In Grindelwald, Switzerland there is a tiny little restaurant called Memory. It could not be more appropriately named. The macaroni & cheese I ate there will live in my memory forever. I understand that might sound a bit extreme, it’s just mac & cheese after all, right? Wrong. It was heaven in the cutest Swiss-red polka dotted bowl, I had ever seen.
Browsing the menu, everything sounded delicious, though everything also had a 15 franc or more price tag. I was hesitant, could I really afford to splurge like that on lunch? Turning to the last page on the menu I saw the ‘Aepler Makkaroni mit Knoblibrit’. Now, my German may not be any good, but ‘makkaroni’ is something I understand very well. Reading the English description, “Aepler maccaroni with garlic bread, potatoes and bacon, cream sauce, served with
apple puree,” I threw all sensibility to the wind and went for it.
When my food arrived and I took the first bite, the pain of the 24 franc price of the meal fell away. I dug into a bowl of potatoes, noodles and bacon drenched in Swiss fondue cheese. The cheese strung up with my fork as I lifted noodles out of the bowl, creating a cheesy delectable mess. I ate every bite. I was plenty full by mid bowl, but this macaroni & cheese was so sensational, I kept eating without shame until the bowl was completely empty.
Looking back at this memorable lunch with my friend in the Swiss Alps, I don’t dwell on the price of my meal. Sure it was expensive, but it was also magnificent. I remember how much enjoyed my food and my friend laughing at me as I got stringy cheese down my chin. I remember the view out the window, of snow covered houses and mountains. I remember being happy and enjoying my life.
Budgeting is definitely an important part of traveling, but money is transient. Sometimes life is worth the extra splurge, because as they say, “travel is the only thing you can buy that will make you richer.”