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Vienna guidance - paging Sturmi

gutsofsteel Mar 16, 2010 02:36 PM

Sturmi, we will have 3 nights & 4 days in Wien next month. Have been several times....(mei muatterl war a Wienerin :-)

For dinners I am thinking:

3 Hacken (was there last year, really liked the food...should we do it again or should we do Zur Schwarzen Katze? I've never been)

a Heurige in Stammersdorm (we must sing...Wienerschmaltz, strammel, usw) Or maybe we should go to Schweizerhaus instead? I've never been. Or Eckel?

for the third night...considering Freyenstein or Gmoakeller (have not been to either)
We don't feel like doing anything too fancy this time, so no Steireck.

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    Sturmi RE: gutsofsteel Mar 17, 2010 08:01 AM

    Hi Gutsofsteel,

    Bad news: Zur Schwarzen Katze is closing March 27. Gunther Szigeti is looking for another location, maybe with a few more tables and easier to find.

    I would suggest you try Rudis Beisl: http://lokaltipp.at/lokale/homepage_9...
    This is a real gem, and the Viennese food there is of unbelievable perfection. Reservation is a must, and Rudis Beisl is closed Saturday/Sunday.

    I like the Gmoakeller, which is a traditional beer hall with very good classic Viennese fare (closed Sunday). Actually, we never made it to Freyenstein, mainly because of horror stories about slow service.

    Schweizerhaus and Eckel are two extremes, Schweizerhaus on the low end (the only Viennese beer garden worth mentioning, and Schweinsstelze (pork knuckles) the dish to eat), Eckel on the high end (they have one of the few lobster tanks in town, and their Kalbsnierenbraten is to die for...). I like both very much, and currently I am discussing with my family whether to celebrate my April birthday at Eckel or Schweizerhaus...

    For a Heurigen visit, Stammersdorf is hard to beat. OTOH I have to admit that we usually go there without aim, just dropping into one of the many places. Best time is always the afternoon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and in April many of the winegrowers will be offering their new wine. And sorry, we always avoid the places with music, so my opinion will not count anyway!

    29 Replies
    1. re: Sturmi
      gutsofsteel RE: Sturmi Mar 17, 2010 08:50 PM

      Well this time we will arrive on a Tuesday morning and leave Friday afternoon, so no weekend.

      Maybe we'll do for the 3 nights:

      1st night: Rudis Beisl
      2nd night: Schweizerhaus or Gmoakeller (can you compare them?)
      3rd night: Freyenstein (unless we should go back to 3 Hacken...?)

      We are not in the mood for high end this trip...so no Eckel...and maybe we'll skit Stammersdorf this time...

      Very hard to pick just 3...what would you do?

      1. re: gutsofsteel
        Sturmi RE: gutsofsteel Mar 18, 2010 01:08 AM

        Schweizerhaus is better for open air dining. Indoors the athmosphere is kind of grungy. So when the evening is chilly, as can be expected in April, I would prefer the Gmoakeller.

        Freyenstein offers an excellent tasting menu (only), and you have to be patient. Reserve an indoor table, even if it is 30° outside, since the menu will last until midnight and the garden tables have to be cleared at 10 p.m. Reviews are mixed: The cook is a genius, but the service...

      2. re: Sturmi
        kukubura RE: Sturmi Mar 21, 2010 02:01 PM

        Would you say that a place like Rudi's would be best visited on a Friday for fish-eaters who don't eat other meats?

        Alsö; what's the best place for germknodel or maunnknodel? I remember these from childhood visits and want to trz them again. I used to eat germknodel as a kid at what is now Kantine in the passage that leads to Hirschengasse. Don't know if it's still on the menu there. also, any experience with this placeÖ: http://www.phoenixhof.at
        strolled by today and it looked like i could be worth a stop

        FYI, we're in Vienna right now, staqing just off Mariahilferstrasse, a couple of blocks from West Banhof...

        1. re: kukubura
          Sturmi RE: kukubura Mar 22, 2010 12:18 AM

          Yes. Rudis Beisl is great for fish on Friday, but call in advance for a reservation, or drop in after 2 p.m. when the first lunchers leave...

          Germknödel are mainly served in ski huts, I think they are hard to find in the city, but one of the Kaffeehäuser like Phoenixhof is surely a good tip. What is easier to find are Buchteln, which are similar to Germknödel, but baked and not cooked. They are either served with vanilla sauce or filled with plum sauce (Powidl). This dish is also to be found in one of the Kaffeehäuser.

