Pretzels, Raclette, and Yak Rolls – ZH
I can’t write about Zurich forever, so this is the last post until the next trip. (The BF is threatening another trip in September, but I’m ignoring him for now.) My favorite place in Zurich had to have been Zürich Hauptbahnhof (the Zurich Main Station, HB for short). On the weekends, when most of the stores in the city were closed, HB would at least be open until 8pm for our food shopping pleasure. (Definitely not New York, but you take what you can get.) Here are a few highlights from the station…
Taking place on Tuesdays, on the concourse level of the Main Station, is the Hauptbahnhof Market, an indoor market with over 50 vendors from all over Zurich and beyond.
As it was everywhere in Zurich, the produce was delicious, and in the course of two weeks, I went home with a beefsteak tomato, cherry tomatoes, and strawberries (around $10 total). The beefsteak tomato was a bit mealy, but the cherry tomatoes were like candy. I love summer tomatoes. The strawberries were tasty as well. They weren’t as big and red as the ones here in the States, but they also weren’t bland and watery.
There was also a lot of cheese. I was really tempted by this runny Gorgonzola…
but instead I bought a wedge of Monty’s Raw Milk Cheddar from an English cheese vendor (CHF 5.50 / USD $5.83 per 100 gr) which had this great nutty, grassy flavor.
I also bought a bottle of local chestnut honey (CHF 10 / USD $10.57) for my parents, but they have yet to open it. According to my mom, she’s “saving it.” Who knows if anyone will ever taste it one day. I think she just opened the can of olive oil from Greece I got her in 2011.
There was this adorable pretzel vanilla doughnut I should have bought, but after making the rounds, it was sadly gone.
So instead, I settled for this hazelnut pastry which was soggy and dry at the same time. Avoid it at all costs.
Savory options were better. If you can believe it, there was a Tibetan stall and Alvin ordered a yak roll (CHF 8 / USD $8.48). The meat was a borderline too salty and too peppery, but with the crunchy vegetables and bean curd strips, it was actually quite nice. Of course, the chili oil made it even better. In a city without a lot of authentic Asian cuisine ($20 sesame chicken doesn’t count), this was a nice surprise.
I went more traditional and ordered raclette (CHF 10 / USD $10.61) with small potatoes and pickled vegetables on the side. I love stinky cheese, potatoes, and pickles, so this was a win-win-win for me. The best part was the crisp cheese on top. There was a bit of a communication problem when ordering, but next time I’d ask them to broil it even longer for more cheese crispage.
I missed out on the pretzel doughnut, but I did eat a lot of pretzels. At the Main Station, in the underground shopping center, Brezelkönig has two stands, and one day Alvin brought home his favorite pretzels. (Thanks Alvin!) The pretzel with raclette had a lot of crisp cheese going on, but the pretzel itself was a little soggy. (The cheese isn’t melted upon order.)
The pretzel with butter was better because it had a better crust, but I thought both tasted better with mustard. I need mustard with pretzels.
And truth be told, I much preferred this pretzel roll ring (CHF 4.40 / USD $4.67) from Kleiner Bakery, also in the underground shopping center. The pretzel ring was appropriately malty and crusty on the outside, and airy and tender on the inside. And yes, I ate this with mustard as well.
As I said, this was my favorite place in Zurich. Lot of options (including yak!) and open on the weekends until 8pm. They had me at “open.”