When I was planning my return to school there were a few things I promised myself I’d do when I got back. One of them was to visit the Swiss Chalet on Broadway on a regular basis. If you know me well, you know I love eating at Swiss Chalet.
I thought I’d break that promise in the first few weeks of school. For one, it didn’t seem I was going to make that many new friends and I didn’t want to go alone. As the weeks passed, I somehow managed to make some friends here at SJC. Great, I thought, I can bring these people to Swiss Chalet!
One day, I turned to Nicholas Clarke and Marcia George, and asked them about Swiss Chalet. Marcia, who grew up in Canada, seemed lukewarm. Nicholas, who’s from New Zealand, had never been. However, Nic and Marcia, are engaged, and if Marcia didn’t want to go, it was likely Nic couldn’t go either. Bummer.
Then I asked Kristina Deczky about Swiss Chalet. She’s from Ontario, and there’s a good chance she’s had it before. “Ewwww…”, was her response. Great.
One early Friday evening, I had nothing planned for dinner. Nothing. No one to have dinner with. “That’s it!”, I thought. I marched over to Nic and Marcia’s and gave them a proposal. I told them I was going to Swiss Chalet for dinner, they could come with me, and the meal would be on me.
Apparently, this was the right approach. We wound up at Swiss Chalet. I had the double-leg dinner and Marcia had the ribs. Nic doesn’t eat chicken with bones in it, so he had a messy chicken sandwich. The weird thing was we had another friend join us, so I didn’t have to pay for everyone. That was nice of Nic and Marcia to let me off the hook.
Afterwards, the assessment wasn’t that great. Marcia and Nic didn’t seem too keen on going back again, even though Marcia loved the ribs. Poopy.
The next week, I tried another approach. Instead of trying people who know of Swiss Chalet, I’d ask people who didn’t know what it was. I tried asking Lindsay Allen about going with me. Lindsay is from Kentucky, and there’s no way she knows of the Chalet. I told her it was a great chicken and ribs place. My sell worked, because she agreed. Yay!
Along the way, we also recruited Arash Farzaneh, who vaguely remembered having the Chalet a few years ago, but was willing to try it again. We got to the Chalet, and I ordered a quarter-chicken dinner, Lindsay got the same, and Arash had a chicken sandwich.
The critical moment came when I asked Lindsay to try the (in)famous dipping sauce. It’s been my experience that people either love or hate the sauce immediately. There’s no middle ground, nor do people migrate from one position to the either. I’ve never seen such a polarizing effect from a single item of food. For the record, I love the sauce. Anyways, I watched nervously, as Lindsay tried the sauce. Her assessment… thumbs down.
Arash didn’t like it either. Would this be another failed attempt to convert more people over to Swiss Chalet? On a good note, Lindsay gave Swiss Chalet an overall positive assessment. She said that it reminded her of good old, country style cooking from the South. We then had a discussion about the merits of white gravy, country-fried steak, and biscuits.
That dinner was about three weeks ago, and I’ve been wondering when we would go back. Just yesterday, Lindsay asked me when we were going back to Swiss Chalet! Yes! I might have a Swiss Chalet buddy!
I’m hoping we can go soon since everyone is going to get really busy and it’d be nice to have that sweet, over-roasted, savoury chicken again.