream.

I died.

Strawberry Crunch @ Victoria-Jungfrau

 

Not wanting the night to end, I waddled down to the hotel bar where I listened to the pianist while sipping bourbon.  As a good Southerner, I know that bourbon can only come from Kentucky… but after a meal like that, I’ll let them call their booze whatever they like.

Faceplant into bed back at my B&B.  Strangely enough, I managed not to mess with the guitar hanging on the wall through the whole stay!

Whisky Bourbon @ Victoria-Jungfrau

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

 

 

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



***

Now I’m hungry all over again.

Have you ever been on a train?  I’ve neve been on one in the US (unless you count Disney World).

Do you have one “big” treat meal on vacations?

 

70 comments

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  1. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    THE last time I went out of the country I went to Turkey. The most amazing place on the face of the planet and the food made me want to rip up my return flight ticket….. OMFGG I don’t care that I don’t know how to speak Turkish, I will live there and just point at the fish I want, and I will be GOOD TO GO!!!! AHA HA!

    I am so envious of your dang trip!!!!!!!!!!! You better be sending me that SICK APRON as my souvenir!

    1. Laura

      You didn’t receive the apron already? Effing postal service! ;)

  2. Linz @ Itz Linz

    YUM!! i have lots of treat meals on vacay… after all, itz vacation haha

  3. Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    I have done quite a few train journeys, but the worst was a 3 day cross-Australia trip which involved no bed to sleep in yet a nasty case of bed bugs!!! Brutal.

    I would cry if I was served one piece of ravioli. Once I ordered ravioli and I was given four pieces – I had to go have a second dinner afterwards. That has put me off ordering ravioli for life! I don’t know how you find these strange but good places haha

    1. Laura

      Australia is on my list (no bugs though).

      The ravioli was just a starter taste… I definitely left full!

  4. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    Are you kidding me??? That sounds absolutely amazing. Well done!

  5. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    GARLIC ice cream? Oh my gee. The Swiss certainly are the land of #strangebutgood…so far ;)

    I hope this spiked some epic inspiration for you! I used the rail system in Europe on a student’s budget. It was convenient…but a nightmare.

    1. Lucie@FitSwissChick

      Come to Switzerland Sweetie!! You can eat garlic ice cream and garlic chocolate and ride on the perfect trainsystem. (Is that dirty?)

      1. Laura

        I will come back for that trip!

  6. Cat

    Fennel creme brulee? These guys know their #strangebutgood! Gah that would be the most fun job – recipe creator for a place like that… Seriously you’ve sold me on a trip to Switzerland (and France) – sure you’re not working for the EU tourist board!? ;)

    1. Laura

      Wouldn’t it be? That’s my dream job!

  7. Kierston

    I absolutely love taking the train. It’s so relaxing. Lovin’ the #strangebutgood as usual :D

  8. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    This looks like such an incredible meal! Definitely intrigued by the dessert.

  9. lindsay

    i loooooooooooooooooooooove interlaken!! and i think i had a very similar meal while there. but i missed the garlic ice cream. dang!

    1. Laura

      I think it’s seasonal. We should just go back. Clearly you need to try it. ;)

  10. Tina Muir

    Sounds like you are describing a scene from perfection in a book. I am VERY jealous! Those eats look pretty damn good! I had a GIANT meal last night at an Israeli restaurant in Philly. it was so much food, but how often are you going to eat food from such a different culture? I made the most of it thats for sure!

    1. Laura

      It felt that way! Completely unreal. Go big or go home, I say!

  11. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

    That sounds amazing! I love that you took yourself out for an evening like that. It’s important to romance yourself occasionally, right?! Also, I’m completely shocked you didn’t touch that guitar! ;)

    1. Laura

      I know! I was too distracted by all the food and wine!

  12. Maureen

    That meal looks soooo good! Usually I will have one treat {aka expensive} meal on vacation.

  13. Miss Polkadot

    Why’s it that trains are this unpopular over here? I’ll admit I re-read the question to make sure I’d gotten you right there ;) . Assuming I did: yes, I’ve travelled by train eons of times and I’m a fan. Unless there are annoying children or drunken soccer fans it’s perfect undistracted reading time. Or people-watching time…
    Next stop for your strange but good travels: Germany?! You’d be surprised by the ways kale is served here :).

