Always so good for so little. ~ Swiss Chalet
Breaking news! Manitoba finally has a Swiss Chalet! Okay, so not really breaking news, but exciting news to me. Growing up in Nova Scotia Swiss Chalet was like an old friend. Someone to turn to when you were tired and wanted comfort, something familiar, something reasonably quick that wasn't considered fast food. I can remember with great fondness family trips to Halifax for shopping or tourism and stopping at the good old Swiss Chalet on Kempt Road. It was a sure thing for a growing family. We all knew the menu and could find something we liked and there was no surprises with the prices. It always had convenient parking which makes it great for easy access and speed.
Swiss Chalet also made many appearances in my life in my early 20s when I lived in Dartmouth. I had some friends that worked there and again it was a familiar menu and price point and routinely my group of friends would end up there sharing meals and a few laughs. It also popped up a few times on our road trip from Nova Scotia to Manitoba. We spent our days driving across the country and at night we would try and find a comfortable, reasonable restaurant to refuel. Swiss Chalet was a natural fit. I remember the last time we ate at a Swiss Chalet before arriving in Manitoba. I don't remember what town it was, maybe Sudbury, but it was somewhere between North Bay, Ontario and Thunder Bay, Ontario. We were driving all around the town frantically looking for something to eat. We were tired of fast food and didn't have the energy or desire to gamble with a local unknown restaurant. We drove up over the hill and there was Swiss Chalet calling our name. We ate our meal in silence, exhausted from the day of driving, with no knowledge that this would be our last taste of Swiss Chalet for many months. We had no clue the minute we crossed the border into Manitoba that Swiss Chalet would become nothing more than a distant memory.
The following month, after settling in to rural life in Manitoba, we made a trip into Winnipeg to explore. We spent the day doing some shopping and visiting The Forks. We were tired and wanted something familiar for supper. We wanted Swiss Chalet. I went to the phone book in the hotel room and tried to look up Swiss Chalet but couldn't find one. Seriously? A province with approximately 1,000,000 people and there is no Swiss Chalet? Swiss Chalet - a company with over 200 locations - and none are located in Manitoba? This made us want it even more. The following month we decided to explore Regina. Same thing, looking for a Swiss Chalet but no such luck. No Swiss Chalets in Saskatchewan either. Seriously? It was shocking considering Nova Scotia has over nine locations.
What happened over the next five years was kind of funny. Swiss Chalet became another one of those things we would frantically try and squeeze into our Nova Scotia vacations. We would often suggest it to family and friends when home in Nova Scotia as a meeting place. It got added to the long list of must have Nova Scotia food, squeezed somewhere in between fresh seafood and donairs. Swiss Chalet, a pretty common restaurant chain, is one thing I never thought I would miss when I moved from Nova Scotia to Manitoba, but I do.
I was pretty shocked when last spring I received an email from a friend living in Winnipeg exclaiming they were building a Swiss Chalet on Kenaston Boulevard. She knew it would make my day, and it did. Apparently it is now open for business and I am looking forward to my upcoming trip to Winnipeg next month so I can check it out. I'm sure the quarter chicken dinner with white meat and dipping sauce will taste fantastic. I can already taste it.
If you are interested in visiting a Swiss Chalet and experiencing it for yourself you can check out their website at http://www.swisschalet.ca/.