Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Viennese Coffee and Pastries

Ok, we've seen the sights, so now let's talk about the food in Vienna. Though I am not a coffee drinker, I had to try a Viennese coffee and pastry. We went to Cafe Landtmann for a traditional Vienna Melange (half coffee and half hot, frothy milk) and apple strudel. Though the coffee was very smooth and well-prepared, I just don't like the taste. The strudel was delicious though and we really enjoyed the atmosphere.

Funny story about the coffee: caffeine doesn't affect me at all, but it apparently has a major impact on Zahara! A few hours after I drank my coffee, she went nuts! She was a hilarious and adorable junkie. I definitely learned my lesson not to drink so much caffeine late in the afternoon though.

Sacher torte, a chocolate and apricot cake, was invented in Vienna at the Sacher Hotel. Everyone told us not to bother getting it there since it is very expensive and not very tasty. We tried our luck at Cafe Mozart instead as part of a sample platter of desserts that also included a cherry cheesecake and a chocolate and cream cake. To be honest, I've had better.

The best food I ate in Vienna was definitely the Christmas market fare. We were spoiled for choice. Vienna is serious about their Christmas markets; there are a few main ones and several smaller ones. We lost count after seven. Have I mentioned "Rome Rules" before? When Dan and I were in Rome we were overwhelmed with the amount of gelato we wanted to eat compared with the number of days we had in the city. Therefore, we adopted "Rome Rules," which meant that while we were in Rome we could eat as much gelato as we wanted without judging ourselves or each other. (Dan will tell you that I broke the rule when he went for his fourth gelato of the day. Apparently I do have limits). Faced with all of the delicious Christmas market fare, we had no choice but to call Rome Rules for Vienna.

So, let's dig in, shall we? The best thing I ate was also the most ridiculous. The Schönbrunn Palace had a fantastic Christmas market with tons of great food and drink. Since it was so cold out, I was confused when I saw people with chocolate dipped ice cream cones. Turns out it was chocolate covered marshmallow fluff!! OMG! It was so good!! Confession: we went back for seconds the next day.

We also couldn't resist these donuts. Firstly, they were huge. Secondly, you choose your filling right there! I really wanted apricot and Dan wanted chocolate, so we asked if we could do half-and-half. Yes! It was delightful.

Dan sampled a couple different Glühweins, both traditional and unique. I liked his caramel one, and I got my own apple cider that was very tasty. All of the stalls at each market sold wine in the same mug. You paid a €2 deposit and could then return the mug to any vendor.

Not pictured are the roasted chestnuts; cinnamon-sugar roasted almonds; fried potato pancakes (not nearly as good as the one in Budapest); and mountains of sushi! We literally ate sushi every day. It was glorious. It wasn't even fancy sushi--we got it several times from a stand in the underground. But it was so delicious. As you can see, we really made the most of our time in Vienna.

Read about our other stops in Central Europe:
Eating and Bathing in Budapest
Budapest Highlights
Vienna Sights

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