Posts Tagged With: Austria

Eating in Salzburg

2454Salzburg did not leave a mark in my imaginary culinary little black book.  I dont exactly have wet dreams about it’s Salzburger Nockerl.  You wont hear me say things like “oh I would die for another Schweinhaxen just about now.  And with some consideration to where I live, I’m not going to miss its ethnic, seafood, fine dining scene either.  But in a way, that is what makes this post so important.  While there was nothing particularly spectacular about the food, in a city not renowned for its culinary ingenuity, we managed to eat fairly well.  Hooray to research?  Possibly.  As always, I did spend a significant amount of time researching, especially considering we had four days to fill.  And considering the spectacular day trips one can make from this base, four days is the minimum one should consider1241

We started off the bat with a foxy one, Alter Fuchs, one letter away from losing its Google friendliness.  The soups here in particular were satisfying.  A solid veal schnitzel, and something we haven’t seen much during the trip, spatzle, which came with pork cubes and gravy.  When in Salzburg… you gotta have the great looking Salzburger Nockerl, but the higher sweetness levels proved a little too much for our palates.  Contrary to what its website said this fox is open on Sunday, a rarity in Salzburg.1249 1246

After a long day trip, like in the scenic Salzkammergut region, Die Weisse and its sprawling garden is the perfect retreat.  The place is somewhat secluded in a residential area away from those pesky tourists.  Full menu featuring a cheesy Kaspressknodelslsuppe (beef broth soup with cheesy dumpling), a brighter more acidic than usual goulash, and other classics like the Teleschpitz with an oniony gravy.  Innviertler dumplings were interesting and  flavorful.  The place was packed with locals, enjoying good food, and one of the better beers of the trip (their own).  It seemed like we were the only pesky ones there1900 1901 1905 1903

If Salzburg is in the middle or end of your meat heavy itinerary, chances are you are ready for a change at this point.  And by change I mean Korean.  Koreasküche HIBISKUS in the Mozarteum is an odd location for the town’s lone Korean.  The apps here were a little weak, but the rest of the offerings featured plenty of  those Korean bold flavors.  Bibimbap was one little egg shy from completion (ask for egg).  Chicken with curry sauce was all too familiar in a good way.  Fried tofu came with exceptionally tasty veggies.  The winner was the spiciest dish in the form of porky goodness sautéed with fire.  Mozart would be proud, and confused.2224 2220 2228

At Stadtkrug hotel we enjoyed some farm to Ziggy flair and one of the more memorable meals in Salzburg.  Italian owner (my favorite kind) Luciano walks around treating everyone like long lost relatives.  The bulky sweet white asparagus was something I couldn’t get enough of during the entire trip.  An outstanding Beef Stroganoff with a side of yet another rare spatzle.  And a fine entrecote with flavors meant to forgive and forget its slight overcookness.  Another one of very few open on Sundays1454 1458

The friendly smiles in one Michelin Esszimmer will win you over, if the food doestnt do that first.  Four seafood and vegetable heavy fixed menus to choose from, may frustrate those looking for them online.  I already blogged about this one here

At Pescheria Backi we were transported to a Key West fisherman’s shack.  A family affair dishing out fresh seafood of all kinds right in the middle of Salzburg.  Other than the squid that could have used a little less salt, very good seafood all around.  For an appetizer you can ask them to make you a plate of various seafood salads and spreads, but verify the price first, and consider getting for one or two less people (if you are a group of 4, get for three, etc).  Popular with locals2383 2379 2375

Highlights outside of Salzburg:  Sausage stand at Bad Ischl (Esplanade/Wirerstrasse corner by the bridge) gave me some serious sausage envy!  It was just pure juicy, spicy awesomeness.  Gaststätte Echostüberl on Konigssee was another highlight which I mentioned briefly here.  Beautiful setting, great fish and meat dishes.

Buon Appetito friends!

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A Man and his Mountain. And a Choo Choo Train

1546Consider this Hallstat part deux.  A day so immense with beauty that it requires two posts.  Three actually with a visit to Bad Ischl in between.  50 minutes from Salzburg, in the town of St Wolfgang in the region of Salzkammergut you can hop aboard the SchafbergBahn, the little red engine that could.   A 40 minute picturesque trek takes you to the summit of the Schafberg where you are surrounded by 16 lakes.  Ok, I may have counted the same lake more than twice but you get the idea.  A breathtaking, stunning, 360 panorama, with a little restaurant on top to boot.  If you decide to stay less than an hour in the summit after seeing this, there’s something seriously wrong with you

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This is Hallstatt

HallstattI dont pay much attention to Trip Advisor lists because they are usually review algorithm based.  But sometimes they send lists based on their Destination Experts inputs (like myself) which are more interesting.  Last year they came up with a small list of unknown picturesque gems in Europe that no one knows about (that’s why they are unknown).  Sintra in Portugal was one of the only towns from the list we visited.  But a few weeks ago I received the same list yet again (which I cant find it) from TA and noticed there are two more places I can now check off, Cesky Krumlov, and this beauty located in the Salzkammergut region in Austria.  Hallstatt.