          If you stay in the Westbahnhof area, try one of the dim sum places (Tsing Tao, Happy Buddha, Lucky Buddha), they offer great Hongkong style dim sum !

          1. re: Sturmi
            kukubura RE: Sturmi Mar 22, 2010 01:46 AM

            Really! That's a hell of a tip. I thought all the chinese food in vienna was terrible but we're dimsum maniacs and maz have to take you up on that!

            also in Stammersdorf what do you think of Weininger? A book we hadve says that they feature a food selection of vegetarian food. We might go there tonight...

            1. re: kukubura
              kukubura RE: kukubura Mar 22, 2010 08:37 PM

              Weininger doesn't open until friday so we went to Kierlinger‎ on Kahlenbergstrasse and it was great! Vey local, no music, everyone was Austrian: the wine might have been young but the clientele wasn't! Right next door was another heurige called Steinschaden and I have a feeling it is a little more touristy during a more busy time. Still good but we liked Kierlinger‎ better...

              Also the area was great. We walked up the hilly vineyads and got a stunning view of the entire city and Danube valley!

              (oh, and we also went to happy buddha for lunch. Great!)

              1. re: kukubura
                Sturmi RE: kukubura Mar 23, 2010 03:14 AM

                Great to hear that you were lucky at Happy Buddha and a Kierlinger !
                There is much to find in Vienna, and you might just have to ask the locals for their favorite "beisl" or "heurigen" to find something special, away from the tourist traps...

                1. re: Sturmi
                  kukubura RE: Sturmi Mar 24, 2010 03:46 PM

                  A woman who was walking her dog on the vineyards over kahlbenberg gave us a suggestion for a heurigen in grinying that she said is incredible. I'll find it and post is for your feedback. I've definitely read that grinyig is for toursits and I asked her about that but she said this place was not touristy and is really great. We are thinking about a sunday trip to the woods so that might make a nice end to the day.

                  Rudi is reserved for friday at 7;30. Will post our thoughts afterwards!

                  1. re: kukubura
                    kukubura RE: kukubura Mar 25, 2010 11:52 AM

                    Ok, the one the woman in Kahlenberg told us about was, I think, Weingut Am Reisenberg. Sounds like it has good vegetarian options. Also, it's more modern so it would be nice to contrast with the more traditional ones we tried the other day. But we were also reading a little about Ottakring (which is easy for us to get to since we're already on U3) and the tower that gives the awesome view of the wienerwald. Thoughts? Could we maybe spend the dy walking the woods in Ottakring, go to a heurige there and then trek to Grinzing? We love all these ideas!

                    (Also, sidenote: I saw a thread from Jan 2009 about eats near the Belvedere this morning where you suggested Sperl, so we went there for lunch today! It was great. The garlic cream soup was seriously one of the best things we've had all trip)

                    1. re: kukubura
                      Sturmi RE: kukubura Mar 26, 2010 02:04 PM

                      Am Reisenberg is great !! Spectacular view, good wine and decent food. Reservation required on weekends !!

                      And yes, you can walk through the Wienerwald from the Jubiläumswarte to Grinzing, although I think that you might find yourself walking just along the Höhenstrasse, which is not that much fun.

                      Better try the "rundumadum" trail, which you can find in detail here:

                      1. re: Sturmi
                        kukubura RE: Sturmi Mar 26, 2010 04:18 PM

                        Thanks for the input... We'll consider it all.

                        FYI we went to Rudi's tonight. Fantastic! The most colorful plates we've had on our trip so far and the flavors were just as thoughtful. A great place! Thanks for the rec!

                        1. re: Sturmi
                          kukubura RE: Sturmi Mar 27, 2010 11:53 AM

                          I should have called them earlier but now I'm getting a weird message from Am Reisenberg and can't figure out if they're open tomorrow (sunday) or not. Help! Does the website or asnwering machine give any clues?! I don't want to end up in touristy Grinzing to find out that they're not open.

                          1. re: kukubura
                            Sturmi RE: kukubura Mar 27, 2010 12:49 PM

                            Sorry, Am Reisenberg is currently closed.

                            I just copied the link to their homepage and did not read their message. Most likely it is still too cold for using their location. And: the Reisenberg Heurigen can only be reached by walking up a quite steep road...

                            Maybe you should try Wieninger in Stammersdorf, They are open today and tomorrow between noon and midnight !!

