Roughing it in Switzerland

or Five Days of Fine Dining

My former boss and friend Mark now lives in Switzerland where he and his family have a chalet in Jaun, the only German-speaking municipality in district of French-speaking Gruyère in the Prealps, or Alpine foothills. Mark generously offered the use of the chalet over Christmas.

Tiffany, Sebastian and I took up the offer and planned to go for 4-5 days over Christmas. When Peter and Graham, friends from Canada, planned a vacation to Berlin over Christmas and New Year it was decided that they would join us.

Alpine foothills
The Prealps, which is not a made up word.

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Yam Yam

Kristin told me about a newish casual Korean place on Alte Schönhauser Straße called Yam Yam. After her rave review, we went there together and we both had the super yummy bulgogi rice bowl.  The bulgogi was served with piles of fresh baby spinach on top (a hard to find item in Berlin). I find a lot of white rice too boring to even finish eating, but the rice they serve has personality and nice bite: plump, sticky grains. All mains come with three side dishes: kimchi plus two others. Kristin and I were served different ones so we got to try their whole selection. Some sides were better than others, but all were tasty.

Light mid-week supper at Yam Yam

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Noto

When I was in Berlin last December, Tiffany, Kristin and I had a lovely four-course meal at Noto, a small, brand-new restaurant in Tiffany’s building. Not only was the food great and the atmosphere cozy, we sat across from the open kitchen and had fun watching the chef, who seemed to be putting on a show just for us (or so we liked to think). Clearly he was pleased that we were excited about the food. There were a few kinks, but we chalked them up to the restaurant having just opened.
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Austin Trailer Report: Before Cone, There Was Bacon

There was an ignored stand outside the Austin Convention Center. I guessed that it lacked patrons because people were intimidated by the food concept, which was bacon-laced waffle cones filled with Tex-Mex classics. I opted for The Hoss, which was filled with lettuce, diced tomatoes, guacamole and cheese with a couple beef taquitos tucked in.
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