I must confess, I love Grindelwald, Switzerland. The air is so fresh, the people are so chill and the scenery is postcard perfect.
However, one must realize you're in Switzerland where the cost of living is quite high and Grindelwald is quite touristy so you must bite the bullet and pay a surcharge at most restaurants. As we peruse Dorfstrasse (main street) looking for prospective restaurants, we do a quick "look-see" gauging prices from menus outside restaurants. Coming from Milan, our goal was to perhaps choose something more aligned to the local culture and customs.
We eventually decided on Bebbi's Restaurant, prices were around 20 Swiss francs ($20) so it wouldn't bust our budget and they had several indigenous items on the menu.
My daughter ordered Wiener-schnitzel which came with fries and a small vegetable garnish and she thoroughly enjoyed her meal. For some reason, I ordered fish and chips ($18) which was contrary to what I really should have ordered while in the Swiss Alps. BTW, I was tempted to order the cheese fondue for two but that was around 70 Swiss francs ($70) so frugality won out.
I had no idea what fish they served but the one piece of fish (see photo) came out cold and not completed cooked. (BTW, before this experience, I had never received just one piece of fish when ordering fish and chips.) I tried a little more fish to ensure it wasn't my imagination. Often, waiters will follow up a few minutes after serving the food which never occurred. In other words, this issue could have been addressed must sooner.
About 10 minutes after being served our meal, a group of about 30 Asian tourists arrived in the restaurant. I believe they had reserved a spot for 7 pm which hurt our subsequent service.
Our waiter, who I'll refer to as John was busy attending to other customers as I tried to get his attention. In the meantime, I ate a few fries and the vegetable garnish waiting for my opportunity to mention the fish issue. After about 10 more minutes, I mentioned my issue to another member of the wait staff who took away my entire plate. She said it would be replaced but didn't give a time frame.
I waited about 30 minutes before a member of the wait staff mentioned it was on its way and John asked if I wanted a dessert for the inconvenience. At this point, I was not interested in sweets as my mood had turned a little sour so I asked for a beer and he obliged. The beer helped me stay occupied as I waited for my meal. I waited another 25 more minutes before I asked for the check and he brought it to me but still had the $18 charge for the fish plate that they had physically removed and never replaced.
John was unaware that I never got my new fish plate. I proceeded to walk up to the manager who said the majority of my meal was eaten so that's why the amount was still on the bill.
At this point, I was quite surprised she said such a thing as less than half the meal had been consumed and I had explicitly explained I didn't want a new meal, only a cooked and warm piece of fish.
The manager appeared to lack emotional intelligence, she included the charge because most of the food was gone anyway. I had waited almost an hour after I mentioned the fish was not adequate and the replacement fish never came. As I asserted myself, she begrudgingly took it off the bill although no apology was given.
Before this interaction, another waiter had said there would be a delay because a large group had sat down before I asked for my fish to be replaced. Should not my request should be prioritized? Should I have to wait an hour to receive my fish even though it never came?
In retrospect, I should have merely mentioned the fish meal was not adequate. It was under cooked and not even warm when served and should have simply asked for it to be removed from the bill. As I know, some cooks and chefs may do "special things" to food that has been returned to the kitchen.
My experience at Bebbi's was not what I expected so I wondered if it was an anomaly so I searched Bebbi's on TripAdvisor to see what others had said. The overall rankings were 2.5 out of 5. This vindicated my experience there. The critical feedback ranged from poor service to inferior food.
Even though I felt compelled to share my dining experience, it didn't impact the beautiful hiking and sight-seeing we did the following day. Grindelwald and First are amazing with breathtaking scenery although I wouldn't recommend this restaurant for future visitors.