Seriously – memory is outdated. So I was talking with my ex about fondue (she’s trying to convince me to visit Chicago, and the most recent motivation was the recent proliferation of fondue restaurants), and I came up with the first time I ever had fondue was on my trip to Switzerland in 1987… and it was in some town with a lovely painted wooden bridge, with buskers, that had since burned down. Fondue wasn’t the only thing on the menu, but it was exciting (this was the hot oil kind of fondue where you skewer a raw chunk of meat and boil it in oil before dipping it in a variety of tasty sauces) and there were occasional breaks for dancing and possibly yodeling.
That’s really not the kinds of details I thought I’d need to pinpoint a city through google. So, instead, I asked my mother. And she said, “Ah, that was Locano.”
So I googled it – found I was spelling it incorrectly – and then hopped over to the wikipedia page, found a picture of a bridge – only one bridge – and while I had seen that on the trip, it wasn’t the right bridge. Just in case it hadn’t made it onto the webpage, I popped over to the official city webpage, but that was in Italian, and I had gotten the vague impression (maybe from the yodeling) that the fondue had been in a city from the German-er bits of Switzerland.
Luckily, however, one of the sites on Locarno had been a tourist site for all of Switzerland with a list of the major cities. So I scrolled along looking for ones that both sounded familiar and not so familiar that I could exclude them.
I came to Lucerne and that webpage wasn’t much use, but I had a hunch – so I popped back over to google… and wasn’t convinced. For one thing, it said there were only two major bridges and the main one pictured was a lot longer than the one I remembered. I was thinking 20 feet or so… But it had been burned down in 1993, which would have been around the right time…
So I went back to the tourist page and a few other menu pages for restaurants in Lucerne and concluded that the one we went to is still there – Stadtkeller. And that I probably would never have chosen to go there as an adult with my current touristing sensibilities (I tend to suspect that places with entertainment are putting more effort into that then the food) – but nevertheless, I remember it first as a restaurant with tasty food and only secondly as one with quirky entertainment that was rather charming.