Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Prairie Provinces >
Sep 7, 2010 10:08 AM

Vienna Lux

Finally had a very good veal schnitzel on a bun in Calgary at a fairly new place, Vienna Lux, obviously with an Austrian bent.

Huge veal on a Kaiser for $7, with most toppings free including hot braised peppers, mushrooms, sauerkraut, etc. Only cheese and roasted red peppers cost an extra buck.

Also chicken, pork, eggplant and more. The salad is also really fresh, huge, and costs a lot less than it should.

All sandwiches are prepared fresh.

They also have twenty beers, 10 Canadian and 10 imports, a lot for a fast food place like this.

They serve an Italian coffee called Ottolina. Never had one, but they are clearly committed to Ottolina as they incorporated it into the decor with umbrellas for the patio, napkins and holders, and sugar packets. Looked Ottolina up and it seems to be the premier coffee of Milan, selling in 800 of Milans cafes and restaurants. I'll try one next time. Maybe coffee guru Manzo will go there and offer his esteemed opinion.

Normally I'd be begging people to go there because I will need to ensure that I can eat more of their veals on a bun, but the place was very busy from the time we arrived, about 11:30 on a Friday, untill we left 45 minutes later, with all tabels occupied, only a couple of seats left at the window bar, and three or four parties waiting for their orders to be filled.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Oh yes yes yes! We walked by this place a few weeks ago and wondered what's up.

    Ottolina is an Italian brand but it's roasted and packed in Calgary by Mr Cappuccino. In the hands of a decent operator it can be a pretty good cup, and unlike other Italian brands (Illy, Mauro, etc) the Ottolina you drink in Calgary is actually roasted here and is much fresher- so tentative thumbs up there.

    Website doesn't like opening hours- will check it out for sure- ever since I saw GOTT at (fast food but perfect food) Schnitzel Huber in Düsseldorf I have been jonesing for one here. But at Huber they also sell excellent potatoes (fries, boiled/buttered, etc) on the side.

    9 Replies
    1. re: John Manzo

      Replying to myself- they're Hungarian (so that explains the Goulash on the menu). Open Mon-Sat, till 5 most days and I think she said 7 on fridays but the connection was not good. Regardless, I am making a beeline here the next chance I have for lunch downtown.

      1. re: John Manzo

        Their hours are Mon-Tues 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Wed-Fri 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat 2-9 p.m., closed Sun.

        Was blown away by the size of their schnitzel and beef sandwich (all for only $6.95 with free toppings including mushrooms, sauteed onions or sauerkraut)... Super nice people too!

        1. re: alau2

          I couldn't make out all she said but she definitely said open until 5 today (Tuesday). Maybe they're working on that. And what the hell kind of hours are "2-9"??? Did you mean to type 12, andree?

          1. re: John Manzo

            It is indeed 2-9 pm on Sat; maybe they're busy with family/personal stuff on Sat mornings? Or they figure no one's around that part of town at the time of day?

            1. re: alau2

              This is even worse that El's Japanese Fusion when they used to have weekend lunch starting at 1! But still, I cannot wait to try it. In fact I think I'll head there tomorrow.

              El's Japanese Fusion
              2008 33 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 1Z4, CA

              1. re: alau2

                It is 12, I repeat, TWELVE to 9 on Saturdays. TWELVE. I was just there today and the sign is corrected.

                And what an amazing experience that was- I had chicken schnitzel but had them add breaded eggplant for, I think, $1.50- the sandwich and a bottle of water came to $9.50. I just added sauteed onions (trying to keep the experience as close to my beloved Mustachio at St Lawrence Market, Toronto) to the standard tomato sauce and sweet peppers.

                It was damn near perfect. I am in love. This place is in the Prince's Island Apartments and thus a bit out of the way, not quite downtown, not quite Eau Claire; it's actually right around the corner from Abruzzo. PLEASE TRY IT. We (well, I) need this place to thrive.

                I want to try the goulash soup next time- it looked rich and delicious.

                1. re: John Manzo

                  I am going for lunch today. The Schnitzel better be good :-)

                  1. re: josey124

                    I just got back. The Schnitzel (I had pork) is very good. I didn't add any toppings and actually would like to get just a Schnitzel next time. Might be the Bavarian in me that prefers Schnitzel with a wedge of lemon (and at most a little bit of ketchup) only. But I must say it is very good. It might not be the best I ever had but it definitely holds up to most German and Austrian restaurants I know.