                            1. re: Sturmi
                              kukubura RE: Sturmi Mar 27, 2010 02:43 PM

                              Danke. Bummer about Am Reisenberg since it's been so higly recommended. We are kind of wanting to see the Wienerwald tomorrow but we could switch it up to go to Stammersdorf... Need to discuss. Maybe if the U Bahn cooperates we can do both even though they are in opposite directions.

                              Went to Phoenixhof tonight by the way... fabulous!

                              I will write a lengthy recap of all experiences when we get home... Only a few more day... WAAH! Vienna is amazing...

                              1. re: kukubura
                                kukubura RE: kukubura Mar 28, 2010 12:35 AM

                                fyi am resisenberg responded to our email and said that they're closed until the end of april for renovations.

                                1. re: kukubura
                                  kukubura RE: kukubura Mar 28, 2010 10:25 PM

                                  Sturmi you're gonna love this: After spending the day hiking the wienerwald, climbing the terrifying jubiläumswarte for a view of all of Vienna, and visiting the Otto Wagner kirche we decided that Ottakring was not to our liking for heurigen so we hopped on the U Bahn and about 45 minutes later or so we were at Wieninger! Amazing! The food, the wine, and the atmophere were out of this world. We sat right next to a very distinguished viennese couple who we ended up chatting with for a long time. A great experience. We were probably there for four hours or so when all was said and done. The chef even shared some recipes with my wife at the end of the evening.

                                  1. re: kukubura
                                    Sturmi RE: kukubura Mar 29, 2010 12:04 AM

                                    Wow, seems you had a great Sunday !!
                                    Are you leaving today or do you need something exciting to top off your Vienna experience ??

                                    1. re: Sturmi
                                      kukubura RE: Sturmi Mar 29, 2010 12:37 AM

                                      We still have today and tomorrow. We extended our trip to avoid the British Airways strike and we were right because our original flight out is cancelled and our new flight is still scheduled as of now.

                                      The lovely couple we met at wieninger suggested http://www.gustl-bauer.at.tc/ as a great place to eat but looking at the website it might be too meaty for us.

                                      They also suggested the oberlaa on josefstädtlerstrasse. Maybe we'll have a sweet there.

                                      Any other final suggestions? After Sperl, Wieninger and Rudi's your word is gold around here! I still need my germknödel and we have a few other ideas. We still need to return to Duran and Trzesniewski one last time, even though my wife already blogged about them! She's fast! http://tastytrix.blogspot.com/

                                      1. re: kukubura
                                        Sturmi RE: kukubura Mar 29, 2010 05:55 AM

                                        I really do not know where to get authentic germknödel, because - believe it or not - germknödel are currently considered just another kind of gooey junk food. Maybe one of these bohemian restaurants might be the place to find these dumplings:
                                        Am Nordpol: http://www.amnordpol3.at/

                                        Zu den 3 Buchteln: http://www.falter.at/web/wwei/detail....

                                        S´Powidl: http://www.falter.at/web/wwei/detail....

                                        But my final suggestion would be some fresh and authentic seafood from the Adriatic. Vienna has a lot of Croatian seafood restautants, the high end places Aurelius and Kornat are found on Marc Aurelstrasse, right next door from Viennas best French seafood place Le Salzgries:

                                        On the other hand I think you would prefer a more down-to-earth place such as Konoba on Lerchenfelderstrasse: http://www.konoba.at/

                                        Here the fish is as fresh and tasty as in the more fancy places, and they have vegetarian dishes such as stuffed peppers or pasta with black truffles...

                                        Enjoy your last days !!

                                        1. re: Sturmi
                                          kukubura RE: Sturmi Mar 29, 2010 08:49 AM

                                          Thanks! We're going to sample the germknoedel at phoenixhof only because I remember it from childhood when it seemed like it was everywhere. As for restaurants, while we're at Phoenixhof we'll stroll ba Konoba since it's right there. But in case we want one last Viennese meal a la restaurant Sperl do you have a rec? What is Twolf Apostlekellar like? The location near Stephensdom and the live music makes me think it's touristy (not our thing)

                                          Thanks for everything!

                                          1. re: kukubura
                                            Sturmi RE: kukubura Mar 29, 2010 09:25 AM

                                            The Zwölfapostelkeller, the Esterhazykeller, the Melker Stiftskeller and the Bierklinik are old traditional beer halls, authentic leftovers of a time past. Maybe not so bad, if you just like to drink a lot of beer and get some traditional food on the side. But definitely no spots for chowhounds...

