Having a fast food restaurant situated under a motorway doesn’t sound like a recipe for a good evening out, but you would be surprised by how relaxing and enjoyable the Fork and Bottle is. My family first found this little gem a few years ago and we have been returning as often as we can for these delicious burgers, craft beers, friendly staff and relaxing atmosphere. The Fork and Bottle, is a little bit unique in Zürich as it is one of the few restaurants that has a menu only in English, as well as hiring staff based on their ability to speak English.
On this particular warm May evening, we settled down at the outside table and dived into the menu. We ordered the usual starter of a warm creamy artichoke and spinach dip with corn chips. This is the starter that we have always ordered every time that we have come, since it’s so good. The creamy sauce is not too cheesy to overpower the more subtle taste of the artichoke and spinach but creamy and cheesy enough to compliment the corn chips used to scoop out the glorious mix. The spinach and artichokes are fabulous and tricks you into thinking you are being healthy, when you are really not!
For my main option, I chose a macaroni cheese burger, which was a little unusual and something I had wanted to try for a while. When it arrived, I was surprised by how the mac and cheese had been formed into a little burger patty shape. Maybe it was deep fried to keep its form. I was delighted by this and resolved to try to recreate this at home.
Apart from the mac cheese burger there was a wide range of options. Another vegetarian option was the beetroot and black bean burger which had a bright vibrant deep red colour. There was pulled pork, which dropped off the bone as it had been cooked for so long and a whole soft shell crab burger, which was a little scary, as the long spindly legs stuck out from under the bun, almost like a golden deep fried spider, however it was delicious. Along with the burgers there came a large option of craft beers, which is often changed. The beers had fun names and detailed descriptions of their taste. We ordered an amber shock and a corporate monkey. The amber shock, an Italian beer, was a slightly sweeter option and in the sunlight was a stunning orangery gold.
As I bit into the burger, I was over joyed to find that small cubes of gruyère cheese had been mixed into the “mac”, to give you an extra burst of flavour. The macaroni noodles, had been cooked to perfection, and retained their shape well. This had been my main concern, that the noodles would be over cooked and become mushy, therefore ruining the meal, but this was not the case. The noodles had been coated in a white béchamel sauce which helped add moisture into the bread, but not saturate it. The sauce added an overall rich creamy taste that complimented the tomato, pickles and iceberg lettuce in the burger which added a contrasting crunch and sweetness to the burger.
The Fork and Bottle is not a place that you go to if you want a light meal or are on a diet. It is the kind of place that you leave from feeling like a python that has consumed an entire goat. I normally can always manage a dessert at the end of a meal, no matter how much I have eaten, but at the Fork and Bottle in all the years that I have gone to it, not once have I got to the dessert menu because of how happily full I am. But I recommend that you go to this place as it’s worth the stuffed feeling, as the food alone is amazing, not to mention their collection of craft beers. Even with huge portions, you will consume every crumb.
Allmendstrasse 20, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland
Credit for header image goes to Fork and Bottle Gallery.