Vienna, April 2011 – Vienna is world-famous for its Wiener Schnitzel, Sacher torte, chocolate and Viennese coffee, and one can comprehend why after tasting these culinary delights in Vienna!
Austria’s national dish is Wiener Schnitzel, (German for Viennese Schnitzel) a bread-crumbed, thin slice of veal that is deep-fried. An outstanding Wiener Schnitzel is not oily or greasy…but slightly crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside. It can be found in almost every Austrian restaurant, and is probably the most reliable choice for those who are less adventurous.
On our weekend in Vienna, Mr. King & I ate our fair share of Wiener Schnitzel. Two stood out in our memories: one at the café inside the Vienna Opera House and the other at Restaurant Fuhrich. Maybe it was the ambience of the Vienna Opera House; the very casual dish was delightful. At Fuhrich, the portion was sumptuous; cranberry sauce was served on the side, which made a very interesting pairing.
Another Austrian national dish is Tafelspitz, which is boiled beef in broth. Tafelspitz is no doubt, a favorite of Mr. King & mine. When cooked properly, the beef is extremely tender, and falls apart as soon as the knife digs in. Our Austrian friends brought us to Weibel’s Wirtshaus, a traditional Austrian restaurant. I recalled climbing a narrow flight of stairs to reach our table inside this rustic restaurant. Mr. King & I both agreed that we had the best Tafelspitz there.
One of the most legendary Viennese culinary delights must be the Sachertorte – a rich chocolate cake (or torte) invented by Austrian Franz Sacher in 1832 for Prince Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna. It is so famous that December 5th was declared National Sachertorte Day!
The well-known pastry was perfected by Eduard Sacher, son of Franz Sacher when Eduard was completing his training in Vienna with the Royal and Imperial Pastry Chef at the Demel bakery. Most people have the impression that Sachertorte was created at Hotel Sacher (which was established by Eduard Sacher). In fact, Eduard developed the torte in its current form and first served it at the Demel, and then later at Hotel Sacher.
So off to Café Demel, we went! The Viennese coffee was rich with intense flavors, and the whipped cream was light and sweet. And needless to say, the Sachertorte was pure indulgence.
Aside from being one of the most romantic European cities, Vienna is at the top of my “foodie list” too.
All photos were taken by Mrs. King.