15 April 2012

Family Friendly Eats in Vienna


We somehow ended up at Schwedenplatz a lot (it's an underground stop as well as a place to catch trams), where they have a lot of street food options. Gelato, noodles and donair! 

But the most memorable for us? The hot dog stands.

First they impale a fresh baguette-style bun on one of these spears above. It makes a hole to slip the wiener in. Perhaps it warms the bun as well? Then they sqeeze in the sauce of your choice (it makes eating it way less messy!). Then the wiener of your choice. Which can be a bit overwhelming. We asked for suggestions. Seen above is a sausage filled with cheese! (I didn't know that the wiener was named after Vienna — in German Wien ... no wonder they know what they are doing here.)

This is reportedly the most famous schnitzel house in Vienna, which is usually enough of a reason for us to avoid it. But for some reason, we decided to try it. And we were glad we did. The schnitzel itself can feed a small family, it's that big. If you are like me, and have had bad versions of schnitzel in the past you might look at it think it's dry and tasteless. But this is not the case here. It was tender and tasty. And the kid ate a remarkable amount of it.

That salad was not very Spud-friendly but I loved it!

And yes, we played with our food.

We saw this ad after we ate at the restaurant ... and thought it was kind of awesome that the man in the ad was actually our waiter!

Excellent value. Great ambiance. Ridiculous desserts! Really and truly. For lunch we ordered off the pre-set menu and had lovely things like goat cheese ravioli with beetroot sauce and other gourmet-ish yummies. The kid had bacon wrapped wieners with fries. Say no more!

And for the jet-lagged adults ... really good coffee.

Our accommodations included a kitchen so we had no problem squeezing in the missing food groups into our day. We always had a simple breakfast at home. Packed snacks of hard boiled eggs, apples, and chopped veg. And usually had a shmancy salad for dinner at home. Finding a Zielpunkt or Spar in our neighbourhood (North Praterstrasse) was no problem if we remembered that they are closed on Sundays.

Our favourite grocery store experiece was at a big one we found at the north train station (Wien Praterstern) on a Saturday night. It was packed! The line ups were crazy. We think it was so busy because it was open later than other stores in the area and that everyone knew that most things would be closed the next day.

In terms of dairy and produce, we found it had everything we needed. As a bonus we also found some delicious, warm, ready to eat chicken and pork at the deli. (Note: check to see if you are expected to weigh the produce before you get to the checkout). Even if you don't have a kitchen, you could picnic or at least have some nutritious snacks on hand.

All in all, we were able to eat well pretty frugally and got to try some new and locally traditional things.