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Such stunning location very often lacks ample flat cemetery space.  Up until 50 years ago, the graves would be recycled every 10 years or so.  Bones and skulls would be removed and put inside the Charnel house, or bone house which visitors can visit today.  About half of the 1200 skulls are lovingly painted, along with the deceased’s name, and sometimes profession, and date of death.  And the cemetery itself offers more stunning views from above.  A little tricky to find but well worth it.  When walking back from the side of town where you’ll take the top picture, look for steps going up with a bunch of signs pointing up.

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20 km west of Hallstatt, there’s yet another stunner, Gosausee.  You can walk around the lake (about an hour) or find a spot and just stare.  Its so quiet you can hear a lung collapse.  The drive from here to A10 toward Salzburg is a fun one, as long as you stay alert (otherwise, you already know where the best burial place is)

 

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This is Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna

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Esszimmer {Salzburg} – The Sound of Silence

Esszimmer VenisonMemories…  are as fuzzy as the excluded pictures, hence a short post about our big Austrian splurge last week.  Birthday girl deserves the best and she got the best… the city of Salzburg, Austria has to offer.  A beautiful looking place, with beautiful waitresses, and a beautiful chef comes out to greed us smiling.  The last and only time a chef came out to greet us at a Michelin establishment was many moons ago in south of France.  Though I’m fairly certain he was under some sort of influence.  He gave me a big a hug, kissed me in the lips and said “I know it was you Margaux, I know it was you”.  Thats how I know.  Anyway, we were off to a rocking start at Esszimmer, surprisingly quiet for a Michelin star.  We were almost the last to leave

You always inherit a certain risk when you choose a place as such with no online menu in a foreign country.  I got a few clues here and there but nothing prepared me to this menu.  Nothing like I’ve ever seen really.  Four or Five various fixed mostly 5 course menus including a vegetarian menu, a seafood menu, an “Esszimmer” menu which was essentially a different seafood menu including one meat dish (highlight alert).  And there was another bigger, around 8 courser for 135 Euros (the rest around 85).  The only confusing part was that every single dish in all those menus was priced individually as well, and those prices didnt have any sort of structure.  Something that sounded like apps were priced almost like their main counterparts.  It made almost zero sense to order individual dishes here.

The wine menu was a fun read.  It essentially included all the Piedmont appointments I had to cancel last year due to overeating.  Didnt dot down the name we chose but it was crisp, dry and Rieslingy.

As for the food, nothing was really mind blowing, but for the most part the dishes were playful, creative, and artistic.  Silky raw trout with trout roe and shaved radish swimming in ultra light potato cream.  A delicate sweet Pike Perch seared to perfection with a sourkraft marmoulade.  Crayfish spring rolls with sweetbread was an interesting combination.  My favorite item was a tender, earthy venison that came with a rich supporting cast.  Dessert was forgettable except for the complimentary Sacher tort for the birthday girl.  Nice touch, nice meal!

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Pulker’s Heuriger – Slow Fooding Near Vienna

Pulker's Heuriger FeastA Heuriger – not quite an Enoteca, not quite a quinta, far from a restaurant.  Its a Heuriger!  An Austrian wine tavern owned by a wine grower to showcase his wine and allow his guests to experience something the Germans and Austrians call Gemutlichkeit… a place where everyone knows your name and where you can leave all your troubles behind.  Unless your neighbor and her annoying dog got the same idea and frequent the same place.  If that’s the case, perhaps its time to forgive and forget and leave a little “gift” in the pooches Schüssel.

Pulker's Heuriger inA true Heuriger may also serve some menuless food.  “Do you also want food?” “Yes”… now that’s the kind of decisionless menu I can get behind.  An array of homemade spreads, made in this home, not other homes.  Fresh vegetables, and fresh kills brought in by the local hunter a few days ago.  All delivered to your table until there’s no more room to put your ellbogen.  There was a delicately fresh goat cheese, black pudding that could convert you BP hater [insert family relative].  Porky fat spread that you will be hard pressed to find in the states.  There was a cheese spread infused with onions and paprika, salty ham, and pickles with just the right balance.  And just when you thought things can not get any better than this, there she comes.  Roasted pork belly so tender you can cut it with a dirty stare, along with crackling so good, its worthy of a dentist appointment

Pulker’s Heuriger is right off the main road in the village of Rührsdorf in picturesque Wachau Valley. Google maps shows it inside the village, but its actually on the main road, right before the turn.  Couple this one with a visit to beautiful Dürnstein on the other side of the river.  For the first time in history perhaps, those monthly travel magazines paid off, coming up with a nice and timely tip.

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