Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hug from Lucerne, Switzerland


I can say without hesitation, that during my honeymoon, I ate my favorite Swiss meal in Lucerne, Switzerland. (I know what you're thinking... Although most of my honeymoon pictures were deleted, I still have a few up my sleeve! Sorry for the old content, but remember, NBA playoffs aren't over yet!)


Allow me to give some background. My husband and I had worked up ravenous appetites after vigorously touring the Lucerne area, and we needed lunch immediately. We had spent hours admiring the wooden Chapel bridge (
Kapellbrücke
), which was decorated with compact rows of flower bushes and vivid paintings which hung above the bridge walkway. We also toured the serene surroundings of Lucerne's lion monument (dedicated to those who courageously fought in WWII) and stared for hours at the glimmering river water, which was so transparent, not only could you see to the bottom, but you hardly noticed it was there.

After our intensive walking tour of Lucerne, we were starving. And I mean,
starving. Therefore, my beau and I stopped by Hug, a restaurant-bakery heartily recommended by our travel guide. The eatery was bustling, and featured a glass case full of buttery pasteries.

Since we were starving, upon being seated, we immediately shoved the complimentary bread into our faces like uncouth neanderthals. The sweetness from the crushed bread grains filled our mouths, and we allowed the rough edges of the bread crust to dissolve on our eager tongues.


We ordered our meal after a quick conversation mainly consisting of, "
Sprechen Sie Englisch?"

Thankfully, within minutes, our steaming hot side order of fries arrived. They appeared and tasted similar to fries that we had had in Amsterdam, with a surprisingly yellowed surface (much yellower than the U.S. counterparts). Despite the pronounced "golden" color, the fries were just as delicious as excellent American fries. With a crisp shell, and moist interior, the fries were exactly how good fries should be. We also were given a salad of iceberg lettuce with a creamy dressing to further begin our meal. The simple salad and "Swiss" fries quelled our appetites for the arrival of the main dishes, which were the stars of our meal.



I had ordered the Bernese-style röesti (or rösti), a pan-fried grated potato dish similar to America's hash browns. However, in a Swiss röesti, there are many other flavorful additions, such as finely chopped onions and garlic, and gruyère cheese. For the röesti that I scarfed that afternoon, I particularly adored the chive ringlets garnishing the crisp potato edges and gruyère cheese that oozed out of the crevices of the pan-fried potato pancake. (During my visit to Switzerland, I fell head-over-heels in love with gruyère, which possesses the sharp tang of Swiss, with the encompassing savory and umami flavors of parmesan.) Topping the röesti were supple strips of soft bacon cooked to a delicate perfection, not into a dry, sandy, lifeless, and overcooked meat cracker.


However, by far, the best entrée that afternoon was the "toast Diana" which consisted of sliced venison in a savory game cream sauce with mushrooms and white grapes, all over crisp toast points. The rich fullness and intensity of red wine permeated the complex game sauce, which was substantiated by the large and meaty mushroom slices. The hearty gravy paired well with the sweetness from the halved grapes and grape tomatoes. I literally licked my plate after this meal.


After we concluded our meal at Hug, we walked along the peaceful waterfront, watched the sunset, hit up the local casino in Lucerne for a game of poker, and headed back to Zurich to spend the evening. But again, just to reiterate, my favorite part of the day was receiving a delicious Hug.

35 comments:

  1. MMMMM....it looks that you had fun eating this lovely food!! Yum indeed!!

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  2. What great looking dishes! I'm glad you enjoyed your food in Switzerland...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Everything looks so delicious, even the simple bread!

    I'm bummed the Celtics are out of the playoffs now. Boo.

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  4. Ooooh, Switerzland is on the list of places to visit (and of course eat!).

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  5. i love gruyere as well! one of my favorites to sneak into a cheese fondue.

    the brown sauce is also known as "Jägersosse" in Germany and works well with Spaetzler, Schnitzel, Potatoes.

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  6. Food looks great and photos aremarvelous, just wondering how youworked up such an appetite;)

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  7. Very beautifull, looks delicious..Switzerland cheeses are the best..I love fondue to,and raclette...

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  8. It does look good! Sounds like you'd eat almost anything though!

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  9. Wow that bacon is making my mouth water! Go Lakers!

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  10. I think I may have to make a trip to Lucerne just to try the röesti, it looks and sounds fabulous. I also just recently developed a fondness for gruyère, yummy stuff.

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  11. I don't understand how the Swiss haven't all keeled over from all that bacon AND gruyere cheese. Oh well, I guess that's the best way to die. And what a great name for a restaurant. I want some HUGS too!

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  12. Oh wow, I love Lucerne. I travel there on business a couple times a year and I just love it there. I have never been to HUGS though, I'll have to check it out the next time I'm there. I always stay at the Rebstock and love the beer at Rathaus. Cheers!

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  13. Sounds like an amazing meal! It's so great to find really satisfying food like when you're traveling.

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  14. Oh my...this is quite dangerous, quite dangerous!! Yes, Neanderthal is definitely the only way to go in this situation.

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  15. The food photo in your post is great. What camera, photo s/w, and editing setup do you use ?

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  16. Congrats on winning the One lovely Blog Award. See the details on my blog at http://makemegoyum.blogspot.com/

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  17. my tummy is growling...wow what a lay!

    how hve u been long time no see :)

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  18. I love venison and have some in my freezer,and may give that toast Diana a whirl!

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  19. Just checking in on you.. havent seen you around:)

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  20. Oh man, that stuff with the bacon on top looks awesome!

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  21. Hello Sweetie! How is the basketball going? Just want to make sure you are eating. That is all. x

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  22. It looks so beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing
    www.ahacook.com

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  23. Oh my goodness. I just came over to thank you for stopping by my food blog and I get bombarded by gorgeous pictures of food! yum and yum is all I can say. It looks like you ate very well while in Switzerland.

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  24. Wow! sounds delicious...photos are gorgeous.

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  25. Lucerne! I got back recently and am still in love. I cannot believe that rosti hasn't taken off in a gigantic way in the USA. The Lucerne farmer's market is also divine in the mornings....

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  26. OMG! You had me at the roesti photo.. the bacon and the cheese... I'm getting hungry just thinking about it! If only Australia wasn't so far away from Switzerland!

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  27. Now I'm really hungry. I love everything you posted here. Call me gluttonous if they were within my reach I'll gobble them up in a jiffy.

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  28. Yumm. Please meet U.S. Upstairs in the Great Beyond for a celebration of our resurrection where we'll have a kick-ass party lasting till well after sundown - I can assure thee of that, my worthy liege. God bless.

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  31. Everything looks so delicious, even the simple bread!

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  33. Oh my goodness. I just came over to thank you for stopping by my food blog and I get bombarded by gorgeous pictures of food! yum and yum is all I can say. It looks like you ate very well while in Switzerland.

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  34. thx for the rec's. Terrific review. (just a minor note: the lion was carved to remember the 400 Swiss guards who died trying to protect the French royal family during the 1792 revolution.)

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