Friday, December 21, 2012

Weibel's Wirsthaus, Vienna

Tell me the truth, is this not the wurst exterior you've ever seen?

No, I thought not. Festive too. And I make light of the fact that it's a 'wirsthaus', not a 'wursthaus', which had me confused and expecting lots of sausage. In fact, it's a well-rated traditional fine-dining sort of restaurant that's part of a group of three; our random walks had already identified the third restaurant of the group ("3") as rather pleasant and commodious of appearance (gentle reader).

We were lucky to get in, I think. There was a bit of a flutter when we entered, because someone asked "Is it full?!" and the waiter who received us said "Yeeeeeees, it's full!" She claims it was cute and Germanic; to an American, it's condescending. But he had a table, and the waiters all loosened up after a bit.

They loosened us up with some honey-sweetened butter and heavily smoked speck. Or is that just fat? The bread wasn't very good, but butter on bread, topped with speck? Smoke on fat on fat on wheat.

The waiter was nice enough to say yaaaa, no problem, we can make a salad fer de kleine frau even though it's not on der menu. While it's thrown together, the potatoes and lettuces and other stuffs were tasty enough.
While I ventured out a bit - boiled beef in aspic, lots of red onions, pumpkin seed oil. I'm kinda neutral on aspics, and this was indeed like beef 'n' bits in Jello, but not in a bad way. The pumpkin seed oil was fascinating - a nutty, smokey flavor that you and I haven't tasted before.
Let's pause and look around. It feels sort of elegantly jumbled in here (with our position not at all helped by us being jammed against the stairs. That's the table they had, so I'm not complaining.). Bookshelves filled with "Who's Who in Austria 2007" next to "Der Bestest Joken!" and waiters of the species that dresses and behaves just a little too well for the class of place this has become.
I don't mean to dwell too much on class, especially when Austrian cuisine appears never to have advanced to the point where it could express class (unless the working class couldn't afford schnitzel and goulash, in which case I apologize for my first-world leanings). Someone had this deer ragout that may have been the highlight of the dinner despite being plopped next to throwaway penne.
And I had sliced roasted deer, with lingonberry, we weren't at Ikea, it was currants or something, and a semolina cake that would appear again for lunch in the future (unless it was really cornbread this time - it sure tasted like it). You can see how the deer is done through and the sauce is all over. It's not the end of the world, and they're not charging like it is either. The broccoli wasn't overcooked, I'll say that.
It bears mention that the wine list is an absolute book; the waiter snickered a little when he gave it to me. No probs, I was just looking for the glass list in the front. They have more than 10 by the glass, and I want you to know that they offered a Kracher Beerenauslese, pictured here, for something like EUR5. I don't know what that costs in America, but from the other times I've had Kracher, I found it very reasonable and more than tasty enough.Although what IS tasty enough? How can we say?

I think I can say that if you visit here you won't be schockingly disappointed, and you may enjoy it, but you won't be any farther down the road to discovering your own definition of 'tasty enough'.
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