When we moved to Ontario in the early 1990’s (boy does that sound a long time ago when I write it), we always went to Swiss Chalet at Christmas time and when my Mom visited us. Swiss Chalet is a chain of rotisserie chicken restaurants that started in Canada in the 1950’s. They always had great chicken, crispy skin on the outside and moist sweet meat on the inside, great sides and great desserts. At Christmas time, Swiss Chalet always offered a special chicken meal that featured the Swiss Toblerone chocolate bar as the dessert. That combo is famous across Canada and when I updated my status to saying I was eating at Swiss Chalet, the first comment I got was about the Holiday Tradition. The boys (and my Mom) liked the Toblerone bars, the Swiss Chalet BBQ Ribs and the Treasure Chest they could get a toy from at the end of the meal so going there was a family affair to remember.
As Donna and I were driving through Saint John, New Brunswick, a wave of nostalgia (and perhaps hunger) hit us and we knew where we would eat that night. Unlike a lot of things these days it was how were remembered it so I thought I would share with you our flashback meal.
Donna went for the Harvest Special and I went for the Chicken and Rib Combo. The Harvest Special included a cup of Chicken Noodle Soup, a ¼ Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potato, Roll and Chalet Sauce with Pumpkin pie as dessert. The soup was very good and gone before I could take photos. (Must be good eh?). The ¼ Roasted Chicken was all white meat and cooked to perfection – crispy skin on the outside, moist sweet meat on the inside. The Mashed Potatoes were well cooked and creamy as required by the blogger’s wife. The highlight to the meal or at least my son, Ryan thinks, is the Chalet Sauce. This dipping sauce is lighter than gravy but more flavorful and even a bit tangy. Dipping chunks of the Chicken into it, heck even chunks of the roll, causes one to wonder how they get the strong chicken flavor in there at the same time making it tangy. It’s a wonderful addition to the meal and would be sadly missed if not concluded. The Harvest Special did come with pie that we had packed for the trip home but it disappeared during the night with no reports on the taste. LOL
My Chicken and Rib Combo came with the same ¼ Roasted Chicken Donna had but my dish came with ½ Rack of Roasted Ribs and a generous order of Fries. The Ribs were delicious and fall of the rib tender. I usually like my ribs to stay on the bone but these are the exception. The pork meat was moist and tender covered with a sweet tangy sauce whose recipe the Swiss Chalet people covet (but will sell you jars of it if you want LOL). The sauce doesn’t provide much heat in terms of spice but it matches so very well with the sweetness of the port that I bet hardcore BBQ fans in Kansas City and Memphis would enjoy. I love the ribs at Swiss Chalet and hope you try them.
It was a fun meal for Donna and I remembering the Christmas outings to Swiss Chalet and being comforted that the food was as good as we remembered it.
Swiss Chalet – 86 Consumers Drive, Saint John, NB E2J 4Z3 (506) 657-947