                    1. re: josey124

                      I'd love to see them do a Jägerschnitzel with fries on the side! I love it when the mushroom gravy soaks into the fries- mmmmm lekker!

          1. re: worldwidestuff

            Went there today for lunch. Immediately one of Calgary's best value eats. Fantastic schnitzel sandwich. Wasn't that busy at noon today. Come on Chowhounds! Make a trip over there.

            1. re: sirdinealot

              I went there today again and it was very good again. My new favorite lunch spot. If they keep it consistant they will have a very loyal client. And I am bringing new people everytime I go.

              We got there around 12:15 and it was almost full but pretty much empty around 1pm.

              1. re: josey124

                Took partner and his cousin there Saturday- we had one each chicken, chicken, and veal+eggplant and I had a bowl of Gulyas as well. Note to self and all: If you're going to get the goulash, just split a sandwich with somebody, it's just way too much food. It was excellent but I do with their "hot peppers" had some heat.

                Add three waters and the bill came to $38 but as I say, that was really too much food, Those sandwiches weigh a ton!

          2. Had lunch there on Tuesday asked for the chicken schnitzel without the bun ,came with things and a side salad which two of us shared. This is a great place for a great value, very clean, new and full of polka dots.

            1 Reply
            1. re: smyth39


              They do make their own spaetzle for their gulyas- if they had THOSE on the side, ohhhhh, heaven....

            2. There is also a great place called "Schnitzel House" (or something like that) on Bowness Rd.

              13 Replies
              1. re: nonlinear

                Schnitzel Hosue. The restaurant with the shortest hours. I tried a few times, but it was eitehr too early, too late, or closed for holidays.

                1. re: worldwidestuff

                  You should call for their hours and make it a point to go (lunch on Saturday has always worked for me). I don't know where the cook guy is from, but I travel to Vienna most summers and the schnitzel rivals any i've had there.

                  1. re: nonlinear

                    Even Figlmüller?. Can't be that good.

                    1. re: Scary Bill

                      Figlmüller......that brings back memories.

                      1. re: Scary Bill

                        well, taste is subjective i suppose, so you'll have to swing into Schnitzel House and tell us what you think! (I can say, however, that the ingredients are fresh and high quality, and the preparation is authentic.)

                        1. re: nonlinear

                          non, I will certainly be going, but not sure when. I'll report back when I do.

                          1. re: nonlinear

                            Non, went to Schnitzel Haus on Saturday for lunch. Except they don't open on any day until 4pm. And are closed on Sunday.

                            Not likely to go there any time soon.

                            1. re: Scary Bill

                              Ouch - I'm sorry! What didn't you like about it?

                              1. re: nonlinear

                                I think his complaint is about the hours.

                                Nonlin- have you not tried vienna lux yet?

                                1. re: John Manzo

                                  haven't tried it man, but certainly want to! it's just in a really bad location for me. :(

                                2. re: nonlinear

                                  JM is right, I went for lunch and they weren't opening for three hours. Seems odd to be closed for Sarurday lunch. And I'm not too likely to try them as a weekday destination for dinner as I live in Evergreen and there is no quick route to that part of the city for me.

                                  1. re: Scary Bill

                                    ahh, that's too bad! sorry to cause the trouble!!! :)

                                    EDIT: and they must have *just* very recently changed their hours, cause the only time I've gone is on Saturdays for lunch (probablly around 1 pm or so). that sucks.

                      2. I happen to pass the restaurant on my way home from work and saw the big banner on the outside of the apartment building "Vienna Lux". Checked it out on chowhound and decided to try it for myself.

                        We went on a Saturday and they opened at 12 p.m. You go up and order the food at the counter. We ordered the following:
                        - Goulash - comes with fresh kaiser buns. It was a hot bowl of a deep orangey-red Hungarian Goulash with huge chunks of potato, carrots, celery and onions. The broth was thin and not at all stew-like but so full of flavour. The bowl is quite large for $6.95.

                        - Schnitzel & Chicken Schnitzel - be prepared for the sandwich. It's the size of a half a cantaloupe, about 6" in diameter and 3" high! The schnitzel was so good and cooked just right. I like the chicken schnitzel as the meat was so moist. Toppings are free: onions, hot peppers, sauerkraut, mushrooms. You can also choose red cabbage, cheese and roasted peppers for $1 more each.

