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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Restaurant Wars 2013 - Swiss Chalet

My friends north of the border and those lucky ones in the border states know exactly what I'm talking about when I mention Swiss Chalet. Images of rotisserie chicken, golden fries and that classic Chalet sauce all come to mind. 

I grew up in Western New York, just a hop away from Canada, and we had several Swiss Chalet restaurants in town. My mom actually worked at the Chalet before I was born, so it must be in my blood. Having lunch at the Chalet was always on my list of things to do when I come home for a visit.  The BF and I even walked two miles once to get some chicken while visiting Canada on a cruise!

This all changed three years ago when all of the WNY Swiss Chalets closed.  Not only did they close, but they razed the buildings to the ground.  (I kind of wished the burnt them down.  With all the chicken grease in the walls, those buildings would have gone up in a second!)  Now the only way for Buffalonians to enjoy the Chalet is to take a trip across the border, and they do.  My parents head across the bridge a few times a year for dinner.

Even with the inside information from my mom, there was very little chance that I could duplicate the classic Chalet sauce.  According to my mom, the restaurant receives a bag of spices from headquarters.  They then mix the spices with water and simmer for hours.  Even the employees don't know what's in the sauce.

Luckily you too can buy the spice packages!  Just in a much more manageable size.  This sauce is available in Canadian grocery stores, some border stores and a few websites.  After hearing about during a hockey game, I checked it out and stocked up on all my hometown favorites.  Loganberry soda, Anchor Bar wing sauce and Swiss Chalet dipping sauce!

Nothing in this meal is overly tricky.  Grilled chicken (because the grocery store was out of rotisserie chickens!) and fries with a big bowl of Chalet sauce.  I was concerned that the sauce would pale in comparison to the restaurant stuff, but it was spot on!  I need to order more because it brought me right home.

Order yourself some Chalet sauce and enjoy a little taste of Canada!
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