                                            OTOH, in case you want a classic Viennese meal there are dozens of small old style "beisl", every area has one. Unfortunately the asparagus season has not yet quite started, the seasonal vegetable right now is just "Bärlauch", a kind of leek growing everywhere in the Wienerwald.

                                            In the inner city we like Beim Czaak, but there are also others, such as Zu den 3 Hacken, Zum Scherer, Ofenloch, Huth, Pfudl, and Gustl Bauer.

                                            A special location is the "Wirtshaus im Palais Kinsky", which may look like a tourist trap but actually has excellent food with a lot of vegetarian dishes (we dined there last sunday):
                                            English menu:

                                            In the area where you stay we like Altwiener Gastwirtschaft Schilling in Burggasse, or Schreiners Gastwirtschaft in Westbahnstrasse, or Grünauer in Hermanngasse.


                                            Yes, it is a tough choice, but you cannot go wrong with one of these places...

                                            1. re: Sturmi
                                              kukubura RE: Sturmi Mar 29, 2010 09:30 AM

                                              wow... alright, we're gonna go through that list later. We have tonight covered but tomorrow is up in the air...

                                              As a point of interest we saw some old folks picking "Bärlauch" in the wienerwald yesterday, although we didnät know what it was. We did notice the fragrance and pick a few leaves ourselves to taste. Really delicious.

                                              1. re: kukubura
                                                kukubura RE: kukubura Mar 30, 2010 09:55 PM

                                                Well, Sturmi, you did it again. We had our last meal at Schilling and it was very good. We also finished off the evening with a germknödel at Phönixhof. And while we may be aching for some fresh veggies we've really enjoyed all our viennese meals! I'll do a full trip report when I get home. But this was a really great trip! Thanks for all the assistance!

                                                1. re: kukubura
                                                  gutsofsteel RE: kukubura Apr 6, 2010 11:56 PM

                                                  Is Sperl a cafe or a restaurant?

                                                  1. re: gutsofsteel
                                                    Sturmi RE: gutsofsteel Apr 7, 2010 12:01 AM

                                                    There are two places, the Cafe Sperl in Gumpendorferstrasse (a traditional Kaffeehaus) and the Restaurant Sperl in Karolinengasse (an old style beisl).

                                                    The naming is coincidental, there is no connection whatsoever between these two places, beside the fact that both are quite interesting regarding the food they serve...

                                                    1. re: Sturmi
                                                      gutsofsteel RE: Sturmi Apr 7, 2010 01:33 AM

                                                      Three nights in Wien coming up...my plan for the 3 dinners: Rudis Beisl, Gmoakeller, Weingut Weininger (on a Thursday).

                                                      Does that sound good?

                                                      If any of these are unavailable, I now have Restaurant Sperl as another choice. How about Schilling and Gustl Bauer?

                                                      Is Phonixhof a kaffeehaus or....?

                                                      1. re: gutsofsteel
                                                        Sturmi RE: gutsofsteel Apr 7, 2010 06:29 AM

                                                        The heurigen is named WIENINGER !! And please check whether they are open, either on their website or on the one for Stammerdorf.

                                                        Wieninger is a "high end" heurigen, Rudis Beisl, Schilling, Restaurant Sperl and Gmoakeller are real traditional down-to-earth Viennese gems. Rudi is the smallest and maybe also the best of these.

                                                        Gust Bauer is a little bit above, a "high end beisl".

                                                        Phoenixhof is a Kaffeehaus right in the middle of a very trendy area.

                                                        I would suggest that you also try one of the more inventive places, such as Zum Finsteren Stern, Gaumenspiel, Vincent, or Kutscker44 ?? There you will get local fusion cuisine of very high quality.

                                                        1. re: Sturmi
                                                          gutsofsteel RE: Sturmi Apr 7, 2010 07:21 AM

                                                          Thanks Sturmi. I'm not so interested in eating fusion cuisine in Vienna, or particularly in eating inventive cuisine when I only have 3 nights this trip. "Down to earth Viennese gems" is exactly what we want.

                                                          I did check the opening hours/day for Weininger...they open for the season on the 15th of April.

                                                          If we don't get Rudis or Gmoakeller, we will try Schilling and/or Sperl.

                                                          And of course many kaffeehauser (sorry about no umlaut).

                                                          Thank you!!

                                                          1. re: gutsofsteel
                                                            kukubura RE: gutsofsteel Apr 7, 2010 08:19 AM

                                                            Not that I'm an expert and you already knw my thoughts on these places but Wieninger, Rudi's and Sperl are all great. I doubt you'll go wrong with any of them...

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