    1. Laura

      Germany is on my list! I was supposed to go with my best friend this summer but then she went and got pregnant. Lame.

  14. Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A.

    Ahhh reading this post gave me major wanderlust! Looks like you’re having such a great trip. Keep enjoying it :)

  15. Sarah @ The Smart KItchen

    I’m trying to comprehend black potato bread pudding and crispy strawberry brownies, but all I know is I want them!!! If I traveled Europe with you I’d come home totally broke I imagine, but at least I would have eaten well. :)

    1. Laura

      You would have no regrets, I assure you. :)

  16. Dietitian Jess

    WOW!! Everything looked freaking fantastic, it is making me antsy for my first Europe trip next month. I’ve been on the train a few times, I think they are more prevalent in the Northeast vs South, but you’re not really missing anything. They are much more spacious than megabus/greyhound though! As many meals on vacation as possible should be treat meals (as far as money allows I should say). Looks like you picked a great place for your special treat meal!

    1. Laura

      You’re going to have so much fun!!! It’s a whole other world over there. :)

  17. Lydia

    This entire post (as with all your recent ones from your adventures) makes me want to drop everything, jump on a red eye and get there to replicate that entire meal…oh by I may have to chose goat cheese-saffrom dome with rhubabrb compote and dandieon sherbert – I die just thinking about what it might taste like!!! Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventures!

    1. Laura

      I have to say… that doesn’t sounds like a bad idea. Can I come too? :)

  18. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    Garlic stuffed ravioli? Interesting. That strawberry dessert sounds fantastic. I’ve not been on a train – other than say Chicago, but I don’t think that quite counts. I’m loving seeing all your pictures from your trip!

  19. Brittany @ Delights and Delectables

    I’m serious so jealous over your vaca! I believe all dinners should be treat meals on vacation. It’s VACATION!

    1. Laura

      Gurllll… I’d be broke if all my meals were that kind of treat. LOL!

  20. Amanda @runtothefinish

    sooooo fun!!! I know i’ve said it before but because I want to I’m saying it again…now I wanna go back!!!

  21. Jaclyn @ BumpSweat

    Switzerland looks beautiful, the food and the sights. I want to go! For a typical vacation, we rent a cabin and so cook many of our meals there, but I end up eating my fair share of treat meals, too.

    1. Laura

      Those are fun vacations too! Total relaxation. :)

  22. She Rocks Fitness

    When I studied in Florence I took the train to Interlaken! Yes the train system there is fabulous. I definitely have more than one cheat meal on vacation and of course it is typically involved with lots of delicious wine. ;) Have a great weekend!

    1. Laura

      I held my own with the wine too. ;)

  23. Lucie@FitSwissChick

    I never want these posts to end! I LOVE reading about my own country and YOU in it! :-)

    1. Laura

      I never wanted that trip to end!!! Thank you for making it 100% better. :)

  24. Megan @ The Skinny-Life

    Last time I was on a train was in Chicago last summer to go from the burbs into the city. But when I lived in Spain, I loved taking the train. I traveled all over Europe via train. It was so much easier than driving. I was poor then so it wasn’t a fancy trip. I need to go back so I can experience it appropriately!

  25. Tara | Treble in the Kitchen

    Everything looks so tasty…especially that strawberry dessert…how was the garlic ice cream!? I’ve had garlic chocolate chip cookies (yummy!) but never ice cream!

    1. Laura

      It was so cool! Not too over-powering. Those cookies sound interesting… did you make them?

      1. Tara | Treble in the Kitchen

        I didn’t make the cookies myself, they were a “kitchen experiment” at a summer camp I interned at…but I have the recipe! I’m thinking I may need to whip up a batch…soon!!!

        1. Laura

          You have to let me know if you do! That would “win” #strangebutgood. ;)

  26. Debbie @ Live from La Quinta

    I had a wonderful train adventure when I was a kid. We took the train from Mexicali to Guadalajara Mexico. We really saw a lot of what Mexico was really like, from the beauty to the poverty of the country.