                        - For beverages - they have cappucino, expresso, soft drinks, an unusual drink I've never seen before called Orangina, alochol - different types of beer.

                        - For desserts - a Hungarian dessert - cookie with a kind of apple jam inside. The cookie was shaped like a croissant.

                        I got to speak to the owner. He and his wife opened this restaurant. They are both originally from Hungary and came to Calgary 2 years ago. They had previously run a restaurant in Ontario before.

                        The restaurant is very new and clean. Bright red and orange colours; gives the sense of warmth and coziness. Some pictures of Europe and a few antique items from the old country. There are about 5 tables that seat 4 people, 4 tables that seat 2 and a bar- high stool counter that looks out of the restaurant window.

                        Great food! Great service!

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: makan2

                          One day while driving down 4th Avenue I spotted a sign "Vienna Lux Opening Soon", I was immediately ecstatic. While attending University in Peterborough Ontario I frequented a restaurant called Vienna Sandwiches, which I fondly remember having enormous and authentic schnitzel. I prayed that this new restaurant in Calgary could boast sandwiches even half the quality of those I craved from my University days. The long wait was finally over, a few days after Vienna Lux opened a friend and I went for lunch. Upon walking into the restaurant, I had an intense feeling of déjà vu. Pausing for a moment and looking around the restaurant, I recognised the layout and décor of this space from my past. It was not until I reached the counter and the owner came to take my order did I realise why this place was so familiar to me…it was the EXACT SAME restaurant I use to frequent. I ordered my usual wiener schnitzel with all the toppings. The sandwich was so huge that half of it could barely fit in one hand. The moment of truth, I took a bite and the food was just as fantastic as I remembered it being all those years ago. The owners sat down and told us the story of how they came to be in Calgary. Their story is amazing, and they are such genuinely nice people. Please check this spot out, tell your friends, and help support this incredible family owned authentic restaurant.

                          1. re: LAELHO

                            Tried Vienna Lux today, and the sandwich (Wiener Schnitzel) was great. Very large, of high quality and perhaps enough for two to split for a decent lunch, depending on appetite... No question, awesome for sure! Save the other half if you like, etc. Very nice setup, too. Bright and cheerful, all new.

                            As value is a little subjective I won't go on about it too much. For some, money is not an issue, and so on. I would just point out that their prices went up as of Oct. 1. The owner said they were "promotional prices" up until that point.

                            The "base model" is now $7.95. Most of the toppings which were free, apparently, are now a $1.00 each. With onions, sauteed mushrooms and hot peppers, and GST, my sammie came to $9.40.

                            For me, that's a little bit of sticker shock, plain and simple. You're knocking the guts out of a ten spot here. As I said, we will all do our math ourselves on that one.

                            At the end of the day, it's a great sandwich though. Dee-lish.

                            1. re: seemac70

                              I saw the price went up. I agree it is not cheap but for downtown normal. At least it is consistantly good and I have had worse for more money. Try it without toppings some time. I always order without, not because of the money but because I think a good schnitzel doesn't need toppings.

                              1. re: seemac70

                                For my "usual" veal on a bun, that is over a 40% increase. I'll be going less, much less. Even my favourite veal joint in Toronto doesn't charge for hot peppers or extra sauce.

                                1. re: Scary Bill

                                  Yea man...

                                  Damn good sandwich, but when I was there and ordering I made note of the price. Having been going on the website pricing, I was surprised by the total, and politely inquired about it. I didn't even really look at the prices on the board.

                                  The gentleman behind the till, the owner I believe, then proceeded to give me the run down on why the prices went up and why and so and so on... "I have to make money, the quality, etc. (He even offered me a cafe on the house! Nice guy, for sure, but the soliloquy had a certain old world determination and firmness about it.) However, I was thinking that a lot of his "early adopter" customers may feel jilted.

                                  I'll probably go once in a while I guess, but sorry, the old "promotional" price jack, is a BAD move from a business standpoint.

                                  Working out price points and costing prior to opening is very important from a basic business standpoint. One should really strive to avoid exactly what this guy has done. I surmise he may have realized that he is bleeding red ink like the sauce on the schnitzel.Most places do the slow squeeze on price increases. A quarter here, a quarter there, we've all seen it, at our favourite places, yes? That way, customers are a little like the frog in the soon-to-be-not-so-tepid pot of water, to use an oddly, vaguely, culinary analogy.

                                  Anyways, best of luck to Vienna Lux, it's great stuff.