Tag Archives: Expat

Review of The Pinguin

Pinguin,
Schutzenmattstrasse 21,
Basel,
Switzerland

The Pinguin Bar is a real hidden gem here in Basel. Located quite centrally but tucked away in a small shopping arcade, it boasts 100 beers from around the world (and the largest mustard collection of any restaurant according to the Guinness Book of Records!). We’ve frequented this place before but decided it was time to go back for an official review. So, here are the votes:

Date and time: 30/10/07 around 7.30 – 10.30pm

Location and ease of access: Located on Schutzenmattstrasse, just down the street from the Spalentor, it’s marked by a small sign and a row of beer bottles above the entrance to the arcade. As it’s still in the old town, it’s well within walking distance of the city centre. 8/10

Beer selection and prices: You can’t get much better than this! The selection is extensive and presented to you in a comprehensive menu the size of an encylcopedia. You can get everything from African banana beer to open fermented Belgian beverages. It’s like a Willy Wonka’s beer factory. The prices are suprisingly reasonable, the only drawback is that the selection on tap is poor. 10/10

Atmosphere: Generally quiet due to it’s “secret” location, there were two or three other groups in there but it’s got a sort of hidden away feeling about it which is good for a quiet few beers. 7/10

Service: The barman and I presume, owner, is a character (you’d have to be to stock 100 beers and the largest mustard collection!). He generally wanders round and talks with the locals and is responsible for getting you the beers. I’ve never seen anyone pour and present a beer with as much detail. He also tried a bit of English with us! 8/10

Smokiness: None to speak of. Top marks 10/10

Snacks: There were packets of breadsticks at each table but we didn’t try any. Not sure what other snacks were available, but I think they serve food during the day. 4/10

Furnishings: The ceilings and walls are covered with beer glasses and tankards. There are also old photos of Basel and in general an eclectic mix of beer advertisements and such. The seating is comfortable but a little too like a restaurant for my liking. 6/10

Music: No music in the background so more top marks. 10/10

“The John”: This was a real find! Possibly the best “bog” we’ve come across so far. They’re clean and decorated with brilliant cartoons of a lurid nature! Well worth a visit just for the toilets alone. They are however locked so you need to get the key from the bar counter. It’s the one with the tennis ball with “H” attached to the key! 10/10

Rated 5/5 on Nov 08 2007 by The Swiss Job
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Review of Unser Brewery

Unser Brewery,Laufenstrasse 16, Basel, Switzerland

l_ubier.gifIt’s been too long since the last review. I know. And I have no excuses for it either. But last night we braved the cold temperatures and biting winds to bring you the latest Basel Bar review. We suffer for our art. Here are our thoughts on the Unser Brewery. I should also note that this place is worth going to, simply to open the door and smell the hops and brewery smell inside. Heaven!

Date and time: 25/10/07 around 7.30 – 11pm

Location and ease of access: This one is kinda out of the way and not very well sign-posted. But it’s a hidden gem and worth the walk. Located on the Grosse Basel side of town and along from the train station it is located at the back of the actual brewery. 4/10

Beer selection and prices: Four of their homegrown beers on tap, a blonde, a dunkel (dark beer), a special October Beer which we sampled and one other I can’t remember! Prices were a little on the high side but worth the money. 7/10

Atmosphere: The place was buzzing when we got in and slowly eased off as the night went on. Pleasant background chatter and German mumblings. There’s seating for maybe forty to fifty people in among the brewery apparatus. One thing I did notice, the crowd was mostly male although I don’t think this should be a reflection on the place, just the night that we were there. 7/10

Service: Good table service, our glasses were never allowed to go empty and the food was brought in good time although Sarah had to wait for her pretzel for a while. Spoke German to them (although they were willing to speak English) as we’re now in Deutsch Intensiv IV and feel like we’re at the point where we can order a pretzel and beer! 7/10

Smokiness: Generally very good, we picked a good spot to sit at and weren’t bothered by the smoke. 8/10

Snacks: Top notch. We got our first beer and two warm fresh pretzels that melted in your mouth. We then had another beer and then ordered dinner, Kase Schnitze for me and Rauchwurst for Matthew. Both of us were happy with the meals. The only downside was Sarah’s slightly overcooked pretzel later on. 8/10

Furnishings: Long simple tables and chairs just inside the door and beside the fermentation tanks. Nice clean room with the old brick work visible and a small bar. 7/10

Music: Very little and the atmosphere was better for it. It doesn’t strike me as a background music kinda of place because it’s still a fully functioning brewery. This was brought home to us when two guys came past wheeling three large sacks of hops! 8/10

“The John”: Through a door into an adjoining apartment block and the toilets were in the foyer? A bit of an unusual situation but it worked, they were clean anddid exactly what it says on the tin. 7/10

Rated 5/5 on Oct 26 2007 by The Swiss Job
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