    When my husband and I were on our honeymoon we took the TGV train from Paris to Nice. That was fun too.

    I love your pictures of Switzerland. So beautiful!

    1. Laura

      That’s another reason trains are so great – time to take in the beauty and sights without worrying about getting lost or missing a turn!

  27. Deborah

    Beautiful pics! I forgot how beautiful Switzerland is. Looks like you are having an amazing trip. Years ago a friend and I were in Lake Lugano right on the border with Italy. We had lunch in Swtizerland , took the train and had dinner in Italy. Yum!

    1. Laura

      I heard Lake Lugano is stunning! Next time… sigh. Isn’t it cool to be able to hop between countries so quickly?

  28. Annette@FitnessPerks

    I love, love Europes train, tram, and U-Bahn systems. SO genius. So wonderfully fast & efficient. USA could learn a thing or two about all that….but then again, we do have a lot more land ;) haha

  29. Purelytwins

    we have more than one treat meal while on vacation ;) last year for our 30th birthday we went to New Orleans and every meal we went all out. Best trip ever!!

    so glad you had a wonderful time on your trip! we loved seeing the pics

    1. Laura

      I remember your posting about that! I still need to get to NOLA!

      1. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

        You’ve never been to New Orleans!! What!! We need to rectify that.

  30. Choc Chip Uru

    Switzerland is such a wonderful country, now I need to go there more than ever!
    Amazing foodie pics :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Laura

      Yes! You would die and go to chocolate heaven. :)

  31. Debra

    Oh, I want to go there. Beautiful meal. I’ve always wanted to try garlic ice cream.

  32. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

    Ahhh, don’t you just love a wonderful meal from start to finish. It all sounds incredible, especially the cheese, topped with cheese, and drizzled in cheese. I wouldn’t pass up the strawberry dessert or wild garlic soup either. I’m so glad you had such a fantastic trip.

    1. Laura

      I haven’t even gotten to the BEST cheese yet! That was in Zermatt… raclette. OMG.

      1. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

        I can’t wait to try it. You did bring me some for Blend, right? ;)

        1. Laura

          I wish! I seriously considered ways to bring it back to the US.

  33. Hannah

    Fancy dinners are just the most amazing, though I have realised that I am glad I do the infrequently, as I never want to get to a point where fine dining is just ‘yeah, whatevs, good job bro’. We should def splurge one night if/when I make it to Atlanta (if we aren’t meeting in Paris or Chile).

    1. Laura

      I don’t think I could ever get to that point… as long as chefs keep innovating! But yes, come back here and I know just where we will go.

      1. Hannah

        Then you’re stronger than I! After two weeks of eating dinner out every single night bar one with my parents, fancy restaurants were starting to lose a bit of their lustre. Keep it to once a week and I’ll be dancin’ (if only I could eat out at fine dining once a week…) Will you tell me our place now? So I can look and get excited? xo

        1. Laura

          NO. (Insert grumpy cat face here.)

          It’s a surprise. Incetive for you to actually come. :P

          1. Hannah

            The only incentive I need is you and alcohol. But I also need funds. :P

  34. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    Oh man, I wish I really COULD have gone with you – this looks incredible girl! And you’ve inspired our next vacation planning, we are hoping to head back to Europe!!

    1. Laura

      You’re leaving room in your suitcase for me, right?

  35. janet @ the taste space

    Love it! What awesome, creative meals. We didn’t search out restos when we visited Switzerland. Instead, we scoped out the mountains with the least clouds. (The Swiss trains were fabulous, totally agree!)

    1. Laura

      Oh, I did the mountains too! I was really luck to have a few nice, clear days – especially in Zermatt!

  36. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    Absinthe STRAWBERRIES?!?! Holy mother of…are you fucking ki…ohmygaaaaaawd! Wow, everything sounds out of this world…I don’t even want to try to guess how much all that set you back! 8O

    ‘Fess up, you totally bought that apron! ;)

    1. Laura

      Shhhh… it was supposed to be a surprise for you at Blend!

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