Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Figlmuller, Vienna

Festive Christmas luncheon! Nothing says Christmas to me like thinly-pounded veal cutlets, and nothing says thinly-pounded Wieners like Figlmuller - though how much of their popularity is due to the food and how much is due to the marketing is an interesting question.

As an aside, I enjoyed the atmosphere here tremendously, in mo small part because of the clientele. There was a big table of Japanese men, and it was comforting to hear them joking and talking, and there was an ancient couple in the back - I swear they were 90, they couldn't walk well, and they were each tucking into pounded Wieners. Very good play, I say.

I did like the festivity as well, even though this chandelier was hung over a table of frattish tourists.

Now, I'm sure there were a LOT of tourists all around me, but I didn't notice for the first few days that we were in Wiener. All the tourists are white! They blend in. And they all look the same.

After a few days the tourists became more obvious, especially the Russians. Anyone blowing smoke at you, pushing past you in lines, generally being a jerk? Russian. Or maybe Ukranian. Or Slovakian. I dunno. They all look the same.
So I had some wine to forget my Russian troubles. Cheap. Eminently drinkable. Served by a stern and aged waiter who was pretty nice - more businesslike than anything else, but in a way that let you know he was looking out for you. For example, the first wineglass smelled a little, and as soon as I asked for a new one, it was there, no complaint. I love it when the staff in a truly touristy place are also on top of their jobs.
I cannot comment on someone's knoedel, because it's a leberknoedel, and you know I don't like leber. I tried enough to be able to tell you that it wasn't entirely leber; the rest was some other meat, and I think a lot of bread crumbs. I really got used to clear soup on this trip; it's comforting.
As a throwaway side salad, this is great! It's not a gargouillou or anything, but look at all the varieties of leaf and sprout. Again, much better than a tourist restaurant needs to be, and a decent value.
This is the item. Take one Wiener, pound the hell out of it...actually, I have an uncomfortable feeling that this is done by machine. It's awfully thin and regular. I would also say it's just too big, because it's cold by the time you get to the other side, even when you have two people sharing it like we did. There's more bread than meat. I liked other versions. <sigh>
Check this out - all you diners and picnics who say you've got some potato salad for me? You got nothin'. These potatoes are perfectly cooked, the greens are fresh (and kinda weird - what are they?), the onions are delicately chopped, and that brown stain at the lower right of the bowl is...pumpkin seed oil. Good lord this was delicious. Have you ever had pumpkin seed oil? I thought not. Took me several meals to realize I should ask what it is, because it pops up a lot - a standard Wienercondimenten, it seems. Certainly there were 6 varieties at the smallish supermarket we later visited, one of which is now in my cupboard. It's weird to say, but I think the atmosphere and the potato salad were the things that made me like Figlmuller so much.

And maybe the wine.

By the time we left, people were waiting outside. They didn't seem disgruntled - it's a picturesque little alley, and the quality service inside keeps things turning over. If the line's too long here, try going to the end of the alley and turning right, whereupon you'll find the 'new' restaurant. I think the food's the same, and the atmosphere can't be all bad.

And there's wine.
+43/1/ 512 61 77

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